15 Tips to Prepare your House for a Home Inspection

philadelphia home inspection tips to prepare home for an inspectionHome sellers spend a lot of time and money preparing their home for potential buyers…making home improvements like granite counter tops, new carpeting on the stairs and fresh paint on the walls.These efforts help to make your home stand out from the others in the neighborhood, but an important and often overlooked step in the selling process is preparing your home for a Philadelphia home inspection.

ValueGuard home inspectors report many of the same safety, repair and recommended improvement items in their home inspection reports…items which, for lack of a better word, clutter the home inspection report and detract from the many positive aspects of the home. Many of these problems could have been addressed in advance by the home seller with little effort and minimal cost. So here is ValueGuard’s list of 15 Simple Things the home seller can do to prepare their home for a home inspection:

  1. Gutters which are full of leaves and debris are unable to perform their intended function of channeling water away from the house. Clean out the gutters and ensure that both the gutters and downspouts are secured and that they extend at least 5 feet from the house.
  2. Trim back tree branches and shrubs to ensure that they are not in contact with the house or roof.
  3. Check to see if there are a minimum number of smoke detectors on each floor, including one in each bedroom. Test them to see if they work. Replace the battery.
  4. Check to make sure that light switch or outlet covers are not missing or damaged. Replacing missing or damaged covers is an inexpensive repair.
  5. Test all interior and exterior light fixtures. If they are not, often if is as simple as changing a light bulb.
  6. Does the doorbell work?
  7. Check under the sinks–are the traps or faucets leaking? The home inspector will test faucets and report concerns. Repairs by a plumber are often relatively inexpensive.
  8. Check to make sure that the toilets do not continue to run after the flush. Often simple adjustments are needed to correct this.
  9. Is the fuse box properly labeled?
  10. Clean the dryer vent and make sure the vent is metal rather than plastic. Dirty dryer vents and those that are metal are a safety concern. On the day of the inspection, make sure the washer and dryer are empty so their operation can be tested.
  11. Install a new filter to the furnace.
  12. Make sure windows operate smoothly (not stuck or painted shut).
  13. Check that all interior doors latch to the strike plate.
  14. Make sure handrails are securely fastened.
  15. Schedule a seller home inspection.

The last recommendation may be the best advice of all. Scheduling a seller home inspection will allow you to identify and fix items before they interfere with your buyers offer. This also allows you to negotiate from a position of strength and demonstrates that you are a committed and honest seller.

Good luck with the selling of your home, and remember that your efforts to prepare your home for an eventual home buyer home inspection will be greatly rewarded.

Chase Millard
Vice President, ValueGuard Home Inspections