The potential purchasers of my home are performing a home inspection. As the seller, what do I need to do to when preparing for a home inspection?

A home inspection is a visible, non-intrusive review of all accessible areas and major systems of the home. As part of a home inspection, the inspector is not permitted to put holes in walls, ceilings or floors. Additionally, home inspectors do not typically move furniture, boxes and clothing. As a result, significant amounts of personal storage or clutter limits the inspector’s review of the home.

The home inspector cannot report on what they cannot see. Plus, they’ll report these limitations to the potential purchasers. Having some limitations is an inherent part of the home inspection process. However, if there are too many limitations, the prospective purchasers may feel less confident about purchasing the home. So, to avoid this potential problem, ensure your house is free of clutter. Here are some tips on preparing for a home inspection.

Tips on Preparing for a Home Inspection

Areas that need to be fully accessible for the inspection are the attic, major systems and basement walls and floors.

Attic

Firstly, the inspector will have to enter the attic space to inspect insulation levels, ventilation and signs of leaking. If the attic hatch is in a closet, ensure it’s clear of clutter. In addition, be aware that bits of insulation and dust may fall out of the attic when the inspector opens the hatch. Most home inspectors will place a drop sheet under the attic hatch. Plus, they’ll clean up any fallen insulation subsequent to the attic inspection. Also, a home inspector will have a ladder. So, the provision of a ladder by the homeowner is not required.

Major Systems

Secondly, the major systems in the home are an integral part of the inspection. Therefore, they should be readily accessible for the inspection. So, clear the area around the furnace, water heater and electrical panel. Plus, clear areas below all sinks. If the electrical panel or main water shut-off valve are concealed, be sure to inform the home inspector of their exact location.

Basement

Finally, the exterior basement walls are an extremely important part of the inspection process. The walls are inspected for signs of past water leakage and cracking. In short, the inspector needs to determine the general condition of the foundation. So, move any boxes or personal storage away from basement walls. Therefore, providing convenient access for inspection.

Other Considerations

Animals

If you have pets that are free in the house and are not allowed outside, please inform the inspector. Additionally, confine pets to one area of the home. For instance, the laundry area. Therefore, helping to prevent their “escape” during the inspection. Also, if your pets are large or unfriendly, temporarily remove them from the house and/or backyard during the home inspection.

Winterized Property

If the property is winterized, ensure that the water supply and electrical service is connected prior to the inspection. Plumbing cannot be inspected if the water supply disconnected. Likewise, inspection of the electrical system is very limited without electrical service. In some cases, the heating system cannot be properly inspected in a winterized home.

Documentation

If documentation is available for recent upgrades or repairs, which includes warranties; it should be provided to the prospective purchaser for review. Other documentation that should be made available includes building permits and service records. This documentation will provide further information to the purchaser, and will help to answer some common questions that often arise during an inspection.

Obvious Defects

An example should be provided if there are obvious defects or damages. For instance, staining, holes and patches on walls and ceilings. When the cause is not evident, the inspector and purchaser can only speculate, potentially leaving the purchaser in doubt. If repairs have been performed to correct the condition, information related to the repairs should also be provided.

Inspection Time

Be aware that the inspection process typically takes 2.5 to 3.5 hours for an average-sized home and that the prospective purchaser and their real estate agent are usually present for the duration of the inspection.

Visit the home inspection experts at AmeriSpec of Canada for more tips and valuable home improvement information.

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