Preparing for a Home Inspection

While you may have heard that the market is so hot at present that inspections are not taking place, don’t bet on it. Home inspections will remain an important part of the home buying/selling process. They will always make perfect sense, and are required by many mortgage lenders, so you may as well start preparing.

Invariably, there is work to be done to assure that your home passes the muster of a home inspector. Few and far between are the homeowners that keep everything clean as a whistle, and up to snuff all the time. The following tips gathered from professional home inspectors and real estate experts won’t guarantee a perfect report, but should cut down drastically on
inspector drama and red flags that might make your house appear “less than.”

For starters, the average inspector performs a visual inspection to determine if there are any health, safety, or mechanical issues that don’t meet your state’s standards or a buyer’s loan requirements. They are primarily looking for things that are significantly deficient, unsafe, near the end of the service life, or not functioning properly according to says Tim Buell the president of the American Society of Home Inspectors.

What to Expect

To test for problems, an inspector will do things like flip on the stove, start the dishwasher, flush toilets, and run faucets. These are just a few examples — an inspector’s work is highly meticulous. In fact, the National Association of Home Inspectors has a 1600 Point Checklist to complete.

You can expect an inspection to take a minimum of two to four hours, with a general rule of an hour per 1,000 square feet.
Get the inspector on your good side by helping him/her do the job effectively. To do so is simple. Go around the house and check to make sure all areas of the home are accessible for the inspector.

Matt Steinhausen, an independent home inspector who holds an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, said some sellers have shelving or laundry appliances in front of the electrical panel, which prevents him from thoroughly examining the panel and wiring.

“I need to be able to enter every room, open every cabinet and closet, and inspect every detached structure. All areas of all structures should be unlocked and accessible,” Steinhausen says. “Many times I’m unable to get to various mechanical components because when people declutter their homes for showing, they pile all their contents in the storage areas, such as
utility rooms.”

It always makes sense to fix things that may be broken, and here’s a list below to guide you on things you can do to assure you get a wonderful report…

Your Checklist to Prepare for the Home Inspector


  • Clean out your gutters and downspout
  • Check wood trim joints for caulk and softness
  • Secure or replace all loose wood or bricks on steps
  • Fix nail pops and loose shingles on the roof
  • Assess the hose faucet for leaks


  • Change out all air filters
  • Adjust doors that stick when they open or close
  • Look for holes from door handles, and repair if needed
  • Replace burned-out lightbulbs
  • Check that all outlets have covers
  • Inspect the water heater for corrosion and leaks
  • Test the stove: Do all the burners work? Are any elements broken?
  • Run the dishwasher and garbage disposal
  • See if all the toilets flush properly


  • Move stored items away from the walls so that the inspector can view the foundation
  • Check that the automatic reverse function and the garage door opener work

Chatel Group have published a comprehensive list of service providers including inspectors to share with you as part of their Concierge Services.

For more information on how to prepare your home, contact Chatel Group. Sarah and Lisa can help you plan every step so that you not overwhelmed and can present your home in the best possible light.