Preparing your home for a home inspection


You have your house listed and now an offer has come to the table, both parties are in agreement on the price and now comes the buyers due diligence inspection period. I am going to tell you how to prepare your home for the inspection from the inspector’s point of view.  I always recommend that you have had the property inspected prior to putting it on the market but if you have not here is what you need to do to make the property ready for the inspector. Some of the items I will list have to do with folks who deal in foreclosed or bank owned properties.  This is not a complete list but it is a great start to making the sale get to the closing table.

Home For Sale

  • First and foremost make sure that all utilities to the home are turned on (especially bank owned properties); water, electric and gas will enable the inspector to inspect all components in the home.  If the home is on a well system be sure the sub pump and other well equipment are operational.  If some appliances are run off of propane gas be sure there is gas in the holding tank, all the valves are in the on position and all pilot lights are lit.  If natural gas be sure the gas company has gas to the home and that all valves are in the on position and pilot lights are lit.
  • Be sure that all the breakers in the electrical distribution panel are in the ON position and that the hot water heater is plugged in if it is electric.
  • Access; be sure the inspector has access to the electrical distribution panel and can remove the cover.  If there are boxes, cars, motorcycles, cabinets etc. in the way of the inspector he or she will not be able to access the panel and this will not get inspected.   Be sure that there is access to all attic scuttle of access openings and if any, be sure the pull down stairway can be accessed in the open position.
  •  Check and that all appliances are in working order; water to the refrigerator and the ice maker turned on and making ice,  electric range plugged in and microwave operational.  Check the garbage disposal for debris and be sure it is not rusted or locked up. Be sure there are no clothes in the washer and dryer so the inspector can run the appliances through all their functions.
  • During the hot, humid (May – Nov) times of the year be sure that the air conditioning equipment thermostat is set to 77°F to 78° F for at least 12 hours prior to the inspection date and time. This will make the determination in temperature differential or TD more accurate for the inspector.
  • Clear out excess clutter from under all sinks so the inspector can view all the plumbing connections.
  • If you are in the process of moving be sure all boxes are placed in the center of the rooms so that they won’t block the inspector’s ability to inspect the walls and electrical receptacles.
  • Make sure all pets are secured or left with a friend so that the inspector can enter each room without concern or hesitation.
  • Remove all dishes from the kitchen sink so that leaks can be detected, and the garbage disposal can be tested.
  • Make sure all locks are removed or unlocked for gates, doors, electric panels, etc., or that keys are available at the time of the inspection for those locked egress panels or doors.
  • Replace any burned out or missing light bulbs.
  • Keep trees and shrubs from rubbing against the structure and roof coverings and be sure all gutter and downspouts are secure.

Items labeled in the inspection report as not being able to be inspected may need to be verified as operational prior to closing. This may require a return trip and charges by the inspector which in turn could become problematic on to whom will be charged the re-inspection fees.  Being ready for the inspection will negate this possibility and along with through maintenance and being ready for the inspection can make a big difference to the outcome and ultimately the sale of the home.

We hope that this list will help you get your home sold!


Fred Sylvester, of Accredited Building Consultants, is a State of Florida Certified Home Inspector and Commercial Building Inspector with over 35 years of construction experience. Fred specializes in Southwest Florida, including Home Inspections and Commercial Building Inspections in Fort Myers, Cape Coral, and Naples FL.
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