The home is ready for an inspection, Congratulations! Now we just need to make sure it is ready for an Inspector. Our job is to look at every physical aspect and systematic feature of the home and record our findings. We touch and run EVERYTHING from top to bottom! Which means that we need a bit of prep work done by you so we can physically get to everything.
1. “Showing” Condition
You’ve got kids, you’ve got pets, you’re busy, we get it. But it is important for us to be able to access every square inch of the home which means that all personal belongings are picked up and out of the way. At the very least leave us a path. If we can’t get to an area because there is no path, then the area can’t be examined and this will be noted on the report. This includes both the interior and exterior of the home, as well as any outbuildings, as these all get inspected too.
2. Crawl Space & Attic Hatch Accessibility
For example, if the crawlspace hatch is in a closet we just ask that you remove items leading to the hatch and on top of the hatch itself so that we can get to your crawlspace. Same goes for the attic entry. Leaving us a path inside of these spaces so we can examine them fully is also recommended. That means your endless bins of holiday decor would be best moved aside.
3. Water Heater, Electrical Panel & Furnace Accessibility
Any obstacles that might be impeding visibility of these items we would like moved aside so we can properly assess their forms and functions. The fewer the obstacles the better.
4. “On” Utilities
This means that the sinks need to be able to run, water needs to flush, and lights need to be able to turn on and off. The breakers in the control panel must also be on and all pilot lights must be lit, even your gas fireplace in the dead of summer. If something has been winterized, it now needs to be un-winterized so we can check to ensure it’s running correctly. Also anything with a bulb or battery should be replaced so that it is in proper working condition. If it’s not in working condition at the time of inspection it will be noted on the report…yup, even dead light bulbs. And if the property is vacant, please contact the seller so that arrangements are made to get the utilities turned on. If the utilities remain off we are only able to report on the structure itself and will likely have to come back to complete the job once the utilities are up and running again. This is an extra fee and has the potential to delay things.
5. Window Accessibility
We ask that any personal items in or around the window be set aside and that the blinds and curtains are open so we can properly examine the windows. We would hate to accidentally damage something because we had to move it ourselves. You would hate that too.
6. Appliance Accessibility
During the time of inspection Appliances are run and tested to see if they are functioning and performing to the standards they should be. It’s best to have them clear of all personal items so we don’t melt the Tupperware you’ve stored in the oven. I’m kidding, we would never! But you get the idea. Speaking of ovens, any personal items displayed on the range must also be cleared. That means your collection of salt and pepper shakers has to be set aside so we can check the range for key components, like an anti-tip device for example.
7. Plumbing Accessibility
Plumbing is a huge component to our inspections. This is something no buyer wants to leave to chance. So we ask that you do your best to clear us a path under sinks and cabinets so we might better access and assess these important plumbing fixtures.
8. “Open” Property
This seems pretty self explanatory but if we can’t get to it, we can’t review it. So it is important to unlock any gates, outbuildings, storage areas, electrical boxes, etc. If leaving these normal secured areas open isn’t something you’re comfortable with, don’t sweat it. You can always leave us a key.
Bonus: Make sure electrical panel labels are correct. Relabel the items that aren’t.
Moral of the story, clean away as many obstacles as possible. We have a lot of items to cover in a short amount of time and in order to be thorough distractions need to be limited. It is also best to prepare yourself and your family to vacate the house during the inspection. Take any pets with you, and if you can’t, make sure they’re safely crated or otherwise secured. We would hate to have Mr. Whiskers sneak out while the inspector is assessing the sliding door track. This just allows us to come in, do our thing, and dip out. The buyers may also request to be present during the inspection and there is nothing more awkward than talking about repair items with both parties present. Am I right?
As a seller you want as few notes about your home as possible. We recommend doing a mini inspection of your own to repair any big, or small, items that might get noted on a report. Even if repairing them isn’t in the budget you will go into the inspection with eyes wide open. We wish you luck!
Preparing for Radon
What is Radon?
Radon is a byproduct of the breakdown process between uranium and radium. Radon is a noble gas that escapes from the earth into open air sometimes making its way into our homes from the soil below. All buildings have Radon at one level or another. It is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas that wouldn’t otherwise be noticed but if the Radon levels entering a home are high, this can cause serious health risks.
What you need to do…
To prepare your home for a 48hr Radon test we require a few things so that the test results come back as accurate as possible. Our equipment and testing procedures ensure accurate and laboratory certified results but only if you follow these few requests.
- Close all Windows and keep them closed 12 hrs prior to your testing period and for the duration of the test itself.
- Close exterior doors and keep them closed. If you pass through an exterior door immediately close it behind you.
Preparing for a Sewer Scope
What is a Sewer Scope?
A Sewer Scope determines the condition of the sewer line and if the system will continue to work properly in the years to come. We send a flexible borescope camera down the sewer pipe to look for cracks, damage, and any potential issues or major faults. It is recommended for all homes, because it’s just better to know, ya know? But we especially recommend a sewer scope for houses built more than 25 years ago as the plumbing materials were more fragile then.
What you need to do…
- Locate the sewer clean out and identify it. This can be done with marking paint, a rock or stick, any kind of identifier.
- Unearth the clean out for accessibility. If you are one of the 85% of people who don’t know what this is, don’t worry about it.