This is an addition to the article "Ask the Experts: What Should Home Sellers Do to Prepare for a Home Inspection?”
1. Don’t hide what isn’t working: If an appliance isn’t working, leave a note that indicates what isn’t working and how you’re getting it fixed. Don’t try to conceal defects because it can make the inspector start to view you as dishonest and wonder what else you’re hiding.
2. Make things accessible: Ensure the location of the attic and crawlspace are identified and easy to access. Don’t make a home inspector move your belongings in order to do his or her job. Also, don't forget to leave keys if you have any of the closets locked up.
3. Check the light bulbs: If a light isn’t working, the inspector needs to determine if the fixture is inoperable. Save them time by making sure all light bulbs operate, including those in the crawlspace and attic and furnace.
4. Note septic systems: If you have a septic system in the yard, be sure to leave a sketch that includes its location. Without guidelines, home inspectors, buyers and real estate professionals may have to conduct a prolonged search for it, Leopold says.
5. Keep appliances clear: Don’t leave dirty laundry in the washing machine or dryer because the inspector will test the appliances, and he doesn’t want to pull out clothes in front of everybody. “Also, make sure your oven and stovetop are clear and clean, so we can easily test them without setting off the smoke alarm,” Leopold adds.
Source: “Ask the Experts: What Should Home Sellers Do to Prepare for a Home Inspection?” RISMedia (April 16, 2013)
6. Change your air filter: A clean air filter will make the system run more smoothly and look clean. If your HVAC doesn't look clean you will get the dreaded "HVAC should be serviced" recommendation from the inspector. This in turn will cost you $125+ for a normal maintenance call that you don't need.
7. Clean the house: Inspectors are human beings and a clean house will give a better first impression. Plus the buyers will be showing up and you want them to stay in love with your property.
8. Leave Instructions: Leave instructions or demonstrate to the inspector any hard to operate lights, fans, jets, door locks etc. If not the inspector will mark it as not working on their report.
9. Be Prepared Not to Know: The inspector is employed by the buyer and there are strict rules on what they can disclose from their inspection without the buyer's permission first.
10. Clear Off Your Roof & Gutters: If not this will come up on the inspection. It's easy to do; so you might as well do it. If the buyer has a smaller list of items to be concerned with then they will feel better about your maintenance of the home and continuing on to closing.
Additional Information: Home Inspection Preparation