How To Prepare for Your Home Inspection: A Guide For Home-Sellers (2021 Updated!)

Getting ready to sell your San Antonio Home? Want to ensure the smoothest transaction possible? Take these steps to make the buyer’s home inspector a happy camper. Doing these things may prevent the home inspector from having to make a return visit on the seller’s dime! If you’re a homeowner and have a home inspection scheduled in the near future, we’ve compiled a list of things that may really help speed up the process and give you a better, more accurate report. In addition, a lot of the items listed can also be indicative of the condition of the home to a potential buyer.

 

Utilities Turned ON

Make sure the water, electricity, and gas are turned on. A home inspector can’t effectively inspect some systems or components without these utilities. If any of these are turned off at time of inspection, it will be noted and you can expect the buyer to ask for a return visit from the inspector.

 

Keys to All Locks Available

The house keys are almost always available, but more common we find that some doors or cabinets are locked. At least once a month we go to inspect an electrical service panel and find a padlock on it. We call the listing agent and they don’t know where the keys are. You don’t answer the listing agent’s phone call about where the padlock keys are, or you lost that key years ago. We call the buyer to let them know the panel was not inspected, and they are NOT happy with you. Don’t be that seller!

 

Water Fixtures/Valves Turned ON

Water shut-off valves (known commonly as “angle-stops”) at faucets and toilets should be in the open position. Our standards of practice explicitly state that we are not only NOT required to operate these valves, but the two largest Home Inspection Associations recommend against doing so to avoid the liability from these very leaky valves. It is explicitly the seller’s responsibility to make sure all utilities are turned on and all valves are operable. If we come across a fixture that is closed, we will note this in the report and recommend a re-inspection (that you will probably be paying for!).

 

Water Heater Turned ON

Again, valves, including gas-valves, are not required to be operated by the inspector. It is your responsibility to make sure hot water is available at all faucets.

 

Attic Areas and Appliance Areas (such as the Air-Handler and Water Heater) Accessible

You’re selling your home; get your stuff out of the attic! We often find Christmas trees, clothes, suitcases, etc blocking access to the attic. Sometimes we can’t even get to the air-handler or the water heater there is so much stuff in there! You can bet that we will let the buyer know that our inspection was restricted because the seller is a pack-rat. Clear out as much of your storage as possible.

 

Your Inspector WILL NOT Move Furniture/Storage

While we’re on the subject: NO, we will not be moving your furniture or other possessions to access anything during the inspection! We aren’t going to chance breaking that Ming-Dynasty priceless vase in the garage to view the breaker subpanel. We just note that it was blocked and that you should have moved it! Clear out as much of your stuff as possible to avoid a call-back from an angry home buyer.

 

No Storage Under the Crawlspace

Keep it clean and clear of debris, especially wood! You shouldn’t be storing stuff under your crawlspace to begin with, but if it blocks access to the crawlspace or any of our visibility, we’re going to note it.

 

Remove Stuff (i.e. Children’s Toys) From The Shower/Bathtub

One aspect of the plumbing inspection is running water into tubs, showers and sinks in order to look for leaks and obstructions, and to determine if the plumbing fixtures are in good working order. If the tub is full of clothes, toys or other stored items, your inspector will not run water into it and will not be able to properly inspect the plumbing components.

 

Wash Your Dishes And Remove Items From Under the Sink

Sinks and dishwashers should be free of dishes or other obstructions, and area beneath all sinks free of stored items. Likewise, remove storage from the oven! If the washer and dryer are plugged in, please finish your laundry so that we can operate them!

 

Take Your Pets With You When You Leave

I love animals, and I love my pets, but I don’t want to have to worry about your dog running out the front door or being attacked by your cat! Please take your animals with you when you vacate the home for the inspection and don’t leave them in a bedroom.

 

Replace All Dead/Missing Lightbulbs

We have to mark deficient any light fixtures that don’t turn on, even though the likely culprit is just a bad bulb. Furthermore, there is simply way too many different styles of bulb for us to carry around our own to plug in. To prevent this from showing up in the report, make sure any bad bulbs are changed out.

 

Smoke/CO Alarm Batteries: No Chirping!

Non-functioning smoke detectors are automatically deficient, and yes, we do check them. Also, any potential buyers are going to be a lot more likely to walk if they have to deal with the constant chirping of a smoke detector while doing a walk-through.

 

Replace Any Dirty Air-Filters

Not only are they nasty, but they’re indicative of the condition of the home. Excessively dirty filters are deficient as obstructions to airflow, but such a simple item also tells me that the homeowner likely didn’t preform necessary maintenance on other items as well. If I see it, then the buyer is going to know about it.

Ensure You Know the Facts

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Info at EnsureInspections.com

PO BOX 311571, New Braunfels, Texas, 78131

7926 Broadway St
APT 310
San Antonio, TX 78209
Home Inspector Kyle D. Scott

TREC # 23813 - TDA # 0819063

Ensure Home Inspections provides thorough inspections, detailed reports, and personalized consultations at affordable prices in San Antonio, TX & surrounding areas. We also offer WDI/Termite Inspections, Thermal Imaging, Drone Roof Inspections, Foundation Inspections, and more!

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