You’ve found a buyer and landed a satisfying offer. There’s just one more hurdle you’ve got to jump when it comes to selling your house: the home inspection. You might feel like you’re back in school being graded on a tough test but, if you do your homework you’ve got nothing to fear. Assuming your home isn’t a money pit in need of major repairs, you’ll succeed with these home inspection tips:
As you prepare for a home inspection, start outside. Trim tree branches overhanging your roof or getting too close to the house. You may need to call an arborist or pro trimmer. Walk the perimeter of your home and make sure all dirt and mulch are at least 6 inches away from siding. Cut shrubbery or decorative landscaping back so it’s about a foot from any structure. (Check to see if your landscaping is a plus or minus for your home.) Mow the lawn, rake fallen leaves and remove any debris. Pull firewood and anything else stored against the house away from it.
Exterior and Interior
Inspect your siding for any issues like peeling paint, warped boards, gaps, etc. Pay close attention to caulking and weather stripping around windows and doors and look for any exposed nails. Also search for cracks in the foundation. In addition to checking roofing for damage, clean gutters and make sure they are in good working order. Make repairs as necessary or hire a pro. Inside, make sure all doors and windows function properly and don’t stick or creak. Test smoke alarms.
Test all your sink, shower and tub drains for clogs and the faucets for drips. Look under sinks for any leaks as well. Flush toilets and make sure none of them run. Look in your crawl space for dripping, and check around the house for water damage and old leaks that need repairing. Leave the pilot light on for your water heater.
Electrical and Heating/Cooling
Check that all light fixtures have working bulbs. Test all the outlets, too. Replace your furnace filters with clean ones if you haven’t already. Make sure heating and cooling units are clean and accessible.
Crawl Space and Attic
Remove any stored items and debris. Make sure the entrances to these areas are fully accessible and clean. Check for proper ventilation and that those vents are clear.
Be sure to clean your home as thoroughly as possible. Likely you’ve been keeping it spotless for home viewings during the selling process, but keep in mind your inspector will be getting into all the nooks and crannies. That being said, clear any remaining clutter. Your inspector will need easy access to appliances, attic and crawl spaces, toilets, faucets, fixtures and heating and cooling intakes. Clean your oven, empty the dishwasher and don’t leave laundry in the washer or dryer. When it comes time for the inspection, make sure you’ve unlocked yard gates, crawl spaces and attics. Leave the house about 30 minutes beforehand and either take pets with you or make sure they are safely in their kennels.
We hope you nail your inspection and have a terrific move! Our moving checklist will help you stay organized.