27 Things Sellers Must Do Before the Home Inspector Arrives!

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Fred Griffin Real Estate Florida Broker BK436788

     Sellers!  The Home Inspector for the buyer is coming to inspect your house.  What is the absolute WORST thing that could happen during the inspection (aside from finding serious structural problems)?

     The WORST thing that can happen is to get an "INCOMPLETE REPORT", because your house was not ready for the Inspector.   

     It happens!  Blocked crawlspaces.  Blocked attics.  No keys available for locked interior doors.  The gas has been cut off; there is no gas to test the gas appliances.  Water heaters that cannot be accessed because they are blocked by clutter in the garage.  

    You do NOT want to see statements in the Inspection Report like, "Inspector could not get access to the attic", or "Inspector could not get into the crawl space", or "Inspector could not test the gas fireplace because the gas supply was cut off", or "the water heater was blocked with clutter, and therefore could not be tested". 

     A report like that will NOT be acceptable to the Buyer! 



    If the Inspector has to return for a second inspection, there may be an additional charge, and time is lost.  You may be asked to pay the additional expense. 

     Or, the Buyer could use the "failed" Inspection Report to back out of the deal! The Buyer walks away, and your house goes back on market.  You are starting completely over, looking for another Buyer.


Buyer Broker Tallahassee, Florida



      Sellers, the following checklist will help to ensure that everything gets inspected.  Performing these steps before the Home Inspector arrives will decrease the chance that your Inspection Report will contain remarks like, "not tested" or "unable to access/not inspected".  


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1.  Turn on all Utilities, including Water, Gas, and Electric.


2.  All Pilot Lights should be lit and burning. This includes the water heater, the stove, the fireplace, and any other pilot lights.


3.  If your appliances burn Propane or Fuel Oil from a tank, make sure that there is sufficient fuel in those tanks.


4.  Turn Active Alarm Systems OFF, unless the Inspector instructs you otherwise.


5.  Computers!  The Inspector may be turning the electric power to your house on and off. Back up your computer data, then turn the computer off and leave it turned off, to prevent any data loss. 


6.  Radiators or Heating Elements - the Inspector will turn these on. Move any furniture or obstructions away from these heat sources.


7.  Fireplaces - make sure that they are not obstructed.  Vacuum or clean out any ashes.  


8.  Air Conditioning Vents on the floors and/or walls - the Inspector may use an infrared measuring tool to check the temperature of the air coming out of those vents.  Make certain that none of the AC or heating vents are blocked or obstructed.


9. Electrical Panels/Breaker Boxes - make sure that nothing is blocking the Breaker Panel.


10.  Electric Outlets - move any furniture that is blocking electric outlets. If you have GFCI protected outlets in the kitchen, garage, laundry room, bathrooms, or elsewhere, make sure that nothing is blocking those GFCI outlets. The Inspector will want to test each one of them.



Tallahassee Florida Home Inspection


11.  Water Heaters - the area around the water heater must be completely clear, to allow easy access for the Home Inspector.


12.  Pets!  Get your pets out of the house.  Cats and dogs should be caged, restrained, or removed from the premises.


13.  Attics - make certain that the Inspector can get to the Attic Door, especially if it is inside a closet.  Remove excess items from the Attic - the Inspector MUST be able to freely move around inside the attic.


14.  Crawl Spaces and Basements - just like the Attic, the Inspector must be able to enter and freely move around in the Crawl Space that is under your house.


15.   If the Seller or the Listing Agent will not be present during the Inspection, give the Seller's cell phone number to the Inspector, in case the Inspector has any questions.


16.   Keys and Codes - provide keys to all doors; keys to all gates, and garage door openers.  Provide the keypad codes for any electronic locks or gates.


 17.  Garage - move your cars out of the Garage.  Park them on the street, or at a neighbor's house.


18. Exterior of the House - Trim bushes and plants away from water faucets and exterior dryer vents.  Especially clear bushes and plants from around the exterior Air Conditioner units.  Make everything easily accessible to the Inspector!


19.  Filters - Clean or replace all Filters. This includes AC filters, filters in the range hood, clothes dryer filters (if that appliance is included in the sale), and any other filters in the house.


20.  Bathrooms - Remove everything from the tub or shower.  Remove items that may be on top of the toilet tank lid.  Remove items from the vanity cabinet under the sink, so that the Inspector can check the water cut-off valves.  


Tallahassee Florida Home Inspection


21.  Kitchen Sink - remove all dishes from the sink.  Remove items from the cabinet under the sink, so that the Inspector can access the water shut-off valves.


22.  Kitchen Appliances - remove dishes from the dishwasher, remove all pots and pans from the stove and the oven (if those appliances are included in the sale).


House For Sale in Tallahassee, Florida


23.  Laundry Room - remove clothes from the washer and dryer (if these appliances are included in the sale).


24.  Light Bulbs - replace any burned-out light bulbs in ceiling fixtures, vanity lights, and other built-in lighting fixtures.


25.  Smoke Detectors and Carbon Monoxide Detectors - install new batteries if necessary.


26.  Documents and Permits for work done on the house during the time of your ownership - have the paperwork and receipts for all repairs or upgrades to the house, such as the new roof, new windows, an addition, or an enclosed porch or garage. Have copies of any Building Permits that were required for work done on the house.  Keep these on the kitchen counter or kitchen table, in plain sight.


27.  Seller's Disclosure (the form that your Listing Agent asked you to complete when you put the house up for sale) - have copies of that form available for the Inspector to review. 


House For Sale Northeast Tallahassee, Florida


** Bonus Tip if you are present during the  Inspection **

     Some Sellers want to be present during the Home Inspection.  The Listing Agent may also be on site.  The Buyer and the Buyer's Broker will most likely be in attendance.

