How to prepare the house for the inspection
All utilities need to be on. The electricity, the water and the gas need to be on to do a complete inspection. When the house is vacant or bank owned it is not uncommon to be told all utilities are on and then when everyone arrives for the inspection, that turns out not to be the case, which results in a certain amount of negative outlook on the part of the buyer. If the house was vacant and I was a Realtor trying to cultivate trust with a client, I would go out to the house the day before to verify that all the utilities were on; let the client know you did this.
Turning utilities back on involves significant liability and should not be attempted by Realtors or home inspectors. The company that originally winterized the home and shut off the utilities should be the one to turn things back on.
House cleaning is good and very positive in the eyes of the buyer.
A pre-listing home inspection is always a good idea and can help reduce sale-fails and unpleasant surprises.
All pets and valuables should be secured. The inspector will need full access around the outside of the house and throughout the interior.
The home inspector will need physical access to the electrical panel, the furnace, the water heater, the crawl and attic accesses. The homeowner or tenant should be instructed to remove any personal property from these areas.
The homeowner should be notified well in advance of the inspection. A reminder call the night before helps to avoid awkward situations.
The selling Realtor should check with the listing Realtor to make sure the lock box programm setting will allow access at the right time.