Preparing your home or listing for inspection will not only present the property in its best condition, but will also help to prevent closing delays due to incomplete or repeated inspections. On inspection day, the home should be clean, pets should be removed or crated and the seller should find something to do away from the house for 2-3 hours. The National Association of Home Inspectors provides the following list of low cost items to get the house primed for inspection:


  1. Remove grade or mulch from contact with siding. Six (6) or more inches of clearance is preferred.
  2. Clean out dirty gutters or debris from the roof.
  3. Divert all water away from the house; i.e. downspouts, sump pump, condensation drains, etc. Grade should slope away from the structure. Clean out basement entry drains.
  4. Trim trees, roots and bushes back from the foundation, roof, siding and chimney.
  5. Paint all weathered exterior wood and caulk around the trim, chimney, windows and doors.
  6. Seal or point up masonry chimney caps. Install metal chimney cover.
  7. Clean or replace HVAC filter. Clean dirty air returns and plenum.
  8. Point up any failing mortar joints in brick or block.
  9. Test all smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure they are in safe working condition.
  10. Update attic ventilation and insulation if none is present.
  11. Have the chimney cleaned and provide the buyer with a copy of the cleaning record.
  12. Don’t do quick cheap repairs. You may raise questions that will unfairly cause great concern to buyers and inspectors.
  13. Ensure that all doors and windows are in proper operating condition, including repairing or replacing any cracked window panes.
  14. Ensure that all plumbing fixtures (toilet, tub, shower, and sinks) are in proper working conditions. Check for and fix any leaks. Caulk around fixtures if necessary.
  15. Install GFCI receptacles near all water sources. Test all present GFCI receptacles for proper operation.
  16. Replace any burned out light bulbs.
  17. Remove rotting wood and/or firewood from contact with the house.
  18. Ensure that proper grading is followed under a deck.
  19. Caulk all exterior wall penetrations.
  20. Check to ensure that the crawlspace is dry and install a proper vapor barrier if necessary. Remove any visible moisture from a crawlspace. Moisture levels in wood should be below 18% to deter rot and mildew.
  21. Check that bath vents are properly vented and in working condition.
  22. Have clear access to attic, crawlspace, heating system, garage and other areas that will need to be inspected.
  23. If the house is vacant, make sure that all utilities are turned on, including water, electric, water heater, furnace, air conditioner and breakers in the electrical panel.