When you are ready to buy or sell one of your most valuable possessions it’s important to know you have the right person helping you.
Making certain a home is ready for an inspection is a very important part of the process of buying and selling a property… and is the seller’s responsibility. The Texas Real Estate Commission (“TREC”) Standards of Practice (“SOP”) for Professional Inspectors requires many things to be inspected and operated. “Accessible” is the first of fourteen important definitions of the General Provisions Rule §535-227. If any item or area that is required to be inspected is not accessible or visible, the inspector will not be able to properly inspect it and is then required to disclaim that in the inspection report.
Accessibility is important because …
• Sellers should want to do whatever they can to get everything accessible that is to be inspected.
• Someone could later be suspicious or accusatory that something was intentionally hidden by the seller.
• If something to be inspected is not accessible, the buyer could be surprised and suffer (and be upset) with something unexpected that might have to be repaired or replaced after closing the sale.
Suggestions to get a house ready for an inspection …
- Make sure all the utilities are turned on—water, electricity, and gas with any pilot lights lit.
- Replace burned out light bulbs, smoke detector batteries, and dirty or missing air filters.
- Have all GFCI receptacles visible and not behind an object that is difficult to move.
- If you’re already packing boxes and stacking items in a room or garage to get ready to move, be mindful where you’re putting them so something of importance is not blocked.
- Use your good judgment regarding anything that may be in the way of something that would need to be inspected, such as walls, doors, outlets, windows, and more.
- Cabinets in bathrooms and kitchens should be uncluttered enough to give adequate access to inspect items such as plumbing, electrical, and cabinets. If there are access panels for tubs and showers that can be opened, please have the way clear to them.
- Empty the dishwasher, microwave, and oven / range so they can be inspected, operated and tested.
- Repair minor known defects, leaking / damaged faucets and fixtures, hardware, etc.
- Please remove all plug-in air fresheners and any other fragrance products from the electrical sockets.
Exterior, Garage, and / or Attic …
- Remove anything that would hinder safe access to the electrical service panel.
- Make sure the attic pull down stairs or attic hatches can be opened and accessed safely.
- Clear all the access platforms / walkways and working platforms or area(s) in front of any mechanical and HVAC equipment, water heater(s) and anything else that would need to be inspected and operated.
- Remove firewood, unused bricks, stored items, debris, and anything from around the exterior walls and perimeter of the foundation.
- Trim trees and vegetation away from the house, roof, and buildings.
- Clean out gutters and downspouts.
Any pool, spa, and / or hot tub equipment should be accessible.
A few more items are on the back to keep in mind during the inspection…
Keys, Pets, and Minors…
• Make keys available for all doors, sheds, locks, etc. or remove all locks from gates, service panels, and anything else needing to be accessed.
• It would be best if your pets were visiting a friend or put away during the inspection. Doors will be opened and closed during the inspection, and the inspector is not responsible for a pet that gets out of the house. If any pets are inside the home, please let us know in advance so we can watch for them. Reasonable effort will be made to make sure pets don’t escape, but it’s best if they are not present at the time of the inspection.
• If children (under the age of 18) are in the home with no adults present, the inspection will not occur and a $150 trip fee will be charged and paid by the seller or the seller’s agent.
Seller Present During the Inspection…
If the seller chooses to remain during the inspection, please understand that the inspector has many things to do in the allotted time. Children can be very curious to see a strange person working in their home, and the inspector’s tools are not toys. The inspector may wish to have a brief friendly “meeting” with the children to help them understand the inspection process. For everyone’s protection, please find other distractions for the children.