How Sellers Can Prepare For a Buyer’s Home Inspection
Home sellers quite frequently ask, “What will a home inspector be looking for in my home and how can I be more organized for the home buyers inspection?” Informed sellers can make the home inspection process easier and faster, ensuring a more thorough and accurate inspection.
Here is a list that may be helpful for you in preparing your house for a home buyer’s inspection. Many of these items can be done at little or no cost and are part of a regular maintenance program for any home.
- Remove soil or mulch from contact with siding. Six or more inches of clearance is best.
- Clean out dirty gutters and any debris from the roof.
- Check to make sure all water from downspouts, sump pump, condensation and basement entry drains is diverted away from the house.
- Trim trees, roots, and bushes back from the foundation, roof, siding and chimney.
- Paint weathered exterior wood and caulk around the trim, chimney, windows and doors.
- Repair any failing mortar in brick or block.
- Remove wood and/or firewood from any contact with the house.
- Caulk all exterior wall penetrations.
- Clean or replace heating and cooling filters, clean dirty air returns and plenum.
- Test all smoke detectors to ensure that they are working.
- Have the chimney, fireplace or wood stove serviced and provide the buyer with a copy of the cleaning record.
- Replace any burned out light bulbs.
- Have clear access to attic, crawl space, heating system, garage and other areas that will need to be inspected.
- If the house is vacant, make sure all utilities are turned on. This includes water, electricity, furnace, A/C and the water heater because they will need to be inspected.
- Ensure ready access to all rooms and crawl spaces. Clear all furniture, boxes, clothes, toys and other personal items that may block access to the furnace, water heater and electrical panel.
Basement, Crawl Spaces and Attics
- Check to ensure that the crawl space is dry and install a proper vapor barrier if necessary.
- Remove paints, solvents, gas, wood and similar materials from crawl space, basement, attic and porch.
- Update attic ventilation if none is present.
- If windows are at or below grade, install window wells and covers.
Doors and Windows
- Ensure that all doors and windows are in proper operating condition, including repairing or replacing any cracked windowpanes.
Kitchen and Bathrooms
- Ensure that all plumbing fixtures such as the toilet, tub, shower, and sinks are in proper working condition. Fix any leaks and caulk around fixtures if necessary.
- Ensure GFCI receptacles are functional.
- Check bath vents to see if they are properly vented and in working condition.
- Clear out areas under sinks so they can be inspected.