5 Things The Seller Can Do To Prepare For A Home Inspection

Each week handymen across the country earn great money repairing homes under contract for sellers who listed their “not ready for prime time” home.

There are literally dozens of issues I find each week that, if repaired in time, could have saved the seller hard earned cash. Most repairs are simple and could have been made before lunch!

Image of the the book How House Works - by RSMeans is posted in the Real Estate Reality Blog - Gary Smith - Home Inspector
How Your House Works by RSMeans

Here are 5 of my most common finds, some of which need repairing or addressing whether you’re selling your home or not!

Dead Smoke Detectors – although surely a safety hazard for any family smoke alarms should be totally replaced every 10 years. That’s right – pulled down and install a new unit. Even if your alarm is not that old a dead battery could put the alarm on the inspector’s hit list. The cost of repair could be a package of batteries.

Stove/Range Anti-tip Device – Appliance manufacturers ship free standing stoves with a small bracket that fits underneath the unit. When installed correctly it helps prevent the stove from tipping forward. Anti-tip brackets are easy to install, they help keep your home safe and I always include the device on my kitchen checklist. The parts cost less than $20.

Garage Door Operation – I always include a thorough inspection of the heaviest operating device in your home, the garage door. First, make sure the reversing sensors are properly aligned. Next, with the door in the open position, pull the rope and engage the door’s manual operation. If your door begins to close on its own the spring, located at the top of the door – along the wall, should be adjusted. DO NOT attempt to adjust this component. Hire a professional. The adjustment could save you money in the long run because the weight of the door can prematurely tax the operation of the door opener. Call a repairman and expect to pay $50 to $150 for the service call. Money well spent. I Could Break Into That Garage

Weather Stripping – Trying to keep the cold air out this winter is important. The buyer will think so too. I inspect door and window weather strips for a secure tight fit. All the big box stores carry this easily installed component. Check your door for the correct type: Compression type is foam rubber covered with vinyl, Magnetic is commonly used on metal or aluminum doors and the most common weather stripping is open cell foam strips with an adhesive. Go ahead and make these repairs now and look to spend about $10 per roll.

Does It Squeak? – Have you ever tried to quietly tip-toe through a room when someone was sleeping? The smallest noise can alert or draw attention. Why draw attention to the moving parts of your home? I can almost assure you that the inspector will want to investigate. If it squeaks grab some WD40 and use it! Hit the hinges, the springs, the pulleys and the locks. Anything and everything that should be in smooth working order – have it ready to inspect. The cost could be little to nothing – a can or even just a drop of oil could eliminate an entire line on a thorough inspector’s finished report.

Now you’re ready for the inspection…almost!

  • make sure there’s nothing under the folding stairway – I need access to the attic.
  • when was the last time you checked the crawl space door – trim the shrubs and clear the path.
  • a missing light bulb could be confused for a broken fixture – inspectors won’t change your lamp.
  • what about that store room door you keep locked – we need the key unless you don’t want it inspected.
  • is Fido or Petals the cat safe for inspectors – most want pets caged or gone during the inspection.

Your wallet and your real estate professional will be glad you’re a prepared seller.

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3 thoughts on “5 Things The Seller Can Do To Prepare For A Home Inspection

  1. Thanks for pointing out that home inspectors will always include an inspection of your garage door since it is the heaviest operating device in your house. My husband and I are trying to get our home ready to sale and I wouldn’t have thought of the garage door. I think it would be smart to check things like that and other operating devices around our house that we might not have thought of to make sure that we can be as ready as possible for our home inspection.

  2. My favorite part about this article is that it was very thorough about how to prepare for a building inspection. I have a cousin that is preparing to sell his home and needs to get it evaluated. Until now, he had not looked into any tips about making his experience better, but I will make sure to tell him to hire someone that has professional experience.

  3. As a former Realtor I think this is really good information. So many times you show up at the inspection and access to important areas is blocked, like the electric panel!

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