Preparing for a Home Inspection:  Advice for Sellers

(September 27, 2015 )


The majority of the home inspection preparation rests on the shoulders of the property seller.  No home is perfect and home inspectors will undoubtedly find things that need to be addressed during the inspection. You can, however, reduce the length of that laundry list by going through the house with your toolkit (or handyman) ahead of time.

Here are some things to think about and deal with before the home inspection!

1. Clean the house thoroughly - This may go without saying but a messy house can give the impression that the homeowners are uncaring and even neglectful of regular home maintenance. Much of the time, prospective buyers accompany the inspector and may find the property less than appealing if it is not clean.

2. Make sure pilot lights are lit! - For liability reasons, home inspectors will not light pilot lights and if they are unable to test these appliances then the inspection will be rendered incomplete.

3. Provide access to additional spaces and outdoor areas - All sheds, attics, basements, garages and crawl spaces will need to be evaluated by the inspector. Make sure these areas are easily accessible!

4. Empty the contents of your appliances - Washing machines and dishwashers will be run during the inspection. Even if the appliance isn't included in the contract of sale, the inspector will want to ensure that the associated plumbing, venting and electrical are in working order.

5. Leave receipts for repairs - Keeping records of anything you have had repaired or replaced shows proof of home upkeep and maintenance. These documents may also help to answer any questions the inspector may have. 

Along with the above tips, below is a list of things to look at around the house and repair as needed:

-Make sure all windows open/close and that the locks work
-Ensure drains are clear and drain quickly
-Make sure all light fixture have working bulbs
-Replace caulking around tub as needed
-Clean gutters
-Check for leaks in faucets and under sinks
-Check toilets to make sure they don't wobble
-Ensure sliding doors open and close smoothly
-Dust off the water heater
-Replace broken window panes
-Ensure downspouts have extenders

Although the above list doesn't cover everything in the home, it is a great start and will undoubtedly help the inspection go more smoothly!