13 things you should do before a home inspector comes

Before an inspector comes, look at your home with their eyes to prepare yourself for what they may find. Inspections are not pass/fail, but instead, a checklist of things that need to be addressed before the home is purchased or sold.

Comb through areas of the home — kitchen, living room, bedrooms, bathrooms, basement, attic, garage, crawlspace, and any other areas — to ensure they’re ready for an inspector.

Here are 13 things you should do before a home inspector comes to look at your home.

1. Check each room

Each room should be clean and accessible to the inspector. Everything such as lights, fans, and vents should work properly. All rooms should be clean and free of dirt, mildew, mold, and (at worst) asbestos.

TIP: Groom the outside to make it presentable when the inspector arrives onsite.

2. Plug everything in

If utilities come with the home, plug everything in. The fridge, oven, microwave, and dishwasher should all be working properly. Turn the lights on in the home for added vibrance.

3. Check for proper drainage

Look around the home for the proper drainage away from the home. It may be hard to know, however, if water collects around the house without a recent rainfall. If there are divets near the home, then there may be a drainage problem.

4. Change the filters and look at the HVAC system

Change the air filters with a fresh filter from your local hardware store. Inspect inside the HVAC system for dust or mold. Look at the vents and clean any dust you may see. The goal is to have clean, dust-free vents for good air quality.

5. Check smoke detectors

Replace the 9-volt batteries in smoke detectors and hold down the button to test the alarm. If they have power, a light will blink every minute or so.

6. Let inspector have access to everything

Home inspectors need access to every part of the home, even places you wouldn’t normally go. All living areas of the home should be clean and clear of hindrances. The entrance to the attic and basement should be clear as well. The door outside for crawl spaces need to be clear of bushes, sticks, and grass. The garage should be tidy as well.

7. Check underneath sinks

Look underneath for water leaking from the sink. There may be dark green or black rings where water has slowly dripped from the pipes. If you find this, clean it with a towel and soap.

8. Check for standing water

Standing water may be in the basement or garage and can cause mold and mildew. It can cause damage to the foundation if left alone and unrepaired.

9. Check roof

Look over the roof for damage and wear and tear. If the home endures heavy weather climates, the roof may need to be fixed or replaced. This is often the most overlooked part of the home. 

10. Check for pests

Varmin such as roaches, mice, and termites can make your house their home too. Look for feces or remnants of something eaten. If the infestation is bad, you may need to call an exterminator.

11. Provide documents

Provide documents for recent renovations to the home so the inspector can look at the sturdiness and reliability of the work done on the home.

12. Be prepared for a long list of issues

Sometimes inspectors find many things that need to be done on the home that you weren’t expecting. Be prepared if he or she provides you with a long list of things to fix before you sell or buy the home.

13. Be honest with the inspector

As you look over these things before an inspector comes, refrain from being dishonest with the inspector or with the condition of your home. You may be able to do easy things like turning on the lights or cleaning under the sinks, but large “bandaid fixes” should be avoided until the inspector looks at it.

Analytical Home Inspection is owned and operated by Cory Maynard, a licensed and practicing home inspector in Eugene, Oregon. Cory leads the local inspection industry with the most thorough and complete structural inspections available, providing easy to read digital reports. Schedule an inspection today before you sell or buy.