Home Inspections


For several years it’s been a common event in this area for a seller to initiate home inspections (pest inspections too) prior to listing their place on the market. The rationale for that is to avoid any surprises in an escrow, via a buyers home inspection, that could place a seller at a negotiating disadvantage. It’s was also a great way to minimize or even eliminate contingencies in hot markets where there were multiple offers. Having inspections done up front by the seller is still a good idea in my mind, not only for the reasons mentioned above, but for the simple fact that often inspections bring up areas that a seller can easily correct with minimal expense prior to marketing their home. I found a little check list from a home inspection company that I thought could be helpful if you’re contemplating preparing your home for sale sometime in the near future. It’s worth mentioning as well that buyers might also find this useful if they choose to have their own inspections done once in escrow.

  • Confirm water, electric and gas service are on, with gas lights burning
  • Ensure pets won’t hinder the inspection. Ideally, they should be removed from premises or secured outside.  (I was at a house once where the inspector discovered a nest of skunks as he crawled under the place…we all departed REAL fast!)
  • Replace burned out bulbs to avoid a “Light is inoperable” report that may suggest an electrical problem.
  • Test smoke and carbon Monoxide detectors, and replace dead batteries
  • Clean or replace dirty HVAC air filters.
  • Remove stored items, debris and wood from foundation. These may be cited as “conductive conditions” for termites and other critters.
  • Remove items blocking access to HVAC equipment, electric service panels, water heaters, attics and crawl spaces
  • Unlock areas the inspector must access – attic doors or hatches, electric service panels, closets, fence gates and crawl spaces
  • Trim tree limbs to 10′ from the roof and shrubs from the house to allow access
  • Attend to broken or missing items like doorknobs, locks and latches, windowpanes, screens and locks, gutters, downspouts and chimney caps.

These are incredibly useful tips…I can’t tell you how many times I’ve needed to return to a property with the inspector later because of an inability to complete an inspection as the result of one of these elements being overlooked. You’ll really save yourselves some time…and potential heartache if you do these things up front.


  1. Thanks Jim for the helpful reminder. They are so obvious, but not always easy to convey and convince sellers to perform.

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