Ready for sale

by CRE03 Oct 2018

A home inspection gives a potential buyer an unbiased evaluation of the home’s condition. As a seller, you can take some important steps to prepare the property for inspection and reduce the potential for some basic problems to affect a clean inspection report. Since a home in good condition can command a better price, you will benefit as the owner as well.

Even if the home has been well maintained overall, there are some common problems that should be addressed. Prior to the inspection, repair any damaged masonry on steps and walkways, and seal cracks in the driveway. Re-caulk around exterior doors and windows, check flashing, and replace any missing or damaged shingles.

Inside the home, relatively minor fixes can also improve home inspection results. Repair leaky faucets and fixtures, and repair grout around tubs and sinks. An electrician should inspect receptacles and switches and make any needed replacements or repairs. Replace any cracked or broken window glass and loosen any windows that are painted shut. If there is a fireplace, have it and the chimney cleaned and checked by a professional.

Arrange service appointments for the furnace and central air-conditioning so any issues can be addressed prior to inspection. If the home has battery-operated smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, put in fresh batteries and install additional units if any are missing. Hard-wired detectors should be tested as well. If your detectors are connected to your home security system, leave a note for the inspector so that they don’t test the units and send a fire truck rushing to your home.

On the day of the home inspection, a few easy steps will facilitate the process. Allow sufficient time for the inspection, which will take two to three hours on average (longer for larger homes). Most sellers choose not to be present for the inspection, though the potential buyer will usually want to be there if they requested it. The owner will need to provide keys to any locked areas and allow access to the attic, crawlspace, garage and yard. Be sure the home inspector also has access to components such as electrical panels, the main water shutoff and gas meter. Move objects from around the water heater, furnace and central air-conditioning unit so the inspector can reach them unimpeded. During winter, clear walkways of snow and ice for safe access.

Any pets should be taken out of the home or contained in a crate for their own safety and that of the home inspector. Dogs in particular can be disruptive, and some may become distressed by having an unfamiliar person in their territory.

It’s also a good idea to store valuables and medications out of sight in a secure location. One option is to simply take these items along when you leave during the inspection.

These steps can go a long way in preventing or addressing problems that could negatively affect the inspection. They will ensure your home is best presented for evaluation and help the entire process go more smoothly.

For more information, please visit the nationwide home inspection experts at


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