How to Prepare for a Successful Home Inspection

Many sellers ask, what's the best way to prepare my home for a buyer's home inspection? The first thing to understand is that when pre-owned homes come onto the secondary market, they're rarely in perfect shape and most buyers know that. They know their new home is likely to have a “lived-in” look. But it's not cosmetic defects that most buyers are worried about and that not why most buyers are advised by their Realtor to have a professional home inspection. For most buyers, the value of a home inspection is to confirm the proper working condition of major systems in the home: electrical, mechanical, plumbing and the integrity of its structural components. When a home inspection is carried out by a buyer's inspector, these systems are expected to be in working condition. In addition, some minor items are also frequently identified during the inspection process.

Individually, these more minor items are generally not a big deal, however the cumulative effect of many small items can be discouraging for some prospective buyers. But if you know what to look for, many of these minor items can be identified and addressed prior to a buyer's home inspection.

The following is a checklist of minor items often found in need of repair during a whole house inspection. If repairs are needed, try to do them before the professional inspection is performed. It will ensure a smoother sale and contribute to a positive home inspection experience.

Interior Checklist

  1. Do wall and ceiling surfaces have holes or cracks that need patching?
  2. Do all the windows have operable latches?
  3. Can all the windows be opened and closed properly?
  4. Do any of the windows have cracked panes or broken seals?
  5. Do windows need caulking?
  6. Are any of the windows painted shut?
  7. Are stair railings loose?
  8. Are moldings loose, broken or missing?
  9. Do interior doors stick, or open and close smoothly?
  10. Are kitchen or bathroom tiles cracked?
  11. Can you explain the existence or repair of old water penetration stains on walls and ceilings?
  12. Does the chimney damper open and close properly?
  13. Does the chimney need cleaning?
  14. Does the chimney mortar need pointing?
  15. Is there insulation present in the attic?
  16. Is the insulation in the attic blocking attic vents?
  17. Is there a distracting amount of clutter in any of the rooms that would prevent a thorough inspection?
  18. Are there any signs of insect infestation?

Exterior Checklist

  1. Are there horizontal or vertical cracks in the foundation walls?
  2. Does the grading around the house direct rainwater away from the foundation?
  3. Are any roof shingles missing?
  4. Are the gutters and down spouts connected and secured to the house?
  5. Are the gutters and down spouts clean and free from debris and weeds?
  6. Is the exterior wood trim in good condition?
  7. Is the wood trim around the door in good condition?
  8. Are there any wood surfaces in direct contact with soil?
  9. Are stair or porch railings loose?
  10. Are the wood or concrete steps in good condition?
  11. Does any of the siding need repair or replacement?
  12. Are any of the landscape timbers rotted?
  13. Do the retaining walls or fences need repair?
  14. Are the sidewalks and driveway in good condition?

Plumbing Checklist

  1. Do the bases of the faucets leak?
  2. Do the faucets shut off completely, preventing water from dripping?
  3. Are the faucet and showerhead screens clear, allowing full water flow?
  4. Are any drains clogged?
  5. Do the stopper mechanisms of sinks and bathtubs open and close properly?
  6. Is there insulation on the water pipes in unheated areas of the home?
  7. Is there access to the main water shut off valve?
  8. Is there access to the main gas shut off valve?
  9. Are the bathtub and shower enclosures properly caulked?
  10. Are the toilets loose at the floor or at the tank?

Electrical Checklist

  1. Are any receptacles, switches or their covers broken or loose?
  2. Are all receptacles “hot” and switches operable?
  3. Do any light bulbs, fluorescence or cosmetic lights need replacing?
  4. Do the ceiling fans work properly?
  5. Do the reset buttons of GFCI receptacles pop out when the test button is pressed?
  6. Do the front and back door bells work?
  7. Is the main electrical service wire entering the home secured to the exterior of the house?
  8. Do the electrical junction boxes have covers?
  9. Do smoke alarms function when the test button is pressed?
  10. Does the built-in microwave work?
  11. Do all of the electrical range-top burners and ovens work?
  12. Does the kitchen exhaust fan work?

Questions or concerns? Wondering whether you could benefit from having your home pre-inspected before you list it with Lake & City Homes? Get in touch with us today for a free onsite evaluation.

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