Home buyers and their agents should make an effort to be sure a home is ready to be inspected before the inspector shows up. Many times I have gotten to a job and discovered that for one reason or another some part of the inspection could not be completed because the home was not ready. Sometimes this results in a return trip for a follow-up inspection and an additional inspection fee to the buyer.
As you can imagine most buyers are not happy about having to pay for a second inspection. With just a little bit of advance checking with the seller and or the seller’s agent this situation can be avoided completely.
Many people think an inspector can simply go out anytime to inspect a house, but there are some limitations. Good visibility is very important. The Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) will not allow inspections to be done at night so starting and inspection late is not a good idea. It may take 3 to 5 hours for an inspection so an early start is usually a good idea.
Be sure all the utilities are turned on and all pilot lights are lit, if any. If the gas, water, or electricity is not turned on for the inspection, the inspector cannot completely inspect those things that use the utility. Your inspector cannot turn utilities on for the inspection.
If the house is occupied utilities are not a problem but if the occupant will not be there, be sure that all locks are removed or left open. Locked access panels to electric service boxes, attic doors, gates, or even on garage doors, etc., may prevent a complete inspection.
Furnishings and stored items can prevent an inspector from gaining access to some things that he would normally inspect. Your inspector will not move heavy, expensive, or fragile items to complete an inspection. If the current owner is preparing to move and has boxes stacked in front of the water heater, the water heater will not get a complete inspection. If a car parked in the garage prevents access to a pull-down attic ladder or electric panel in the garage wall etc., the attic or electric panel would not get inspected. Be sure ready access is available.
Pets can be a problem if they are not properly secured. Even friendly dogs and cats can get in the way and distract an inspector. During the course of an inspection, it is necessary for the inspector to go in and out of the house multiple times, and may be impossible for him to prevent a pet from running out. It is best to have them secured out of the way and not just locked in a room or backyard. Remember the inspector has to go into every room and in and out of the back yard.