How do I Prepare My Home for an Inspection?

How do I Prepare My Home for an Inspection?  You’ve prepped, primped and prepared your home for the market.  You’ve left for showings and open houses while strangers wandered your halls.  An offer has come in. We've negotiated with the buyers until all the parties are satisfied and tomorrow is the inspection.


Once again, it’s time to make yourself scarce.  This is a time for the buyer, their broker and the inspector to take in the house in much greater detail.  The owner may bring a tape measure to see how their furniture will fit.  They may bring aTape Measure camera to shoot more pictures to share with friends and family, but the main reason for this extended visit is to check out the details.  It is not a good idea to stick around, and please bring your pets with you and let any kids know not to come straight home if the inspection is still going on.


You should expect your dishwasher to be run, so you might as well have it loaded and the soap container prepared.  If the washer & dryer are staying, they will also be put through a cycle.  Your furnace will be cranked up and if you have A/C, it will cranked back down to check for temperature rise & drop. 


Attic AccessPlease, clear access to the attic hatch and the crawlspace hatch.  If your attic is accessed through a closet, consider removing your clothes and anything else you want to keep clean.  It’s not uncommon for some insulation to come loose and fall on whatever is around. 


The electric panel should also be easily accessible.  Inspectors don’t want to move your things to do their job.  They don’t want to take responsibility for something going wrong, so if you know what to prepare it will be easier for everyone. 


A good inspector will check a home thoroughly, report their findings responsibly and advise for further inspections as they detect issues outside of their expertise.  The more prepared you are for the inspection the better chance things will go smoothly for everyone.   



Did you like this post?  Do you know someone else who might?  Do you know anyone who might benefit from our services?  Please pass this along to family or friends or contact us, we love to help.

Dan Tabit       206-310-8629    425-868-SOLD(7653)

One stop Real Estate & Mortgage Services Serving Sammamish, Issaquah, Redmond, Bellevue, Mercer Island and the greater Seattle area.  

Comment balloon 14 commentsDan Tabit • March 09 2013 04:43PM


This is an excellent post, Dan.  We don't always think of setting expectations for a home inspection.  And love the idea of having your dishes washed.

Posted by Jane Peters, Los Angeles real estate concierge services (Home Jane Realty) over 7 years ago

Hi Jane,

I've had a few occasions where a seller didn't prepare and the attic access was blocked or the electrical panel was buried behind a bunch of stuff. 

Posted by Dan Tabit (Keller Williams Bellevue) over 7 years ago

Good post, Dan.  I see the items you metioned all the time and I wish the sellers had read your post before my inspection.

Posted by Vince Chinell, CPI (VICO Home Inspection) over 7 years ago

This is a great post for Seller's. Giving your clients a checklist of what to have prepared for the home inspection shows  we are being proactive as their agent. Which lends to them feeling that they are in good hands! Thanks for posting!

Posted by Sabrina Solesbee, Sabrina Solesbee (Solesbee Group) over 7 years ago
Having a successful inspection starts with the expectations, and your advice is right on point!
Posted by Sammer Mudawar, OC Real Estate Blog (RE/MAX Prestige) over 7 years ago

Great advice... but I also encourage my sellers of older homes that haven't been inspected for a long while to have a pre-listing inspection and to take care of significant issues up front, so they never show up in the buyer's inspection report at all.

Posted by Nina Hollander, Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor (Coldwell Banker Realty) over 7 years ago

Dan, great post! From all my fellow inspectors, I would like to thank you for pointing this stuff Nothing worse than having the seller following you around and saying "What are you writing down? There's nothing wrong with that!" Or, having "stuff" all stacked around the electrical panel or attic access.

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) over 7 years ago

Dan, very good list.  I would also add to make sure they take their pets with them when they go.  Another thing that sellers are not usually aware of is that GFCI's and AFCI's will be tested and they may have to reset some electronic devices---including computers.

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 7 years ago

Hi Vince, I wrote it with the idea of passing it on to my sellers so they can be ready. 

Hi Sabrina, Since we know the process, we can tell our clients what to prepare for next. 

Hi Sammer, Thanks, setting proper expectations is important.

Hi Nina, A pre-inspection an alleviate a lot of fears for sellers.

Hi Fred, I had a homeowner want to stick around recently, I offered him a Starbucks card and promised to call him when we were done.  Fortunately he found other things to do.

Hi Charles, Great point.  Resetting clocks can be frustrating if you don't realize you might have to. I will add that to the list.  Thanks!

Posted by Dan Tabit (Keller Williams Bellevue) over 7 years ago


Great information.  Folks don't think past making it look pretty for showings, but I KNOW all of the home inspectors out there would really appreciate it if the sellers were ready for them, too!

All the best, Michelle

Posted by Michelle Francis, Realtor, Buckhead Atlanta Homes for Sale & Lease (Tim Francis Realty LLC) over 7 years ago

Great post Dan. Residents need to hear this from someone to help with a good inspection.

Posted by Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366, General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage (Dry Rot and Water Damage Mobile - 916-765-5366) over 7 years ago

Dan, this is a good reminder for all the sellers. And yes, the dishes should be washed. That is worth considering! 

Posted by Ridhi Raheja, FHA, 203k, VA, Jumbo, PreApproval, Jumbo Home Loan (Movement Mortgage (Illinois)) over 7 years ago

I am attending an inspection first thing in the morning. Have also warned sellers that all windows will be checked for ease of opening. I ask them to be available by phone if there are any questions.

Posted by Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) over 7 years ago

I hope every agent willpass this information along.  It would make my life much easier.  I would also mention that the seller should have already removed most, if not all, of the items stored in the attic.  Even in an empty attic you have to be carefull where you step but if it is full of belongings, it is like an obstacle course.

Posted by Robert Sole (REM Inspections LLC) over 7 years ago

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