Home Inspection Seller Checklist: What to Expect and How to Prepare

by | Jun 4, 2022 | Selling Advice

A home inspection is a critical part of the home selling process.

By preparing for the home inspection and knowing what to expect, you can ensure that the process goes as smoothly as possible. In this post, we will provide a home inspection seller checklist of what to expect and how to prepare.

Knowing what to do before, during, and after the home inspection will help you feel confident and in control!

What is a home inspection and why are they needed?

A home inspection is an examination of the condition of a house, usually performed by a professional home inspector. Home inspections are typically done when buying or selling a house, and they can help to identify potential problems that may need to be addressed.

Home inspections can cover a wide range of topics, from the condition of the foundation to the condition of the roof. In some cases, home inspectors will also test for things like radon or mold.

While home inspections are not required by law, they can be a valuable tool for buyers and sellers alike. By having a professional inspect the property before making a purchase, buyers can be aware of any potential issues that may need to be addressed.

Similarly, sellers can use a home inspection to help them identify any areas that may need to be fixed before listing the property as well as ensuring that the property is in good condition.

home owner using a checklist to inspect his home before selling

Why you should do a pre-inspection before selling your home?

Before you put your house on the market, it’s important to do a pre-inspection. This will help you understand what potential buyers will be looking for and identify any necessary repairs.

It’s also a good way to get an idea of your home’s value. A pre-inspection will typically cost between $200 and $500, but it can save you thousands in the long run.

By doing a pre-inspection, you can avoid last-minute repairs that will eat into your profits. You can also use the inspection report to negotiate a higher price with buyers. In the end, a pre-inspection is a small investment that can have a big payoff.

What are the things home inspectors check for?

Inspectors look for a variety of things when they visit a home. They will check the condition of the following:

  • Structure
  • Foundation
  • Floors
  • Walls
  • Ceilings
  • Roof
  • Electrical System
  • Heating and Cooling System
  • Plumbing
  • Appliances
  • Pests
  • Mold
  • Safety Hazards, such as trip hazards or slippery surfaces.

They will provide a list of Maintenance Recommendations, such as changing the furnace filter or cleaning the gutters.

A DIY home inspection checklist for sellers

As a home seller, you want to make sure that your house is in the best possible condition before putting it on the market. After all, first impressions count, and you don’t want potential buyers to be turned off by any structural or cosmetic issues.

That’s why it’s a good idea to conduct your own DIY home inspection before listing your property. By doing so, you can identify any problem areas and take steps to address them.

Exterior

Foundation

Inspect your foundation for cracks or other damage. Foundation problems are one of the most common issues that home buyers encounter, and they can be costly to repair. So take some time to walk around your property and inspect your foundation for any signs of trouble. 

Doors and windows

Make sure your exterior doors and windows are in good condition before putting your house on the market. Cracked or peeling paint, broken windowpanes, and loose door handles can all give buyers the impression that your home is in disrepair.

This can make it hard to sell your house, even if the interior is in perfect condition.

Siding/Stucco

Your siding or stucco is the most visible feature of your home, and any damage will be immediately apparent to potential buyers. Cracks, holes, or loose panels can all give the impression that your home is not well maintained, which will likely deter buyers from making an offer.

In addition, damaged siding or stucco can also lead to water damage, mold growth, or other problems.

Roof

A damaged or leaky roof can be a major turn-off for potential buyers, and it can also lead to a lower sales price. Even if your roof is in good condition, an inspection can still be beneficial.

A professional roofer will be able to identify any potential problem areas and make recommendations for repairs or replacement. An inspection can also give you peace of mind knowing that your roof is in good condition before putting your house on the market.

Gutters

Do a thorough inspection of the gutters. This is because potential buyers will almost certainly check the condition of the gutters as part of their due diligence. If they find that the gutters are in poor condition, it could dissuade them from making an offer on your home. 

Interior

Basement and/or attics

Inspect your basement and attics before selling your house. Check for cracks in the foundation and repair them. Check the insulation in the attic and add more if necessary.

