Seller Preparation for Home Inspection

Real Estate Sales Representative with The Doss Team @ REMAX 1st Choice

In my years of real estate... I have learned that sellers do NOT always know how to prepare for, or what to expect during a home inspection.  Realtors and Inspectors deal w/ home inspections every day, and we FORGET that the general public does not know what we take for granted as a given. 

I have had sellers turn off utilities PRIOR to an inspection.  I have encountered mean dogs during an inspection.  I even once had a seller who stored bottles of red wine in her OVEN... which we did not discover until the inspector turned the oven ON and we had rather warm wine spewing all over this lady's oven.  BIG FUN! 

So, I have prepared the following tips to advise sellers as to how to prepare their home for inspection.   

Home Inspections - Seller Preparation

A professional home inspection protects both you and the buyer. It allows both you and the buyer the opportunity to learn about the property's defects. It is a buyer's right to hire inspectors and to choose the inspectors.

A home inspection usually covers the following:

*Plumbing conditions - if there is leakage or clogging
*Roofing conditions - the extent of deterioration, if there is leakage
*Electrical conditions - if there are inadequate circuits or potential fire hazards
*Structural problems - if there are problems with the underlying foundation of your home

As a seller, the home inspection reports protect you because it establishes the actual condition of the property at the time of sale.

1. Leave the house clean and tidy... this makes the inspector's job less complicated.
2. Make sure all utilities are connected and on.
3. Provide access and workspace around HVAC units and water heaters. Make sure pilot lights are lit. Leave instructions if you have hi-tech programmable thermostats that are extensive or difficult to operate.
5. Empty the dishwasher and make sure you have nothing on the stove or in the oven/microwave, as the inspector will be turning these items on and off.
6. Provide access to attic and garage.
7. Leave keys for outbuildings and electrical boxes.
8. Clear brush and shrubbery away from any exterior inspection points.
9. Provide copies of any recent repair documents.
10. Confine pets or take them away from the home during the inspection. For 1, it is not the inspectors job to tend to them, and 2, the pet will be safer. Children should not be present at an inspection either.

**WATER WELL - if you have a water well, you may want to disinfect it prior to inspection
**SEPTIC SYSTEM - if you have a septic system, you may want to have the tanks pumped prior to inspection.

Comments (9)

Marlene Bridges
Village Real Estate Services, Inc. - Laguna Hills, CA
Laguna Homes|Laguna Condos|Laguna Real Estate
Lisa - Thanks so much for this wonderful reminder to prepare sellers for what to expect.  So often, the report comes back and the sellers are offended by what the inspector cites.  And, it is so nice to make the inspector's job easier.  He isn't the enemy after all.  Thanks for an excellent post.
Aug 11, 2007 02:46 PM
Shawn Martin
Crosby Inspections - Vancouver, WA

Lisa-  I wish all Realtors would include your seller preparation list when trying to sell their home.  It defiantly would make my job a lot easier.


Shawn Martin

Martin Home Inspection Services


Aug 11, 2007 02:52 PM
Lisa Buescher
The Doss Team @ REMAX 1st Choice - Midland, TX
Homes for Sale - Midland Texas
SHAWN... always remember to check for wine bottles in the oven!  :P
Aug 11, 2007 03:44 PM
Cristy Smith
mmm - Austin, TX
Thanks for the great tips and info. I will definily have to keep those in mind...I will also remember to check for wine bottles in the oven. :)
Aug 11, 2007 03:54 PM
Lisa Buescher
The Doss Team @ REMAX 1st Choice - Midland, TX
Homes for Sale - Midland Texas
It was SAD.. but too comical once it was OVER!  When the inspector opened the oven to see what was in there, wine was spewing out the corks.  It was EVERYWHERE!  And I have a sick sense of humor.. he was covered and I was LAUGHING!
Aug 11, 2007 03:58 PM
Dan Homan
Coldwell Banker Ellison Realty, Inc - Ocala, FL
This is a great reminder of what we should be reminding our sellers all along.  Great for including in a letter to the listing agent if you represent the buyer as well.  Thanks.
Aug 11, 2007 04:03 PM
Provadus Home Loans
Provadus Home Loans - Marietta, GA
Technology bringing you home.
Great advice!  I will be sure to refer your blog to many!
Aug 11, 2007 04:54 PM
Rick Bunzel
Pacific Crest Inspections - Anacortes, WA



Thanks - I always check the ovens before I fire them up. However one time the home had a double oven and looked in the first one but got distracted and didn't look in #2. That one happen to have the plastic bread baskets and napkins. Didn't figure that out until the plastic started smoking and melted over the napkins. Yuck! Offered to pay for them but seller said it was OK because she only used that oven for storage and forgot they were in there. 


The wine oven is a new one, hadn't seen that before! 



Aug 12, 2007 11:38 AM
John Novak
Keller Williams Realty The Marketplace - Las Vegas, NV
Henderson, Las Vegas and Summerlin Real Estate

Thanks for sharing this detailed list, Lisa! I'm going to use this as a starting point to write something up for our team's escrow coordinator.

Aug 16, 2007 10:39 AM