The next step in the home selling adventure, after an accepted offer, is the home inspection. A house does not have to be in perfect condition, however it needs to be in safe conditions.
The list below may not be applicable to every house, however, these are some of the most common little flags that come up on an inspection report. While these items won't ensure that nothing shows up on the report, they go a long way to lessening the items that do.
Ensure access to crucial areas of your house are clear. Electrical box; furnace; hot water heater; air conditioning units; attic door; and any other possible locked spaces. Also give easy access to under sink plumbing work, as well as any areas blocked off by storage, etc. The more access the inspector has the fewer questions the buyers will have.
Go through your entire house to all the sink drains, one by one, and run the water. If you notice a slow drain, you can try using store-bought clog removers. If you have any very slow or even totally clogged drains, consider calling in a plumber.
3. Replace Bulbs
Examine your attached lighting fixtures. Ensure all light bulbs are working. Inspectors only get an overview and cannot determine if the bulb itself is out so they might tag an electrical issue.
Replace your furnace return air filters. Dirty air filters can throw up red flags for the inspector.
Test all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors prior to inspection day. Make sure all are functioning properly and have good expiration dates. You should have a smoke alarm on every level of your home — including the basement. As for carbon monoxide detectors, there should be at least one in your home, in the sleeping area.
Make sure the earth (flower beds, mulch, etc.) slopes away from your home instead of toward it. This helps avoid inspector flags of foundation water issues.
If your home has any cracked windows or broken screens, you may want to fix them before the inspector comes. Even if a crack isn't a big issue on some basement windows, it will still show up in your report.
Do you see a lot of carpenter bees hanging around? Or perhaps a steady line of ants near your home? Any sort of infestation — especially of wood destroying insects like termites — will show up on your inspection report. It's best to take care of it proactively.
9. Cap It
Any unused gas or electrical lines — even if shut off — should be capped. As well, any chimneys or flues should be capped to prevent debris, including leaves and animals, from clogging off critical vents. Any sort of caps needed in and around your home should be there.
Flush your toilets & run your faucets to ensure they are performing as they should. There should be no leaking or looseness. Sometimes a fix is as easy as adjusting the water level in your tank or tightening the toilet down. Other times, a clog or hard water (creating sediment) might be to blame.
Ensure all outlets in your home are working properly and have cover plates. It's also a good idea to note any unusual issues with your electrical system that you have observed and lived within your time at the home. Any flickering light fixtures or slow switches, etc., can be red flags to an inspector.
All the outlets in rooms with water plumbing such as kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms need to be ground-fault circuit interrupters or GFCI's.
Watch for cracks in your foundation or exterior.
13. Doors & Windows
Open and close all your windows and doors. Look for anything that's creaking, loose, or not functioning properly. Check hinge pins, doorknobs, and anything else that seems to have an issue. Any doors or windows that aren't closing properly could show up on your inspection report.
If you're in need of handyman services, we have a recommendation list below. We DO NOT get referrals or kickbacks for these recommendations. We have personally used their services and trust that they'll deliver happy results to you too!
Small Jobs, Etc.
Tooling Around, LLC
Design To Done, LLC
We also have more recommendations for specialized contractors like roofers, HVAC, electrical, etc. Just reach out to one of our real estate brokers for assistance!