Getting your home ready for the home inspection is much like getting your home ready for showing. You might want reconsider the velvet Elvis and “Dogs Playing Poker” painting. Home Inspectors are a lot like potential buyers, they can tell within the first few minutes whether this is going to be a good inspection or not much like a buyer/realtor can tell within the first few minutes whether they are going to buy the house or not. You want the buyer/real estate agent and home inspector to have positive impression of the house. You don’t want the house to be dirty and dingy and bark like a dog. Remember the “Three P’s” painting, plants, and pictures. So my first tip is de clutter and clean, clean, and clean the house. The following are my list of tips for getting the house ready for the showing and the home inspection.
1. Declutter; a decluttered home will inspect better, show better and look more roomie. Please rent a pod if you need or get a mini storage but declutter that home. Don’t put it all in the garage or the crawl space or under the deck. The inspector needs to see the walls and get to the electrical panels. They also have to be able in the crawl space. If there is an area the inspector can’t get to they will have to come back at a later date causing trauma and drama you just don’t want. Declutter that house.
2. Make sure there is nothing under your deck, especially wood. If there is wood under your deck or in your crawlspace this potential trouble. If the wood happened to have termites more than likely the entire house will need to be treated and that is extremely expensive. Make sure there is no firewood under the deck or up against the house. Also make sure there are no pallets or form boards in the crawl space.
3. Trim bushes and trees. On the inspection it’s going to be a write-up if the bushes/trees are touching or overhanging the house. I would trim the bushes early as it will show better for the buyers too.
4. Clean gutters and any debris off the roof. Clogged gutters can cause damage to the fascia and soffit board.
5. Replace all the burned out bulbs. Go buy all the bulbs you need for two reasons. 1. Your house will show better by turning all the lights in the house on. If a light is out some inspectors have some scary protective canned statements that could make a potential buyer think you might have an electrical problem when it could just be a burned out bulb.
6. Change those filters. You should change those filters anyway but especially when showing or having a house inspected. A lot of people refinish floors and paint which both involve sanding which creates dust which clogs the filter. A clogged filter causes an inefficient system and can cause the condensation line to clog.
7. Caulk around tubs and sink. Also look for chips or cracks in the sink or tub. Many small ones can be fixed with a kit from the hardware store. This will cause the house to show and inspect better.
8. Go around the outside of your house during or soon after a rain. Look for a puddles or gutters overflowing or downspouts not draining away from the house. Water against the foundation will cause cracking/settling and will be a write up. Make sure all those splash blocks are in place.
9. Pets; I am a dog lover but you don’t want Fido there during the showings or the inspection. Dogs don’t do well at either and not everyone is a dog person. I have been bitten by a “friendly” dog. This doesn’t help your inspection.
10. If you have a crawl space look under it. Look for signs of moisture like droopy insulation or water on ground, mold or mildew on the surface of wood. If you see this get this fixed before the inspection.
11. Check your water meter. Turn all the water off in your house. Don’t flush toilet. Don’t turn on the dishwasher or clothes washer. Then go out in your yard with a long flathead screwdriver
12. Do not turn the HVAC to an ultra-conservative if the buyer or inspector walks in the house and its really cold or warm they think the HVAC is broken.
13. Make sure attic, crawl space and garage are all accessible. (Again you don’t want to get hit with an extra trip charge.
14. Replace all the batteries in your smoke detectors and thermostats if they have them.
15. Make sure all windows are operable.
16. If water testing is done flush the system the day before the inspection. Vacant homes will often test high for lead when the water is remained in the pipes for a long period of time.
17. Make sure the water heater is accessible and isn’t leaking.
18. Check behind all doors for dings and gouging. Replace all the door stops.
19. Consider painting the garage floor with a paint especially designed for garage floors. If makes the garage look much better and cover up oil stains
20. Check to make sure all doors latch and don’t rub.