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How to Prepare for a Successful Home Inspection
Closeup of someone checking off a checklist with a purple marker

If you are purchasing or selling a home, the whole transaction may be over before it’s even underway if a home inspection turns up unsuccessful. For this reason, the buying and selling process hinges on inspection results more than buyers or sellers may initially expect.

If there’s a mortgage involved, the lender needs to know that the home’s value aligns with the amount financed and that the property is in good condition. Buyers may make offers contingent on passing inspection, even if they are paying cash for the purchase. As a seller, there are steps you can take to help the home inspection process go as smoothly as possible.

For buyers, an inspection report can help determine if a home’s selling price needs to be adjusted or whether the property is a good match for your needs. If you move forward with the sale, you can use the report to address issues before they escalate in the future.

Attend to all maintenance issues

Did one bulb in your chandelier burn out? Replace it now, or the inspector will need to verify the issue is with the bulb and not the fixture or electric wiring. Additionally, use this checklist as a reference point as you move through your home and address any potential issues:

  • Change the filter on your furnace, and click it on to make sure it’s in working order (if you have an air-conditioning unit, you’ll want to test it in the same way).
  • Check the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and replace them with a fresh set.
  • Evaluate the drainage in your sinks and toilets, and address any clogs or slow draining immediately.
  • Make sure mesh aerators are in place on faucets and that the water pressure is good.
  • Check every outlet in your home to ensure they are all working.
  • Test all windows and doors and address any hinges that stick or squeak.
  • Replace missing screens or any panes of glass that are cracked.

For many homeowners, the easiest way to handle all of the above is to hire a professional to do a walk-through, provide a list of all issues, and calculate an estimate for the work needed. Making any fixes now can help you sail smoothly through your official home inspection.

Check for red flags in advance

Did you know that a home financed under certain government programs will need to meet special qualifications? Talk to your realtor well before your inspection to be certain there aren’t any unknown requirements or glaring issues. For example:

  • Removing the banister or handrail in a stairwell for moving convenience could cause a problem. Make sure it’s back in place before the inspection.
  • Look for cracks in your foundation and evidence of leaks in your roof.
  • Check for bugs, such as carpenter ants and other pests, and treat your home if you find any.

Finally, if you’re aware of any issues with lead or mold in your home, now is the time to address them… well before the inspector arrives.

About the Author

John Pittman
John Pittman