Home inspections can be a home seller’s worst nightmare. If too many issues arise, the inspection can be the breaking point of a potential sale. It is likely a buyer will pay for a professional to inspect a home they are seriously considering to purchase, so it is best to expect this and plan for it.

Areas that will receive attention from an inspector include the home’s exterior, roof, gutters, garage, utilities, flooring, windows, doors, plumbing, water heater, furnace, light fixtures, and even more. The likelihood of selling or buying a perfect home is slim to none, but there are precautionary steps that can be taken to conduct your own personal home inspection before the professionals arrive.

home inspection

Some things to keep in mind: inspectors will typically arrive at the home early, so be prepared the day before inspection; is not uncommon for buyers to want to accompany the inspector throughout the home; and it is often advised the seller is out of the house during the inspection so buyers feel more comfortable inquiring about the home.

To begin, clean in and around the house. It favors the buyer if the home looks well looked after. Make sure that all pathways, inside and outside, are clear so the inspector has access to all areas of the exterior and interior of the home. This includes moving items such as fire wood and overgrown and dead vegetation away from siding. Remember, the more you do ahead of time, the more time you’ll save when it comes to selling your home. You may even save money too!

Home Inspection Checklist:


  • Trim tree branches that hang over a deck or the roof.
  • Re-caulk around windows and doors if needed.
  • Make sure exterior doors and all windows open and close properly.
  • Make sure the garage door opens and closes as it should.
  • Check that the garage door opener has batteries and is functioning correctly.
  • Repair damaged roofing.
  • Clean gutters.
  • Repair damaged cutters.


  • Clear any items so there is access to the basement, attic, and any crawl spaces.
  • Check the basement for water damage.
  • Clean all spider webs and other insect debris.
  • Look for rodent droppings anywhere in the home.
  • Ensure smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are up to standard.
  • Repair broken screens.
  • Check for pests.
  • Hire a structural engineer to assess any cracks in the walls or foundation.
  • Make sure doors open and close properly.
  • Replace light bulbs and make sure all light fixtures are working.

Plumbing and Utilities

  • Leave utilities connected, even if home is vacant so inspectors can check the stove, dishwasher, air conditioning, etc.
  • Keep the area around the furnace and water heaters clear for inspection.
  • Unclog any clogged drains.
  • Replace air filters.
  • Ensure toilets flush properly
  • Check for any leaks beneath sinks.
  • Check for water damage around the toilets, showers, and bath tubs.
  • Make sure every outlet in the home works properly and make not of the outlets that do not.
  • Check the water heater functions as it should, and the pilot light is on.
  • Make sure washer, dryer, and dishwasher are empty.