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Seller's Preparing For a Home Inspection

Seller's Preparing For a Home Inspection, inspected by Showalter Property Consultants in MarylandPreparing for a Home Inspection to Your Home Check List

When preparing for a Home Inspection you want the house to show a good history of maintenance. Have any and all documentation available to provide to the inspector and potential buyer's and their real estate agent.


  • Remove grade or mulch from contact with siding.
  • Preferably 6 or more inches of clearance.
  • Clean out dirty gutters or debris from the roof.
  • Divert all water away from the house, i.e., downspouts, sump pump, condensation drain, etc.
  • The grade should slope away from the structure. Clean out basement entry drains.
  • Trim trees, roots, and bushes back from the foundation, roof, siding, and chimney.
  • Paint all weathered exterior wood, and caulk around trim, chimneys, windows, and doors.
  • Seal asphalt driveways if cracking.
  • Seal or point up masonry chimney caps. Install metal flue cap.
  • Point up any failing mortar joints in brick or block.
  • Install GFCI receptacles; test all present GFCI receptacles for proper operation.
  • Remove rotting wood and firewood from contact with the house.
  • Proper grading and ground cover are recommended under the deck.
  • Check that crawlspace is dry and install a proper vapor barrier.
  • Caulk all exterior wall penetrations.
  • Where windows are at or below grade install window wells and covers.
  • Remove grade from contact with foundation vents.


  • Clean or replace the HVAC filter. Clean dirty air returns and plenum.
  • Test all the smoke detectors and replace if over 10 years old with like-kind or better.
  • Update attic ventilation if none is present.
  • Clean the chimney, fireplace, or woodstove (provide a copy for the buyer).
  • Seal masonry walls in the basement.
  • Don’t do quick cheap repairs, i.e. (giant caulk repairs) this will clue in an Inspector that amateur work has been done and will tend to make him/her look closer at the house.
  • Have all windows and doors in proper operating condition, including any replacing any cracked windows.
  • Put all plumbing fixtures, toilet, tub, shower, and sinks, in proper working condition. Look for any leaks.
  • Install GFCI receptacles near all water sources; test all present GFCI receptacles for proper operation.
  • Check the sump pump for proper operation.
  • Replace any burned-out light bulbs.
  • Caulk all tub/shower fixtures.
  • Caulk along tub/floor, tub/walls, and tub/shower/glass doors.
  • Remove any visible moisture from the crawlspace. Moisture levels in wood should be below 18%, to deter rot and mildew.
  • Check that bath vents are properly vented to the exterior.
  • Remove paints, solvents, gas, etc. from the crawlspace, basement, attic, porch, etc
  • Check that toilets are secured to the floor.
  • Remove any signs of suspected mold or mildew.
  • If there is Polyethylene talk to your Realtor about options.
  • If there is solid strand aluminum wiring present consider having it corrected to meet the CPSC recommendations

Access and Information:

  • Verify any building permits are closed.
  • Talk to your Realtor about options if there are permitted improvements such as additions and finished basement.
  • Provide any documentation such as recent major updates or purchases and repairs for a potential buyer.
  • Have all window treatments (such as the blinds) opened for the inspector.
  • Have clear access to all attics, crawlspace, heat systems, garage and other areas that will need to be inspected.
  • If the crawlspace has an access panel that requires removal by screws or other fasteners, we recommend having this open for the inspector.
  • If the electric panel cover is painted shut have cleaned and ready for removal.

If house is vacant be sure all utilities are turned on:

  • Water
  • Electric
  • Water Heater
  • Furnace/Air Conditioning

When a Radon Test is being performed:

  • Be sure all windows and doors are closed 12 Hours prior to the inspection!
  • Or the Radon Test will have to remain for 12 additional hours.
  • Opening windows can actually make the radon level higher by depressurizing the house.

Have your home inspected by Showalter Property Consultants prior to listing. Schedule an inspection