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Preparing For Your Home Inspection

Congratulations, you accepted an offer on your home. The next step is the home inspection. Since a professional inspector is going to look at many items in your home, you want to make sure that your home will send a specific message. That message should be, “I took good care of this home so your family can enjoy its future”. An all-to-common occurrence happens in the home buying process; the buyers get remorse when they see an item that was not perfectly maintained. So please let them have the peace of mind they are looking for and get all the maintenance items up to date. There are a few simple things that you can do to make sure they feel they made a smart home buying decision by choosing your home.

Priority 1 – Clean and Update Maintenance Items

  • Clean all bathrooms
    • Remove all signs of mold in showers.
    • Make sure toilets are secure to the floor, clean and flush.
    • Make sure all drains flow easily, clean if they don’t.
  • Clean the kitchen
    • Empty the dishwasher, oven, and any other appliances you don’t normally use. They will be operated.
    • Empty the countertops and sinks.
    • Check for odors from the refrigerator and clean the seals if there is any mold present.
  • Clean the carpets
    • We use black lights to find pet stains. If you have pets, please have the carpets professionally cleaned so our test comes up negative.
  • Operate all windows
    • Open, close and tilt all windows to check for operation.
  • Operate all doors
    • Entry doors should have operating locks with keys.
    • Bedroom and bathroom doors should have operating locks without keys.
    • Check doors for opening, closing, and locking. These should all work freely and easily.
  • Furnace, humidifier and air conditioner
    • Put a brand new air filter in your furnace(s) and wipe down the cabinet interior.
    • Change the cartridge for the humidifier and wipe down the inside.
    • GENTLY, hose off the Air Conditioner and make sure the air flow is not blocked.
  • Above are some of the items where I have seen time and time again the disappointment and fear in my clients faces when they become aware that proper maintenance was not performed. 

Prepare your home for the inspector.

It’s everyone’s desire that the seller prepare their home for the inspector so that the inspection can proceed smoothly. If personal belongings are blocking access points, we have been asked to come back after the belongings have been moved. There is an extra charge of $250 and up. This makes the transaction very contentious, very quickly. So please check the following list to make sure everything goes smoothy on the first trip.

  1. Free access to the crawl-space.
  2. Free access to the attic above the house and/or the garage.
  3. Free access to the main water shut off valve.
  4. Free access to the water heater.
  5. Free access to the furnace.
  6. Free access to the electric panel and sub-panels.
  7. Free access to the outdoor A/C condenser unit.
  8. All doors and windows in the home are unobstructed.
  9. All sinks, showers, and tubs are unobstructed.
  10. The plumbing below the sinks is unobstructed;
  11. The garage is unobstructed. If possible, move all stored items to the center of the garage so the walls are
  12. exposed.
  13. The basement is unobstructed. If possible, move all stored items to the center of the basement so the walls are exposed.
  14. The fireplace is unobstructed. Please do not have a fire the day of inspection.
  15. The dishwasher, oven, and microwave are free of any dishes so they may be tested.
  16. Make sure any animals or pets are caged or gone during the inspection.

Thank you for your consideration.

Charles Bellefontaine CMI, CPI, ACI

Charles is a home inspector and a home inspector trainer. He started as a professional home inspector in 1993. He works for Chicagoland Home Inspectors, Inc. and Bellman Group, Inc. He has earned the title of Certified Master Inspector (CMI) from the Master Inspector Certification Board. He earned the title Certified Property Inspector (CPI) from the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors. He earned the title ASHI Certified Inspector (ACI) from the American Society of Home Inspectors. He served as a Director and Officer of the American Society of Home Inspectors. He hs a tremendous passion about the home inspection profession and prides himself on helping his clients with the biggest purchase of their lives.

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