How Sellers Prepare for a Home Inspection

So the big day has come where the home needs to be inspected. This is also a day that many people dread, but if some precautions and pre-inspection things are done, the whole process can be simple. When it comes to an inspection, the inspector will be looking at everything in the house from attic to crawlspace.

Try to find some small problems that you can address on your own before the professional comes for the inspection. This way the report will look even better to any potential buyer that might see it.

Simple Things

Sometimes it’s the little things that are forgotten when it comes to preparing for a home inspection. Many times these are simple things and can have a big impact. Some of these things, however, can’t be done the day of the inspection. The goal is to make the home inspector’s job as efficient and simple as possible.

Here are 15 things that can be done to make inspection day go that much smoother:

  • Check all light fixtures. – Make sure they are working. If they don’t the inspector has to note that it doesn’t work.
  • Windows open and close. – If a window is supposed to open, make sure it does. Nothing says problem like trying to open a window and it opens about halfway before getting stuck or won’t open at all.
  • Smoke detectors are installed. – Although it’s a simple fix, all homes are required to have at least one detector per floor.
  • Tighten all door handles and knobs and make sure they work. – If a handle is loose, this isn’t a big ding, but can be noted by an inspector that it needs to be replaced. Make sure if a knob has a key hole that there is a key and it can be unlocked and locked.
  • Make sure all services are connected and on. – If the home has gas and electric make sure both are working and on. Test the pilot light on the furnace to make sure it stays on. This makes the inspector’s job that much easier.
  • Documentation. – Have work done recently or in the past on the home? Make sure all documentation is on hand so that if there are any questions, the inspector can look these over.
  • Siding. – Make sure it’s clean and clear away the dirt from the base around the siding. The general rule of thumb is 6 inches.
  • Access. – Make sure that access to the attic is free. Move anything that might make it hard to get up there and if anything is up there, make sure to move it so that it doesn’t hinder the inspector while doing his job.
  • Faucets and plumbing. – Check faucets to make sure they work and turn on and off. Also, check hot and cold. Look for leaks or anything that isn’t working and get them fixed. Note the condition of the caulk around toilets, tubs, and sinks if necessary.
  • Test electrical. – Check all outlets and make sure they work when plugged in. If not get them fixed.
  • Debris. – Clear all debris from the roof and also check and clear gutters of debris.
  • HVAC – Clean or replace the HVAC filters and clean dirty air returns
  • Window Screens – Replace damaged window screens and any window that opens make sure it has a screen on it.
  • Keys – Any building that needs to be inspected on the property that has a key, make sure that the inspector has access to the key. Better yet, leave it unlocked.
  • Exterior – Trim bushes, trees, remove firewood from side of house, have any rotting wood replaced, and any patchwork or sealing work on the chimney taken care of.

Work Now, Be Happy Later

These simple tips make it easier for the inspector but also on you when selling the home. Some of the pointers are ones you can do yourself, others will require technicians and specialists. When looking to sell your home, start on the pre-inspection part about 30 days out. This gives you plenty of time to get things fixed and schedule a more comprehensive inspection with a qualified professional.

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