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.