Get Ready For Your Buyer's Home Inspection

Real Estate Agent with Portland Vancouver Homes

Get Ready For Your Buyer's Home Inspection - what to do

Seller Preparation 

A typical home inspection will take about 2- 3 hours. Make plans to be out of the house

for the entire time, and make a mental note that some home inspectors can arrive 30 -

40 minutes before the appointment time to get set up. The inspector will have a ladder

or accessing the roof and attic, his computer to take notes and a camera that he will

take pictuures of the home with. Be prepared ahead of time, that way you won't be

surprised if he does show up early, and you are just getting out of the shower :)


Thoroughly clean the house

It may seem obvious, but cleaning is often overlooked before an inspection. Inspectors

aren’t always looking beyond the mess to the real issues within the home.  An unkempt

house gives the impression of uncaring owners and neglected regular maintenance.

Additionally, new buyers are likely to accompany the inspector and will feel the same

way; they may possibly rethink their purchase or find the property less appealing than

they originally envisioned. 


Have the home ready on time

A home inspection can take as long as three hours. With busy schedules to keep and

reports to prepare, home inspectors try their hardest to be on time. Often, inspectors are

early. A good rule of thumb is to be ready half an hour before the appointment time.

Remember as well that inspectors often think little of starting early around the outside of

the property, without your knowing they are even there.


Leave keys

Leave keys to all locked utility boxes and doors, if there is a shed or out building, make

sure they have access. Inaccessible systems are cause for incomplete inspections and

delays, this could mean the inspector will have to return, and the entire process can be

delayed. Arrange a place for the inspector to find the keys, leaving them on the kitchen

counter with a note explaining which keys open which doors is a good idea.


Keep utilities connected

If the property is unoccupied, be sure all utilities--electricity, gas, oil, water--are

connected and filled enough for appliances to run. The home inspector will need to test

heating and cooling systems, plumbing, appliances, faucets, electrical systems and

more. Without utilities, required testing cannot be done. The result is an incomplete

inspection. Incomplete inspections will delay the release of the home inspection

contingency clause, which, in turn, will delay closing. 


 Make sure pilot lights are lit

For liability reasons, home inspectors will not light pilot lights on stoves, furnaces and

water heaters. When pilot lights are not lit, inspections are rendered incomplete.


Clear workspace around systems

Home inspectors need adequate room to access appliances, electrical panels, and

heating and cooling units. Remove boxes, stored items and debris from these areas; at

least three feet of workspace is recommended.


Provide access to additional spaces

Attics, garages, sheds, basements and crawlspaces need to be accessible to the home

inspector. Clear away any blockages and make sure doors can be opened (unlock if

necessary). This includes accessing inspection hatches for bathtubs with jets, water

meters and shutoff valves.


Remove appliance contents

Dishwashers and stoves are subject to the home inspection and will be run. Even if an

appliance is not included in the sale, inspectors will run your machine to ensure that the

plumbing, venting and electrical supplies are in working order. Make sure the dishes are

out of the dishwasher, or that is soap readily available and leave a note letting the

inspector know that the dishes can be cleaned during the inspection.


Clear exterior clutter and debris

Foundations, outside electrical outlets and faucets are a few of the items inspectors will

want to see outside. Remove trash cans, trim branches and brush, dispose of dead

limbs and clear an accessible path around the home, especially in winter. Again, the

inspection will be easier, but the appearance of your house will improve as well.


Collect receipts for repairs

Leave receipts and repair invoices for anything you have recently had fixed in the home.

This shows proof of upkeep and answers to many questions an inspector may have.


Remove pets

Take your pets with you or have them boarded elsewhere for the day. At the very least,

secure animals in crates or kennels far away from any area where the inspector will be.

Avoid an incomplete inspection, pet loss or liability resulting from nervous pets.



Plan to leave for at least three hours. This includes children and other home occupants.

Inspectors are often accompanied by buyers, and both will want uninhibited, free access

to ask questions and explore the home. The buyer's agent will accompany the buyers to the inspection and will use the key from the lockbox for access.  They will lock up when they are done, and you can return home after 3--4 hours.


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Denice Neddo is a licensed Realtor who specializes in Clark County, Washington and also works both Clark County Washington and Multnomah County, in Oregon including the cities of Vancouver, Ridgefield, Camas, Battle Ground, Brush Prairie, Hockinson, Salmon Creek, Felida, and inner city Metro Portland. Her favorite Portland neighborhoods include Belmont, Brentwood-Darlington, Brooklyn, Buckman, Creston, Eastmoreland, Hawthorne, Hosford-Abernethy, Kerns, Laurelhurst, Mount Tabor, Reed, Richmond, Sellwood, Alameda, Alberta Arts District, Beaumont-Wilshire, Grant Park, Hollywood, Irvington, Sullivan's Gulch, Vernon and Woodlawn.  

All information contained in these posts is copyrighted and cannot be used without prior written approval authorization from the author. If you are looking for an outstanding agent please give Denice a call she would love to help you with all of your real estate needs.

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