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The Ultimate Home Seller's Checklist

The selling season is in full swing. Are you ready?

This is a home seller's ULTIMATE checklist for getting your home ready for sale and the home inspection. Be sure to prepare your home in the following ways:

Make Sure It’s Accessible

  • Make all exterior doors accessible.
  • Provide keys or unlock all out-buildings and sheds.
  • Remove window security screws, or provide keys for window security locks.
  • Make sure all interior areas are accessible. Don’t lock the dog in a spare room or otherwise reduce access to areas in the home.
  • Clear the way to the crawlspace access.
  • Make sure the A/C unit is uncovered and de-winterized.
  • Remove anything blocking access to the Electrical Panel.
  • Remove excess belongings from utility and storage rooms so there is access for inspection.
  • Make sure the attic is accessible and the stairs can be pulled down without endangering belongings or people below.
  • Remove excess personal belongings from closets.

Make Sure It’s On (As seasonally able)

  • Turn on sprinkler system.
  • Turn on A/C System.
  • Assure that all utilities are on (Electricity, Gas, Water, and all Pilot lights).

Make Sure It Works

  • Make sure all door locks are operable.
  • Assure that all doors and windows open and close properly, and with ease.
  • Be sure there is a minimum of one smoke detector per floor.
  • Make sure smoke detectors are working and have fresh batteries.
  • Make sure CO detectors are installed (and have fresh batteries if they are battery operated or have battery backup). It’s simply a good idea to have CO detectors, but in some states it is also required.
  • Make sure appliances are working: dishwasher, oven, microwave, and garbage disposal.
  • Replace any burned-out light bulbs and make sure all interior and exterior light fixtures work.

Make Necessary Repairs

  • Repair Leaks, drips, or water stains. If there is water anywhere where it shouldn't be, it's time to take care of it and repair the damage it left behind.
  • If you have any water penetration issues, in a basement for example, it's better to address it now, rather than later.
  • Replace all damaged window screens.
  • Make sure all light switches operate properly, eliminating any “mystery switches” that could present doubts about the quality of the electrical system.
  • Eliminate anything that wiggles, shakes or teeters. Repair handrails, tighten doorknobs, secure loose toilets,etc.

Complete A Few Chores

  • Remove debris from gutters/downspouts.
  • Trim shrubs away from the foundation and away from A/C Condenser Unit.
  • Remove wood, debris or stored items away from the foundation.
  • Clear debris from under the refrigerator.
  • Remove debris from shower drains.

Clear the clutter.

  • Clean and clear dryer vents.
  • Remove “creative wiring” such as extension cords in attic, interior and exterior spaces.
  • Replace/clean HVAC filter.
  • Consider having the A/C unit cleaned and serviced especially if it’s been a while.
  • Consider having gas fireplace serviced or wood-burning chimney cleaned.
  • Test the safety auto-reverse on your garage door and adjust the pressure if it does not auto reverse when encountering a 2” tall block at the garage floor.

Take Care Of Pets And Pet Damage

  • It’s best that pets are removed from the premises when possible. Also keep in mind that inspectors need access to the entire home, so the garage and the backyard are not a great idea.
  • Repair pet damage. Scratched or urine-soaked wood floor, wood trim, walls, or carpet should be repaired or replaced.

Extras for Homes With Children/Babies

  • Consider propping baby gates open so that walking through the home is easy.
  • Be sure to provide instructions or necessary devices for operating safety lock mechanisms on cabinets, doors, gates, etc.
  • Reduce toy clutter if possible.