Check for leaks in the basement and repair them. These are all things that potential buyers will look for when they are considering buying your house.

Walls and ceilings

Check your walls and ceilings for any cracks or damage. This will help you determine whether or not you need to make repairs before listing your home. Cracks in the walls can be caused by a number of things, including settling of the house, water damage, or even insects.

If you find any cracks, it’s important to repair them before putting your home on the market.

Lights

This may seem like a small detail, but potential buyers will often base their decision on whether or not they feel the house is well-lit.

Taking the time to ensure that all of your light fixtures are in good working order will give buyers the impression that you take pride in your home and are serious about selling it. A well-lit home will help create a more inviting atmosphere during showings.

Leaky pipes in bathroom and kitchen

Leaky pipes can not only be a turn-off for potential buyers, but they can also cause extensive damage to the property. Water damage is one of the most expensive repairs that a homeowner can face, so it’s important to nip any leaks in the bud before putting your house on the market.

Fortunately, checking for leaky pipes is relatively easy – just take a look under your bathroom and kitchen sinks and inspect the pipe connections for any signs of leaks. If you see any dripping or pooled water, that’s an indication that you have a leak.

Once you’ve identified the problem, you can either repair it yourself or hire a professional plumber to do the job. 

Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors

One of the most important items on your checklist should be your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. These devices are essential for keeping your family safe from fires and gas leaks, so it’s important to make sure that they’re in good working condition before you hand over the keys to your home.

Inspecting your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors is a relatively simple task. Just check the batteries to make sure they’re fresh, and test the detectors by pressing the test button. 

Cabinets and drawers

Take a close look at the condition of the wood. Are there any cracks or chips? Is the finish in good condition? If not, you may want to consider refinishing or replacing the cabinets.

Also, check the hardware to make sure that all of the handles and knobs are tight and secure. If they’re not, they may need to be replaced.

Mechanical

Hot water heater

One of the most important things to do before putting your house on the market is to inspect your hot water heater. A damaged or malfunctioning hot water heater can be a serious liability, and it’s important to make sure that everything is in good working order before potential buyers come to take a look around.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when inspecting your hot water heater:

  • Check the age of the unit. If it’s more than 10 years old, it may be time for an upgrade.
  • Check for leaks. Even a small leak can cause big problems down the road.
  • Check the temperature settings. Make sure the heater is set to a safe temperature that won’t scald someone who comes into contact with it.

By taking the time to inspect your hot water heater before putting your house on the market, you can rest assured that you’re not leaving any potential problems for the new owners to deal with.

Furnace

A furnace that isn’t working properly can be a big turn-off for potential buyers, and it could even lead to a lower sale price. Here are a few things to look for when you’re inspecting your furnace:

  • Check the air filter and replace it if necessary.
  • Inspect the blower belt and tighten it if it’s loose.
  • Make sure all of the burners are clean and free of debris.
  • Test the furnace to make sure it’s heating properly.

Taking the time to inspect your furnace before putting your house on the market will help you avoid any potential setbacks down the road.

AC unit

Potential buyers will certainly want to see that the AC is in good condition, so it’s important to do a thorough inspection before putting your house on the market. This is easy to do with a few simple steps.

First, check the AC unit itself for any signs of damage or wear and tear. Next, take a look at the ductwork to make sure that there are no blockages or leaks. Finally, have a professional come out and inspect the unit to ensure that it is in good working order.

Electrical Panel

First, check the main circuit breaker to make sure it is in the correct position. Then, look for any signs of rust or corrosion on the panel itself. Next, check all of the wirings to make sure it is secure and free of fraying or damage. Finally, test all of the outlets to make sure they are working properly.

Final Thoughts

By taking the time to inspect your home before putting it on the market, you can avoid any potential problems down the road. By following this home inspection seller checklist, you can be sure that you’re leaving your home in good condition for the new owners.

Learn more about selling your house with our other resources:

  1. We buy houses fast in any condition
  2. How Do Home Sellers Choose Buyers: The Ultimate Guide
  3. Can You Sell a House with Foundation Problems? Your Biggest Questions Answered

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