     Let the Inspector work!  Give her or him plenty of room.  Don't distract the Inspector with needless small talk.  If you have any questions for the Inspector, direct them to your Listing Agent.  



     The WORST thing that can happen to a Seller during a Home Inspection is to get an "INCOMPLETE REPORT", because the house was not ready for the Inspector.  

     You can increase the chances of getting a COMPLETED INSPECTION by performing the 27 tasks listed above!






Posted by

Frederick Griffin, Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker    


Leave of Absence, January 2019

      Fred is not soliciting new business at this time.

     If you are a current or former client of Fred, and need to speak with him, use the CONTACT button on this page.  





Tallahassee Florida Metropolitan Area    


Disclaimer:  Nothing in the above blog article is to be construed as legal advice, tax advice, or financial advice.  For legal advice see an attorney.   For tax advice or financial advice see a tax attorney, certified public accountant, or other qualified professional.



Re-Blogged 4 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Jason Kardos 08/06/2018 06:13 PM
  2. Joyce Marsh 09/04/2018 12:39 PM
  3. Ron Barnes 08/07/2018 05:41 AM
  4. Jerry Newman 08/18/2018 06:36 AM
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Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

So true!  Just went through this on a vacant listing.  Thankfully I have a great handyman who made sure all of these items were done!

Aug 06, 2018 08:54 PM #13
JoAnn Young
Young & Young Properties - Melbourne, FL
Florida Real Estate

Thanks for the post Fred!  Very good information and worth passing on to our sellers.

Aug 07, 2018 03:06 AM #14
Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty, Monroe NY, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com - Monroe, NY
The House Kat

This is a great list of things to do before the inspector arrives. It's necessary that the inspector can have access to every part of the house!

Aug 07, 2018 03:23 AM #15
Wayne and Jean Marie Zuhl
Samsel & Associates - Clark, NJ
The Last Names You'll Ever Need in Real Estate

Very helpful list of ways to avoid an incomplete inspection - thank you for sharing!

Aug 07, 2018 05:22 AM #17
Tom Hoch

Excellent post Fred! Every seller needs to be aware, thanks for sharing your valuable insights!

Aug 07, 2018 06:11 AM #18
Tom Hoch
RE/MAX of Reading - Wyomissing, PA

Excellent post Fred! Every seller needs to be aware, thanks for sharing your valuable insights!

Aug 07, 2018 06:13 AM #19
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Thi is terrific, Fred. Buyers certainly do not want to have their inspection they are paying for compromised because a seller is not prepared appropriately.


Aug 07, 2018 07:50 AM #20
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

All good reasons to call Fred the guy who made the list....Then you get it all

Aug 07, 2018 05:13 PM #21
bud crane
Remax ofCherry Hill NJ - Cherry Hill, NJ
smooth tansactions, Serving Southern NJ since 1985

GREAT article, many things i would not have  thought about

Aug 07, 2018 05:17 PM #22
Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty
Front Gate Real Estate - Brandon, MS
601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell

Fred, this is the most comprehensive list I've seen, and valuable to home sellers. I would email this list to sellers to help them prepare for the inspection.

Aug 07, 2018 06:14 PM #23
Fred Griffin presently on Leave of Absence
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

 Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty  comment #23

  Thank you, Pat.  You (and everyone who commented) are free to use this list.  Or, send a link to this post if you prefer. 

Aug 07, 2018 06:32 PM #24
Bruce Kunz
C21 Solid Gold Realty, Brick, NJ, 732-920-2100 - Howell, NJ
REALTOR®, Brick & Howell NJ Homes for Sale

Thanks for sharing, Fred Griffin, and allowing us to share as well. 

While it seems like common sense,  this complete very complete list is a must have reference for sellers.

Aug 07, 2018 08:28 PM #25
Eva B. Liland with Century 21 Doug Anderson
Century 21 Doug Anderson - Lancaster, CA
Glad to be of Service

OMG, terrific advice but sometimes not easy to tell the sellers.

Aug 07, 2018 11:45 PM #26
Kate McQueen
CB&A Realtors - Cypress, TX
Tailored service for your real estate needs!

Fred Griffin great reminders!  Too often there are things that have never occurred to the seller that can cause an issue during an inspection.  The goal is to get the inspection completed with as few issues as possible, especially issues caused by deferred maintenance and neglect.

Aug 08, 2018 08:17 AM #27
Mike Cooper, GRI
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro

That's a great list Fred. I'll have to bookmark that one. Congratulations on the feature. Well deserved.

Aug 08, 2018 07:08 PM #28
Matthew Klinowski, PA
Downing-Frye - Naples, FL
Golf Community Real Estate Specialist

Fred, thanks for sharing the great check list for home inspections.  Clients will definitely benefit from these concepts.

Aug 09, 2018 03:37 AM #29
Alex Rubin
Douglas Elliman - Long Beach, NY
Who You Work With Matters

Thank you for sharing, Fred. A great list!

Aug 09, 2018 07:11 AM #30
Kevin Mackessy
Blue Olive Properties, LLC - Highlands Ranch, CO
Dedicated. Qualified. Local.

Sellers need to play ball, they can't risk having a deal fall apart from an incomplete inspection.  Now a bad inspection on the other hand... 

Aug 10, 2018 10:13 AM #31
Rafi Footerman
Mid Jersey Inspections - Edison, NJ
Home Inspector, Mold Inspector, Radon and More!

That would make my life a lot easier and the buyers much happier.

Aug 20, 2018 06:49 PM #32
Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

This is a great reference guide for inspections for sellers.  I have a similar guide that I provide to the sellers at the point of listing that gives them the top 10 items that every home inspector finds in every home as well as the guidelines of how to best prepare for the inspector to be in the house.  Thank you for the post!

Sep 04, 2018 06:25 PM #33
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