How to Prepare for an Inspection

How to Prepare for an Inspection


No home is perfect. Anything from major damage to minor maintenance issues are often found. Even New Homes are not immune and they could have problems with the Plumbing, Electrical wiring, Heating and Cooling system, or with the Roof system or in the Attic area just to name a few.


For homeowners, it’s much wiser to pay for your own professional inspection before putting your home on the market. By having a pre-listing inspection performed, you can identify problems early, so that you can take care of them on your terms, or present them As-Is and adjust your selling price accordingly making your home sales process much easier. The alternative leaves you open to the buyers inspector finding costly surprises, and causing delays or even potential deal-breakers at the worse possible time, once you’ve entered negotiations with the buyer to lower your price and costs you more money in the long run.  Pre-Listing Inspections help facilitate the first offer you accept move quickly and smoothly to closing without delays or costly surprises.


For buyers, an inspection is vital to discovering many issues a home may have which are invisible to the untrained eye. Even if the inspection reveals more problems than you are comfortable with, and you move on to a different home to start the process over again, it is still money well spent. An inspection will give you the opportunity to negotiate with the seller to make certain repairs or lower the sales price before you buy, or you have the option to back out of the contract. So be sure to include the inspection contingency when writing your purchase agreement and offer to the seller. This may also allow you to set a limit on the cost of repairs to the home. If the inspector estimates that repairs will cost more than the limit amount, the contract can be voided.  A Professional Inspection is the best way to protect yourself from purchasing a home that requires many repairs that you are unable or unwilling to pay for.


Before the inspector arrives, there are some things that the homeowner should do to prepare the home for a successful inspection.


Here are some suggestions for homeowners:

  • Accessibility: Make sure that all areas of the home are accessible, especially to the attic and crawl space. It’s also a good idea to clear any clear any debris, and trim any trees and shrubs that may make an inspection of the exterior of the property difficult. Please kennel or remove any pets from the home during the inspection.
  • Housekeeping: The inspector will photograph your home for the inspection report, so clearing the clutter both inside and outside the home and moving vehicles from the front of the home will help the inspection go smoother.
  • Maintenance: Repair minor things like leaky faucets and running toilets, loose or missing door handles or hinges, replace HVAC filters, replace all burnt out light bulbs, and low batteries in smoke detectors.


When your Inspector Arrives, we strongly encourage you to be present if possible during your inspection to receive the greatest benefit and knowledge about your home and so that we can answer any questions or concerns you may have. This is a great time for you to become familiar with the home and its systems and understand what repair issues the inspector recommends and why. Ensure the inspector explains the locations of the homes electrical panels, water meter and shutoffs, gas meter and shutoffs, and the operation and maintenance of the heating and cooling system.


If you are buying a home with a septic tank, you should consider having it pumped and inspected by a professional septic contractor. Our standard home inspection does not include this type of specialized, intrusive inspection. To properly inspect the system, the contractor will need to dig holes to access the underground parts of the system. This will include inspecting the tank, as well as the leach field.


It makes good sense to have the tank pumped at the time of this inspection. A professional septic contractor can perform both the inspection and pump the tank, and assure that you begin with an empty tank and a system that has been inspected. Often, you can negotiate with the seller to have them pay for the pumping.