How to Prepare for a Home Inspection

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To prepare for a home inspection, you’ll want to tidy up, test your appliances, check your home’s safety and security features, and gather the appropriate paperwork. 
So you’ve listed your home, had some open houses, found a buyer, and accepted a purchase price—but the process of selling your home isn’t quite over just yet. You still need to pass a home inspection before the sale is a done deal. 
A home inspection is a standard part of selling a home. The seller will hire a licensed home inspector to evaluate the conditions of the property so the buyer can take possession of the home assured it is safe and sound.
A failed home inspection could result in a loss of sale, a renegotiation of your asking price, and more of a headache for you. That’s why licensed car and home insurance broker app Jerry has compiled this guide to passing your home inspection, including how best to prepare. 
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What is a home inspection and why is it important? 

You’ll need to schedule a home inspection after you’ve sold your home to a buyer. The buyer will pay a licensed home inspector to evaluate the property. 
Buyers don’t want to encounter any hidden—and not to mention, costly—surprises once they move in, and a home inspection allows a third party to verify the home is indeed safe and inhabitable. 
If the home inspector spots too many issues with your property, the buyer could pull out of the deal or you could end up having to renegotiate your asking price. Usually, this means you’d get less money (which is no fun). 

What does a home inspector check during an inspection? 

Good question. Answer: a lot of things! The home inspector will check out every nook and cranny to look for issues or potential fixes. It’s their job to be thorough, so they’ll give your home a true top-to-bottom evaluation. 

Major appliances 

These can include your oven, stove, fridge, washer-dryer, dishwasher, etc. If it turns on, has a function, and is plugged in, you can bet that the home inspector will be giving it a look to see if it’s working at an optimal level. 

Structural features 

These include doors, walls, floors, the attic, the foundation—again, the inspector leaves no corner untouched. The home should be structurally sound with no risks of rotting or collapsing. The buyer has no interest in a wall that could cave in or a beam that could fall suddenly!

Systems

All of your home’s internal systems, like plumbing, HVAC, gas lines, and electrical circuits, will be analyzed during a home inspection. These systems keep your home practical and comfortable. 

What should I do to prepare for a home inspection? 

The prospect of an inspector scrutinizing your every nook and cranny can feel overwhelming—but don’t worry. Here are some of the best ways to prepare for a home inspection and improve your odds of passing with flying colors. 

Tidy up and declutter 

Make the inspector’s job easier by making appliances and small spaces accessible. The home inspector will need access to a lot of different parts of your home—you’ll want to get personal belongings as out of the way as possible. 
Pro Tip: If you’re in the process of moving, put your packed-up boxes somewhere out of the way. They can take up a lot of space, and you don’t want them blocking anything important! 

Test what they’d test

Before the inspector arrives, you want to make sure that everything that runs in your home is, well, running. You don’t want to be caught off guard by something you thought was working but is actually out of commission. 
This means testing your appliances, flushing your toilets, making sure your windows open and close, running your faucets, and the like. 
Pro Tip: Think like a home inspector. Take inventory of what’s in your home and check if it works. 

Check your safety features 

Make sure your safety and security features are working properly and that your home is rid of pests and other health hazards
The home inspector will look for functional safety items like smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, and a fire extinguisher. Not only are things like mold colonies and carpenter ants unpleasant and icky, but they can also be dangerous to the home and its inhabitants. 

Call for repairs (and keep the receipts) 

If anything is damaged or broken in your home, you will want to show proof that you’re on top of getting it fixed.  
Let’s say that that special edition Edison bulb over your kitchen island just burnt out. You check online, and a replacement won’t arrive for another two weeks—but your home inspection is in a couple of days. 
Don’t panic! Just order the bulb, and print the receipt. If you’re still waiting on an electrician to fix some wiring or a plumber to clean out a pipe, just show the inspector some confirmation that they’re on the way. 

Fix the little things

During a home inspection, the devil’s in the details. The inspector is primarily looking at the bigger picture, but it’s still important to present the best version of your home. 
So, spruce up the cosmetics! Do some yard work, clean out the gutters, deep clean the bathrooms, and wash those windows
Don’t leave any laundry in the washer or dryer or dishes in the sink or dishwasher. It won’t make or break the inspection, but it won’t win you any points, either. 
Pro Tip: The inspector will appreciate that you’ve taken the time to make the home as clean and inviting as possible. 

How to find the best home insurance 

Recently sold your home and moving to a new spot? You’ll either need to take out a new policy with your existing home insurer or find a new one. Deciphering home insurance quotes can be tricky on your own—and why do all that hard work when Jerry can do it for you?
Insurance and easy usually don’t go in the same sentence, but with Jerry, they do! Jerry makes getting the right home insurance easy by doing the nitty-gritty for you. 
Just complete a 45-second sign-up and you’ll be presented with dozens of competitive quotes from top insurance companies, like Nationwide, State Farm, and Travelers. When you find a new policy you like, Jerry will even help you do the paperwork and cancel your existing policy!
Jerry was wonderful! I used it for my auto and renters policies. I trusted it so much that I signed up my homeowners insurance under Jerry as well. All of the agents are amazingly nice and knowledgeable.” —Mary Y.
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FAQs

Major issues, like problems with the roof or drainage, a faulty foundation, bad plumbing, a pest infestation, or bad heating or wiring, can fail a home inspection
Smaller problems, like a cracked window or peeling paint, won’t do you any favors but aren’t enough to make you fail the inspection.
A home inspector’s job is to report on the condition of the home to the buyer. If the inspector deems the home too expensive to repair or unsafe to live in, the buyer needs to know before moving in.
Yes. Remember: they’re not there to snoop through your stuff. Closets and cabinets can house electric panels and power outlets, so the inspector will need access to them.
Inspections tend to take 2-4 hours, depending on the size of your home.
No, you are not required by law to be present during the inspection. In fact, it’s recommended that you leave to give the home inspector enough space. Plus, it’s a little awkward if you’re hanging around. 
Pro Tip: If you’re a pet owner, take your pets with you or make sure they’re out of the way during the inspection, too.

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