Over 99% of the time, a buyer will require a thorough home inspection. Some sellers like to get their home ready for an inspection prior to listing the home. Others wait until the inspection is scheduled. Either way, the following checklist can be used as a guide.
- Lower any high plant beds or grading around the house to assure that the siding is not in contact with soil.
- Paint all weather wood on the exterior. (Replace any rotted wood first)
- Clean out gutters and area drains. Also remove any debris from the roof.
- Make sure that all water is diverted away from the foundation with gutter downspouts and assure that a slope is present to prevent water from standing at the foundation.
- Trim back limbs that are close to the roof or siding.
- Secure any loose siding and fill cracks in the mortar joints in any brickwork.
- Seal any and all water penetration leaks in the structure.
- Have the fireplace cleaned and checked for problems like leaking mortar caps, dampers that do not function, or the lack of a spark arrester and rain cap.
- Caulk around windows, doors, and chimneys.
- Replace any broken or cracked window panes.
- Make sure that all windows and doors function properly.
- Assure that all light fixtures have functioning bulbs.
- Test all ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) devices at the test button. (GFCI is a device that protects against electric shocks). Replace any that fail to trip and reset properly.
- Test the function of all light switches and electrical outlets. Make any needed repairs.
- Make sure all smoke detectors are functional.
- Repair any leaking plumbing fixtures at sinks, lavatories, toilets, tubs, showers, and outdoor spigots.
- Check for and repair any visible plumbing drain leaks in basements, crawl spaces, and attic areas. Also, check under sinks, lavatories, tubs, and showers, and repair any leaks detected.
- Assume the proper function of all drain stoppers.
- Make any needed grout or caulk repairs on the tile work around tubs and shower enclosures.
- Assure that toilets are secured at the floor and that the seal and lid assemblies are tight.
- Operate all built-in appliances such as stoves, ovens, microwaves, garbage disposals, dishwashers, etc. All should be functional. Replace any missing or worn knobs and buttons.
- Make sure all exhaust fans vent to outside air and not into basements, attic spaces, or crawlways.
- Replace filters in the HVAC (heating and air) systems, and have equipment cleaned and serviced.
All of the above items can be checked prior to listing your home but should definitely be checked prior to a home inspection.
When the Home Inspection is Scheduled
When The Home Is Vacant, The Seller Should:
- Have all utilities turned on for the inspection (water, gas, electricity)
- Have keys available for all locked areas and provide remote controls for any automatic garage doors. (All keyed interior and exterior doors, gates, electrical panel boxes that are locked)
- Assure that any alarm system is or can be turned off.
- Make the inspector aware of any known safety hazards that might exist in and around the property.
When The Home Is Occupied, In Addition To The Above Items, The Seller Should:
- Assure that no areas of the property are blocked or made inaccessible by stored items (e.g. garage, attic)
- Make sure that pets are secured and will not be let loose and/or will do no harm.
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