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Before Inspection

All buyers will conduct a home inspection of the property as a contingency of the sale. The following is a list of items all sellers should inspect prior to listing.

  • Remove soil or mulch from contact with siding. Six (6) or more inches of clearance is preferred.
  • Clean out dirty gutters and debris from roof.
  • Divert all water away from the house; i.e. downspouts, sump pump, condensation drains and the like. 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 the trim, chimney, windows and doors.
  • Seal asphalt driveways, if cracking.
  • Seal or point masonry chimney caps. Install metal flue cap.
  • Clean or replace HVAC filter. Clean dirty air returns and plenum.
  • Point up any failing mortar joints in brick or block.
  • Test all smoke detectors to ensure they are in safe working condition.
  • Update attic ventilation if none is present.
  • Have the chimney, fireplace or wood stove cleaned and provide the buyer with a copy of the cleaning record.
  • Seal masonry walls in the basement.
  • Don’t do quick, cheap repairs. You may raise questions that will unnecessarily cause concern to buyers and inspectors.
  • Ensure that all doors and windows are in proper operating condition, including repairing or replacing any cracked windowpanes.
  • Ensure that all plumbing fixtures (toilet, tub, shower, and sinks) are in proper working conditions. Check for and fix any leaks. Caulk around fixtures if necessary.
  • Install GFCI receptacles near all water sources. Test all present GFCI receptacles for proper operation.
  • Check sump pump for proper operation.
  • Replace any burned out light bulbs.
  • Remove rotting wood and/or firewood from contact with the house.
  • Ensure that proper grading is followed under a deck.
  • Caulk all exterior wall penetrations.
  • Check to ensure that the crawl space is dry and install a proper vapor barrier if necessary. Remove any visible moisture from a crawl space. Moisture levels in wood should be below 18% to deter rot and mildew.
  • Check that bath vents are properly vented and in working condition.
  • Remove paints, solvents, gas, and similar materials from crawl space, basement, attic, porch, and so forth.
  • If windows are at or below grade, install window wells and covers.
  • Have clear access to attic, crawl space, heating system, garage and other areas that will need to be inspected and remove any locks.
  • If the house is vacant, make sure that all utilities are turned on, including water, electric, water heater, furnace, air conditioning and breakers in the main panel.


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