Preparing your home for sale and inspection

Ready For Sale Guide by MK

If you are getting your home ready to sell your home, we have put together a guide to help you prepare.  The following are some helpful hints, suggestions and common items tagged by home inspectors.


General Appearance:

  • Make sure the home is clean and tidy for showings and the home inspection
  • Suggest having yard maintained for appearance.
  • Suggest kitchen area is clean and free from dishes lying around.
  • If any appliance is not functioning, please let your realtor know.
  • Make sure all light bulbs are working in the home.
  • Apply light switch and outlet covers if any are missing.
  • Repair any cracked windows.
  • Suggest having attic access free and clear for the home inspector.
  • NOTE: keep in mind during the home inspection, items are moved, tested, turned on/off. There may be some debris from attic access, water spray on floor from shower, etc., we try to keep it as we found it.  It is suggested to double check thermostat settings, door locks, and appliances to be sure something wasn’t left on by mistake.


Common items found by inspectors, some may be easy to take care of ahead of time:


  • As stated above, missing outlet covers and junction boxes. Install missing covers.  It’s cheap and easy.  Check in basement where there wires come together and are in a box, if you see exposed wires, apply a cover on the junction box.
  • GFCIs(the outlets with test buttons on them): Meeting today’s standards you need them in the garage, exterior outlets, 6’ from kitchen sink, bathrooms.  There are more instances but these locations are the most common.
  • Open breaker spaces in the electrical panel. Simply apply what is called a grommet available at the big box store, don’t even need to take the cover off (NOTE: write down the name of the panel you have,  eg: Square D, Cutlar Hammer, or Siemens, etc).
  • Try not to use extension cords.
  • Replace broken light fixtures.


Heating and Cooling:

  • Change your furnace filter.
  • If possible have heating system serviced, if it has not been done in the last 3 years.
  • Check outside next to your AC unit, you’ll see a black insulated pipe leading into your home, make sure the insulation is in good condition and it’s sealed around the pipes entering the home.
  • In general, sniff around the water heater and furnace area to smell for leaking gas.





  • Clear any clogs or clean out traps on slow draining sinks.
  • Make sure your garbage disposal is free and clear of debris.
  • Gently, secure loose toilets (if you notice a stain around the base of the toilet you may want to replace the wax ring).
  • Peak under your sinks and generally look for any leaks or corrosion on shut off valves.
  • Make sure bath fans are working. They should also be vented directly to the exterior.
  • Clean dryer vent piping. Make sure exterior vent cover is intact and clear.
  • Backflow protection (recommendations):
    • If you only have basement floor drains, then suggest installing a backflow preventer in the drain
    • If you have a bathroom installed in the basement then it is recommend to have a check valve sometimes called a Palmer valve installed on the main sewer line.



  • Visually check exteriors. Seal around any pipes, vents or any holes.  Patch cracks in brick exteriors.
  • Check windows, seal gaps, check for rot or poor weather-strip.
  • Make sure downspouts from the gutters are extended and connected properly
  • Suggest cleaning out window wells, usually suggest apply covers over them.
  • Decks: Make sure deck is structurally sound, deck boards are in good shape and most importantly, railings are secured and spacing is small enough so a child cannot squeeze through. (was 5”, now it cannot be over 4” of spacing)



  • IMPORTANT: Make sure you have at least one smoke and one CO detector on each level of your home.  Today’s standards also require a smoke alarm in each bedroom.
  • Apply hand rails at stairs.
  • Make sure fireplace is cleaned if wood burning. In working order if gas.
  • Painting and freshening up the walls can help, although not necessary.
  • Cleaning carpets and cleaning hard surfaces.
  • Seal or patch cracks drywall cracks if possible and touch up.
  • Try to fix minor holes in walls, sticky doors, loose laminate on counter tops, etc. The nicer you can make your home look, the more it shows you have cared for it.



  • Attic access ladders. Most don’t know, but they are not fire rated and actually not allowed in new home construction.  With that said, it is recommend to fire rate the bottom of the ladder (we have an example on how to fire rate it under our blog section on your website –Attic access should be of drywall, not wood.
  • Patch any holes in garage walls that share the house walls or attic
  • Make sure garage door operates correctly and safety reverse system in installed.






  • In general, look for cracks in foundation walls, most of the time they are not structural. If they are diagonal or opened more than a ¼” you may want a foundation specialist to look at them.
  • Seepage or leaks from cracks. If you basement smells damp or musty, seepage or leaks noted, it is suggested to contact a basement specialist to evaluate.
  • Cracks in the concrete floor are generally not a big deal.
  • Apply had rail on stairs. Suggest “filling” in any open sides of the stairs.
  • For structural issues, it is best to contact us to come check it out and give a recommendation.




Hopefully, this list can help with things that one may wish to take care of ahead of time to help reduce issues found after a home inspection.   If you have any questions or would like us to do a visual or pre-inspection please contact us.