Preparing Your Home for a Home Inspection

What to do to get your home ready

Aside from the appraisal, the home inspection is one of the most nerve-wracking aspects of the selling process for many sellers. The home inspector will examine all aspects of the home inside and out including plumbing, electrical, foundation, exterior walls, appliances, and more. The inspector will then compile a report outlining any issues discovered (and if they are a safety issue, major issue, or minor one), which items need to be replaced or serviced, and which items are OK for now but that should be monitored. A home inspection report is intended to give the buyers (and their mortgage company if they have one) a comprehensive look at the “state of the house” to better inform them of what they are getting in to.

As a seller, the report will play a key part in how smoothly the home sale proceeds as most purchase offers include a home inspection contingency that provides buyers with the option to cancel the entire deal based on the outcome of this report. While a cancellation does not happen frequently (we’ve only seen it happen a handful of times), it is important to be aware of. Even if the buyer does not cancel the contract over issues identified by the inspector, the inspection can open the door for re-negotiation of price based on the repairs & maintenance suggested in the home inspection report. Understanding what you can do to prepare for the inspection can go a long way toward soothing your nerves and ensuring a smooth inspection.

It’s important to note that even if the home inspector does not uncover a major flaw in your home, a long list of small items can easily give a wary home buyer pause to reconsider. Therefore, it is best to be as proactive as possible in terms of identifying possible problems and correcting them. In fact, many homeowners have found it beneficial to order their own home inspection prior to listing their home. Doing so can help you to understand the true condition of your home and give you the opportunity to fix problems before they are uncovered later on by the buyer’s inspector. Another big plus is that a seller ordered inspection could be a strong selling point in terms of attracting buyers. While an inspection will typically range in price between $250 and $700, it can provide you with peace of mind and ultimately save you money later on.

If you would like to get a head start on preparing your home for an inspection, consider tackling the following tasks:

  • Ensure all of the windows in your home are able to open and close as well as lock

  • Check doors to be sure they open and close as well as lock properly

  • Have the roof inspected and make necessary repairs

  • Be sure all appliances work properly

  • Test all the home’s electrical outlets

  • Check all smoke detectors and replace batteries, as needed

  • Clean the gutters

  • Check all faucets and sinks for leaks

  • Have your HVAC system cleaned and serviced

  • Ensure all toilets flush properly

  • Make certain all light fixtures work

  • Check to ensure all tubs and sinks drain well

  • Caulk around showers and tubs, as needed

  • Replace broken or cracked windowpanes

  • Be sure the drain spouts are extended away from the home’s foundation


    Knowing what to expect from the home inspection, whether you order it or wait for the buyer to do so, can pave the path for the most optimal outcome.