Home Inspection Tips For Preparing Your Home For Sale

Home Inspection Tips For Preparing Your Home For Sale

A Home Inspector Gives Tips For Selling Your Home Quickly

home inspection tips

As I mentioned in my article on Prelisting Home Inspections, if you want to sell your house quickly you need to get a prelisting inspection to find out what might be wrong with it and get those items fixed before you list the home. This article, addresses home inspection tips that tell you how to prepare your home for a sale, as well as more questions we get about how to prepare homes for sale so you can sell your home without delays.

To sell your home quickly, you must try to do everything you can to get the house in excellent condition before you attempt to sell it. Note that it is not uncommon for an inspection report to contain a number of items that need attention. This is because home inspectors are trained to make note of everything they observe, and many use a checklist of items they routinely inspect. Oftentimes they make detailed notes to help all the parties involved make key decisions on the purchase and sale of the home.

The purpose of the home inspection is to accurately depict the condition of the systems in the home. The home inspector gives their best estimate on the condition of these systems at time of inspection.  In order to inspect the property, they use industry standards provided to them by their professional societies.


Home Inspection Industry Standards

The home inspection Industry standards describe specific areas in which the Home Inspector must identify various deficiencies and defects, as well as identify the specific systems, components and items that are being inspected. However, there are many excluded areas noted in these standards for which the inspector does not have to report.  For example, private water and sewer systems, solar systems, security systems, are just some of the systems that are optional. However, many home inspectors exceed those standards and provide the extra inspections. James Robinson Home Inspections has a sample inspection report which shows you the detail that we provide our customers. We can provide as many specific inspection procedures as the client needs.

We recommend you work with a good realtor and real estate lawyer to help you negotiate an agreement that takes into account the inspection process. For example, if you do not want to make any repairs to the home, you can set up your contract to state that you are under no obligation to make any repairs at all. However, note that taking this approach may result in the buyers withdrawing from the contract.

Here are some recommended items to take care of before your sell your home.

Basement and Crawlspace Odor

A basement that is too moist will give off a mildew smell that can be a red flag for buyers. Home inspectors will inspect the walls and floors for signs of water, mold and mildew. If it is present, have it removed and retested by a professional as black mold can be a deal breaker for any home sale

We recommend that you check your gutters to make sure they are clear so rainwater can flow down them and away from the foundation.  Make sure downspouts flow away from the house and any drainage lines are clear.

Check the foundation to make sure there are no cracks or places where water can get in.


Chimneys and Roofs

Make sure your roof is in good condition. Replace any deteriorated shingles as these can also be a deal breaker as replacing a roof is very expensive. If the surfaces below the shingles are rotted or wet the buyer will typically request replacement as loan funding may be contingent on adequate roof condition.

Check chimney condition as well as the flashing around the base of the chimney. Make sure no water is getting in and that the bricks and any mortar is in good condition.

If there is a fireplace, make sure it is working and venting properly.


Electrical Systems

Check the electrical panel and circuit breaker configuration to make sure that it is adequate for the needs of the occupants of the home

Make sure the outlets have ground fault circuit interrupters (GFI) in the kitchen and bathrooms. These receptacles contain mini circuit breakers that click off during a short circuit or overload.



Check your foundation-adjacent components, such as structural supports and floor joists that are made of wood. Also, pests can be found on places like porches and basement window frames. To find them, shine a flashlight on the areas and look for holes or mud tubes. Probe with a screwdriver for soft spots and tap the are with the butt of the screwdriver and listen for hollow sounds. If a hollow spot is found -you can try to open the wood with your screwdriver. You may find active termites that you’ll need to exterminate.


Plumbing Issues

Inspect and fix any leaks that exist before any inspection.


To set up an appointment for your prelisting or post listing home inspection- contact Massachusetts licensed inspector James Robinson at 339-204-3074.