After years of study and countless hours of interviews with home inspectors across the country, this organization, The Home Inspection Digest, has developed a comprehensive inspection checklist for home sellers and their real estate listing agents to help them prepare for the home inspection.
- Make sure the inspector has a place to park his vehicle near the residence to be inspected.
- Turn off sprinkler timers that may operate during the inspection.
- Replace burned-out light bulbs.
- Replace old smoke and carbon monoxide alarm batteries.
- Replace old batteries in heating and air conditioning thermostats.
- Remove kitchenware from the sink and empty the dishwasher.
- Turn off the computer.
- Clear a path to the attic access and subarea access if they are in a closet or storage area. Empty the closet if you are concerned about debris from the attic and subarea getting on your belongings.
- Clear storage away from heater furnaces, water heaters, and electrical panels.
- Remove padlocks from all gates, doors, and equipment covers.
- Remove all air fresheners, especially electronic air fresheners.
- Open all of the window blinds.
- Make sure there are no unflushed toilets.
- Clean the cat litter box.
- Scoop up the dog poop in the yard.
- Take your pets with you when you leave for the home inspection.
- If one of your neighbors has a dog that barks, ask the neighbor to take the dog inside during the home inspection.
- Don’t send your agent to the house during the home inspection to ask how things are going.
You might notice that a few of the items in this checklist appear to be more for the home inspector’s comfort than for the inspection itself. That is because they are. A happy and content home inspector is an inspector who is less likely to be overly contentious and alarming about the conditions he discovers.
On the other hand…
A home inspector who has to carry his ladder from a block away; gets soaked when the sprinklers turn on; can’t figure out which light switches do what because of burned-out light bulbs; gets asked by you (or the agent) why he can’t just replace the smoke alarm batteries himself; can’t operate the heater because of dead batteries in the thermostat; realizes that switch just turned off your computer; has to clear storage away from attics, subareas, heaters, and water heaters, and then put it all back; can’t inspect areas or equipment because of padlocks; can’t breathe due to overly potent air fresheners; has to operate window blinds that are prone to breaking, tangling, falling, and are coated with dust; is afraid to flush a filled toilet for fear that it’s plugged; has to smell the cat litter box; clean dog poop off his shoe; be barked at the entire time; and then has to explain to the listing agent how things are going . . .