Congratulations! You and your agent have found a buyer who loves your home! As a matter of fact, they love it so much so that they’ve hired a home inspector to check it out. Now, a home inspection is nothing to be scared of. Rather, it should be viewed as an objective assessment of your home’s current state. With that in mind, there are certain things that we recommend that you do to make the home inspection process a smooth one for you and the inspector:
- For Barney’s sake, don’t leave him home!: If you are not going to be home, PLEASE make sure your pets are either placed into a crate or not at home when the inspector arrives. We’ve heard it stated many times “Barney is a great dog and he just loves people”. The problem is, Barney is a great dog when you’re home and not when some stranger with a bunch of gear comes unannounced into his master’s home. His primary job in his wonderful dog brain is protecting his master. So, please, take Barney away if you’re not going to be there! The inspector will feel safe and Barney will be happier.
- Unlock your doors! Home inspectors have to go everywhere once the front door has been unlocked by the agent. Therefore, please be sure to unlock any additional doors so the inspector can have complete access. Or, be sure to provide a key for these separate areas than usually required a separate key. Areas such as sheds, detached garages and indoor locked closets should be unlocked. It is important that we view all areas and, if we cannot, we will note that it was not accessible which sometimes causes undue stress on the buyer, the agent and eventually to you.
- I know you don’t like those ugly electrical panels: Electrical service panels are ugly and everyone would much rather look at a pretty picture or mirror than the panel. However, sometimes folks do such a good job hiding the panel that it is nearly impossible to find. So, take the pretty picture or mirror down just for this inspection.
- Accessiblity is the key: Oftentimes, we are unable to access the electrical panel or the water heater or even the attic for inspection due to large amounts of storage of your childhood stuff or grandmas furniture. Not only are we not allowed to move your stuff but we don’t want to risk moving it for fear of damaging your personal stuff. So, the inspector will tag something that is blocked as inaccessible and many times the home owner is asked to pay a re-inspection fee for the inspector to view the inaccessible area…and no one likes that.
- Don’t turn stuff off unless there is a problem: Home inspectors will tag as a defect any circuit breaker that is turned off or any water valve that is turned off. Why? Cause we do not know whether or not the item is turned off for a reason. It would be considered a bad day if we turned on a water valve that your turned off only to find it floods your home. So, if you meant for it to be turned off, leave the inspector a note or let the agent know. Otherwise, we’ll assume it’s a defect and note it as such. Oh yeah, if you have a gas fireplace, please leave the gas on so that it can be tested…even if its August…in Charleston.