Submitted by Jared Ball
Listing and selling your home can be a fun process, especially when you are equipped with the best real estate listing agent and the best information. You’ll also want to set your house up in a way that will make the inspection process go by like a breeze.
Here are some helpful tips to get your house ready for a quick and easy inspection and sale:
– Make sure all sink cabinets are kept clear of any personal items. A good inspector will observe the plumbing fixtures and drain connections, looking for leaks. Any personal items like paper wipes, bottles of cleaning solutions, and personal hygiene items will be an obstruction to the inspection. Some inspectors will even move personal belongings for a better view, but do you really want an inspector rifling through your things?
– Make sure all kitchen appliances are kept clear of dishes, pots, pans, cooking trays and burner covers. A good inspector will observe the function of all appliances by turning on the oven cooktop burners, the broiler, and even the dishwasher. There really isn’t anything wrong with a second rinse of your dishes, but anything left in or on the oven cooktops will prevent some inspectors from turning on the heat. Some inspectors will simply move the pots and cooking trays but it is not required of an inspector to do so. Also keep in mind, a good inspector will be interested in how the range hood vent will ventilate through the cabinets and walls. Make sure the upper cabinets are able to be opened and are clear of any viewing obstructions.
– Make sure the location of the electrical main distribution panel, furnace, and water heater are kept clear of at least 3 feet of any personal belongings. A good inspector will want access to each location and the ability to remove the dead front panel of the main distribution panel (to see the conditions of the electrical connections and components) and the service panel of the furnace (to see the conditions of the furnace automatic safety controls, the heat exchanger, and other components). It is common for the distribution panel, furnace, and water heater to be located in the garage. If the garage is not being used to store a vehicle and is used more for storage and moving boxes, that’s totally understandable. Other than keeping them clear of the electric, HVAC, and water system, it’s also best to safely consolidate them more in the center of the garage, as a good inspector will want to test all electrical receptacle outlets on the walls to make sure they are protected by GFCI. (Fun fact: Did you know that all electrical receptacles within 6 feet of a plumbing fixture, within the garage, and at the exterior of the home are required to be GFCI protected in the state of Washington? You do now.)
– Make sure the access to the attic and crawlspace are accessible. There are times when the attic scuttle opening is not located in the garage and is found in a bedroom or laundry closet. Most closets contain shelving or even a hanger rod for clothing. These materials can be seen as an obstruction, deterring an inspector to access two of the most important locations of the house. The attic space and crawlspace are some of the best areas to verify that moisture is being kept out of the house, so you will want to make sure to keep a safe and easy access to these locations, to prevent an inspector from having to return again, or having the inspector recommend further evaluation from a licensed professional contractor.
If you have any questions about home inspections and the best way to make the home inspection process safe and easy, call Bear Home Inspection LLC at 360-904-0973.