Preparing for Inspection

Old Smoke Alarm

Preparing A House For Inspection – Part 4 – Change The Smoke Alarms

Now that you have Cleared the way for the Inspector....

Change The Smoke Alarms

When a smoke alarm (also called smoke detectors) looks as yellow as this one, it is very likely over 10 years old.  According to the NFPA, all smoke alarms that are more than 10 year old should be replaced.

An easy indication that a smoke alarm is rather old is the discoloration of the plastic. But every smoke alarm has a date of manufacture printed on the back side of the device. According to the NFPA, almost 1 in 5 smoke alarms throughout the USA are more than 10 years old.

If you know that the smoke alarms in your home are less than five years old, leave them in place, but make a note of their age so that everyone understands how old they are. When I inspect homes, I will be checking the age of the smoke alarms.

Smoke Alarm Hanging By Wires
OOPS! They forgot to take the old base plate off the ceiling.

Preparing A House For Inspection – Part 3 – Clear The Way For The Inspector

Now that you have all the lights on....

clear the way for the inspector

Attic scuttle panels or crawl space openings should not be obstructed. There may be more attic access locations than you think there are. The main house might have a separate access from the attic over a garage. Each separate level, and occasionally large covered porches, might have an access or scuttle. At times, small or large additions to the home will have separate attic spaces and therefore they will have their own scuttle opening.

Preparing A House For Inspection Part 2 – Light The Way

Light The Way

The simplest things can make a home look better to the buyers and help the Home Inspector write a cleaner inspection report. Owners, Listing Agents, and Home Stagers can help each other by putting just a bit of thought into the preparations that get a home ready to show and ready for the inevitable Home Inspection. And the buyer’s agent could call ahead to ask if these simple things have been addressed.

On a recent inspection, I found numerous light bulbs that were not working. All the way from the basement to the attic. You may think that it is not important. But it takes very little time to go through your home with a box of bulbs and install them wherever they are burned out. And don’t forget the front and back porch and the garage coach lights. The garage interior is also a place that will be inspected so check it as well. CFL or LED bulbs are economical enough that you could change the burned out bulbs today and have fewer items on the inspection list when that day comes for the home to be inspected.

The inspector cannot guess if the issue is simply a burned out bulb or an electrical issue such as wiring or a defective fixture. When you go the extra mile and change all the bulbs today, they will last through the entire listing period and the Home Inspection that will follow.

On another recent inspection, I found every light bulb working and there were extra new bulbs on the kitchen counter that had been left by the agent. This was a first class way of announcing that the home was ready for inspection. I hope it becomes a trend to see that sort of effort put into the simple things by the listing agents or the stagers.