“Seller shall make the property available for all buyer investigations. Seller shall have water, gas, electricity and all operable pilot lights on for Buyer’s investigations and through the date possession is made available to Buyer.” (Excerpt from: Paragraph 9B of the California Association of Realtors® California Residential Purchase Agreement)
Having everything ready for the inspection can prevent unnecessary delays. For liability reasons home inspectors do not move personal belongings. Most home inspectors will charge an additional fee if they must return to the property to inspect item which were not accessible.
The seller should verify that:
- All utilities are on
- Pilot lights are lit (The gas provider will usually light pilots at no cost to the owner)
- Attic access is clear of clothing or stored items
- Crawl space entrances are not blocked or nailed in place
- Water heaters are accessible
- Furnaces are accessible
- Sinks, showers and bathtubs are clear of dishes or personal items
- Built-in appliances are free of stored items and can be operated
- Electrical panels are accessible and not locked (Electrical sub-panels inside the home are often painted and removing the cover will mar the finish. The seller’s agent should ask the seller to grant permission to the inspector to remove the panel cover to look for life/safety issues)
- Areas or items to be inspected are freely accessible
- Pets are secured (Unsecured animals should be removed from the property or secured in an area that will not need to be inspected if the seller (or occupant) will not be present) Click here for the printable version of Preparing for a Home Inspection Checklist.