Several times a week, I enter a stranger’s house to perform what’s become an expected part of most real estate deals — a home inspection. Yet I find, too often, that while a seller may have gone to great lengths to make a house ready for a real estate agent to show, it’s not always ready to inspect. From my observations, as well as conversations with agents, buyers and sellers, there are a few minor repairs and maintenance chores that sellers can do to reduce the number of defects that will show up on the inspection report.
Here’s a checklist that can help your house inspect as well as it shows:

Home Inspection restricted by stored items

Home Inspection restricted by stored items

______ Expect the inspection to take 2.5-3.5 hours for an average size home (1000-2500 sq. ft.) Don’t rush it.
______ Clear out all storage items from the oven
______ The dishwasher will be run, do not run it just before the inspection. You can put soap in it if you like.
______ Place all breakables, antiques and other valuables out of the way.
______ Make sure all interior and exterior light fixtures work. If an fixture bulb is out, the inspector has to note that the fixture does not operate correctly.
______ Provide access to the furnace, water heater and electrical panel. Also, the inspector must be able to remove the electrical panel cover. (remove any locks on panels and control boxes)
______ Install a new furnace/AC filter. It will be looked at during the inspection and be considered as a part of the overall condition of the furnace, AC or heat pump.
______ Ensure that windows & coverings are accessible & operate smoothly. If some are stuck or painted shut, the impression will be that many windows cannot open. Also, remove window security screws or provide keys for window security locks.
______ Replace all damaged window screens.
______ Tighten all doorknobs and tighten or repair all handrails. Also, check to be sure that all interior doors will latch to the strike plate.
______ Clear the way to the attic access panel or pull down, especially in a closet. The inspector will enter every attic.

______ Clear the garage and rooms of stored items that will restrict viewing.
______ Be sure that there is a minimum of one smoke detector per floor and that they operate (if the home is newer there should be one in each bedroom and withing 15′ of the bedrooms and they should be inter-connected..
______ Provide keys or unlock sheds and outbuildings and electrical panels.
______ Verify all utilities will be on at the time of inspection.
______ Have pilot lights on to water heater, furnace, fireplace and stove.
______ Remove or restrain pets on site.

  • Be prepared for the inspector to operate and look in the following:

•Kitchen appliances, A/C, furnace, evaporative cooler, all doors and windows, all plumbing fixtures, garage doors, switches, ceiling fans, pool/spa equipment, whirlpool tubs etc. closets and cabinets

  • Buyers and their agents can also help with the inspection process by providing the inspector with valuable information that will save time. Provide your inspector with: Sellers Property Disclosure Statement (SPUDS) this can give your inspector information about previous repairs that may have caused damage viewed during the inspection; it also gives the inspector the opportunity to verify the information provided to client like the size of the water heater, or the age of the air conditioning unit.
  • Allow the inspector to work without interruption. They are working and have a lot of liability with their job. Treat the inspector with the respect of a professional and you are more likely to get a professional job.
  • MLS listing provides the inspector with information needed to prepare for and find their way to the inspection.
  • Client’s name and current address/phone number. If the pre-inspection agreement can be read and signed before the inspection it works better for all the parties involved.
  • CBS code if you are unable to meet your inspector at the time of inspection or the client can only make it to the last 30 minutes of the inspection, make sure your inspector has access. The CBS code, to be provided by the owner of the lockbox, was created for this reason. If you can’t trust your inspector, can you trust their opinion?
  • Payment or Escrow information. Payment is typically due at or before the inspection. Most companies charge a fee if they need to bill escrow.
  • A little cooperation from all parties can make this transaction an enjoyable one for their client.
  • This list is provided by ACSI American Construction Specialists & Investigations, LLC to assist with the inspection process. Many other items will be inspected; this is just an example of the most common obstacles.

For more information, or to book an inspection call ACSI at 480-636-7400 or check out

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