The Essential Baker’s Dozen for a Smoother Home Inspection Process

Today's Home Inspector - Clipboard Blog - Baker's Dozen

For some time now I have wanted to put together a long list of all the things that a seller should consider doing to get their home ready for the home inspection.  The more I thought about it, the more I realized my list was starting to look more like my 120,000 item report template, than a “to-do” list for a seller to get ready for the inspection.

And then I got to thinking–if sellers actually did all those things then I wouldn’t have a job!  Well, I don’t “really” believe that–based on what I know about how things get fixed–it might actually amount to more job security.

Anyway, I decided I would stick to the basics.

Here is my list of just a Dozen Essential Things that the seller should do in order for the inspector to do the job they were hired to do.  With these things done, the inspector will be able to figure out all the rest.

1.Make sure the water is on (I get thirsty and my buyer likes to know if the toilets work).

2.Make sure the electricity is on (now that is a bright idea.)

3.Make sure the gas is turned on (this includes propane in propane tanks and oil in the oil tanks–it is good to have gas now and then.)

4.Make sure there is clear access to all electrical panels (if there is a mirror covering it, please remove it so I don’t have to worry about breaking it–it is easy enough as it is to have bad luck, and I own enough mirrors broken or otherwise).

5.Make sure there is clear access to all crawl spaces (this means unlocked too).Charles Buell

6.Make sure there is clear access to all attics (this means NOT painted shut and it means closets emptied–unless you want rat doo and insulation on your wedding dress and Armani suit–and make sure there is nothing I can hit my head on).

7.Make sure keys are left available to any locked spaces (that means the combinations to locks if necessary).

8.Seller should leave a phone number so that they can be reached if additional information is needed (this is way better than them actually being there).

9.Turn off all computersthey may be on circuits that need to be tested (the data you lose could be your own).

10.Take the pets to cousin Vinnie’sor if that is not possible at least make sure they are safe and won’t limit the inspection in any way (I have never bitten a dog–or crushed a cat under the garage door–yet).

11.Drive the Porsche to workand leave the Datsun in the driveway–if either one is in the garage I won’t be able to inspect the overhead door (I hate door openers that fail under testing).

12.Be prepared to stay away from home for 3 to 5 hours (but be aware that the inspection will take as long as it takes and remember–that you would not anyone following you around if you were a buyer).

Lets make it a “Bakers Dozen.”

  • Clear access to furnace and all appliances.

ASHI member Charles Buell has been designing and building residential structures for over 35 years and currently sits on the Washington State Home Inspector License Advisory Board.

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