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How to Prepare for a Home Inspection

When you’re selling your home, an inspection is something you can’t skip. Mortgage lenders typically require that you get one, and it’s best to know what’s going on with your home before you put it on the market.

Here are some tips to help you prepare you & your home for the inspection:

Know what an inspector will look for

In order to prepare, you need to know how an inspector thinks and operates. An inspector will do a visual inspection to look for any health, safety, or mechanical issues that don’t meet your state’s standards or a buyer’s loan requirements. 

To test for problems, they will do things like turn on the stove, flush the toilets, flip light switches, and turn on the faucets. But these are just a few examples of the things they look for. In fact, the National Association of Home Inspectors has a 1,600-item checklist for inspectors to complete. You can expect an inspection to take a minimum of 2 to 4 hours for an average home, with a general rule of an hour per 1,000 square feet.

Make sure they have access to all areas

Go around the house and make sure that the inspector will have access to all areas of the home. This includes the attic, crawlspace, garage, storage sheds, and any storage closets. Make sure you also have any remote controls to equipment that’s being sold with the home, like ceiling fans or fireplaces. 

Get a pre-listing inspection

If you hate the element of surprise, you may want to get a pre-listing inspection before buyers ever look at your home. This allows you to find any issues with your home and fix them without the pressure of buyers making you fix things on a deadline. And, if you uncover any issues that you aren’t willing to fix, you can disclose the issue and consider it when pricing your home.

Depending on where you live, it may be required of you to disclose any issues that the inspector finds with your home. Another downside is that if those issues are major, they may scare buyers away. 

Fix what’s broken

Minor preparations can have a significant impact on your home’s appearance and the inspector’s impression. Burnt out lightbulbs, holes in the drywall, and leaky faucets are simple things to fix that make a huge impact on appearance. If the job is too big for you to take care of, call in a professional to help.

If you haven’t had your HVAC serviced in more than 6 months, it may be a good idea to do that & keep the receipt handy for the inspector and agent. If the roof or any major appliances need to be repaired, you can get an estimate on the repair work before the inspection. That way, the buyer and inspector have a heads-up about the situation. 

Use a checklist

Here’s a general checklist you can use to prepare your home before the inspection:

  • Exterior
    • Clean gutters & downspout
    • Secure any loose boards on porches or decks and any loose bricks on walkways or steps
    • Fix nail pops or loose shingles on the roof
    • Check the hoses or leaks
  • Interior
    • Change out air filters
    • Adjust doors that stick or drag when opening or closing
    • Replace burned out light bulbs
    • Make sure that all outlets have covers
    • Inspect the water heater for corrosion and leaks
    • Ensure all toilets flush properly
  • Garage
    • Move stored items away from the walls so that the inspector can view the foundation


Find a local agent who knows the market & can help you sidestep the common obstacles that slow down the process. Selling a home can be a journey, but it is much easier with the help of a REALTOR® you can trust.

Team Melton is ready to help you through the process. Our team of professionals has over 50 combined years of real estate experience to assist you through every step of the process. Contact us today to get started!

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