How to Prepare Your Home for the Inspector


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.

  1. Make sure the inspector has a place to park his vehicle near the residence to be inspected.
  2. Turn off sprinkler timers that may operate during the inspection.
  3. Replace burned-out light bulbs.
  4. Replace old smoke and carbon monoxide alarm batteries.
  5. Replace old batteries in heating and air conditioning thermostats.
  6. Remove kitchenware from the sink and empty the dishwasher.
  7. Turn off the computer.
  8. 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.
  9. Clear storage away from heater furnaces, water heaters, and electrical panels.
  10. Remove padlocks from all gates, doors, and equipment covers.
  11. Remove all air fresheners, especially electronic air fresheners.
  12. Open all of the window blinds.
  13. Make sure there are no unflushed toilets.
  14. Clean the cat litter box.
  15. Scoop up the dog poop in the yard.
  16. Take your pets with you when you leave for the home inspection.
  17. If one of your neighbors has a dog that barks, ask the neighbor to take the dog inside during the home inspection.
  18. 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 . . .

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