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  • Anthony Flores

Selling Your Home? 9 Best Tips to Prepare Your Home for an Inspection in 2023

Updated: Oct 30, 2023

An image of a home inspection checklist

Selling Your Home in Temecula? Here's the 9 best tips to prepare for a Home Inspection

Are you planning to sell your home? A home inspection is one of the most critical steps in the selling process. Preparing your home in advance is crucial to ensure a smooth and successful inspection. Turn Key Property Inspectors has built this guide with the 9 best tips to prepare you to get your home ready for inspection.

A photo of a clean and decluttered home

Tip # 1 - Clean and Declutter to give the Home Inspector clear access to where they need to inspect

As someone who's been inspecting homes for a while, I've seen my fair share of messy cabinets under sinks, crowded closets, and cluttered garages. It's a common issue, but there's a simple fix. Before your home inspector shows up, ideally a week earlier, take some time to tidy up these spots.

You see, the inspector needs to check walls, cabinets, and plumbing, which can be hard to do when hidden behind your personal belongings. So, decluttering can make the inspection process smoother and ensure everything gets inspected.

A photo of a woman completing minor repairs to a home

Tip #2 - Complete Minor Repairs

Before the home inspection, taking care of those little fixes around your home is wise. Fixing items like leaky faucets, squeaky doors, and loose knobs might seem small, but they can add up and leave a not-so-great impression on the inspector and potential buyers. Plus, it shows that you've taken good care of your home, which can boost its value.

These minor repairs make your home look better and help build trust with the buyer. Taking care of the little issues can signal to the inspector and potential buyers that you've been a responsible homeowner. So, consider the power of these minor fixes in getting your home ready for inspection and making a good impression.

Look at our comprehensive guide on what a home inspector looks for, covering the following key areas. This will give you more information as to other items that may need some repairs before your home inspection:

  • Issues that may threaten the foundation

  • Roof damage

  • Problems with electrical systems like outdated breakers

  • HVAC systems and ensuring the ductwork is working properly

  • Plumbing, including sinks, toilets, and the water heater

  • Appliances and age and functionality

A photo of a smoke detector and carbon monoxide combo

Tip #3 - Check Safety Features

Home inspection reports document the home inspector's findings and are long and detailed. One critical section of the home inspection report is the home's Safety Features. Checking for something as simple as properly working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors will help prevent any delay in the home-buying process.

  • Check to ensure smoke detectors are operating and are correctly located. Smoke detectors may need new batteries or replacement. Note that the inspector will recommend replacement even if they are working if they appear older than 10 years old. According to the National Fire Protection Association, smoke detectors should be installed inside each bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and on every level of the home, including the basement. Install alarms in the living room (or den or family room) on levels without bedrooms near the upper-level stairway or in both locations.

  • Carbon Monoxide detectors - Check to ensure carbon monoxide detectors are appropriately located and in good working order. The International Association of Fire Chiefs recommends a carbon monoxide detector on every floor of your home, including the basement. A detector should be located within 10 feet of each bedroom door, and one should be near or over any attached garage.

  • Test your GFCI outlets throughout your home to ensure they are working properly. These outlets are typically located in your kitchen, bathrooms, garage, and exterior outlets.

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An image of a home depicting what home inspectors look for during an inspection

A real look into what home inspectors look for during a home inspection.

Tip #4 - Service Major Systems

Think of your systems ( air conditioner, heater, plumbing, etc.. ) as your car. We put a lot of miles on our vehicles, and we need to take them to the service station for annual service. Well, our systems in our homes need "tune-ups," too.

Have professionals service your HVAC, electrical, and plumbing systems before the inspection. A well-maintained home is to pass a home inspection. Providing proof of well-maintained systems not only gives confidence to potential buyers but can also increase the value of your home.

A photo of a ring of keys

Tip #5 - Provide Access

Ensure that the inspector can access all areas of your home. Be sure to leave keys for the inspector to unlock anything they need to access, like electrical panels and side gates. Clear any obstructions in the attic, basement, and crawl spaces.

The inspector will also need all the remote controls for ceiling fans, wall-mounted heating/AC systems, and even remote-controlled shutters. Also, ensure clear access to the water heater and heating systems. The heating system is often in the attic, so ensure the heater is free and clear of personal belongings or storage so the inspector can thoroughly evaluate the heater.

Tip #6 - Document Repairs and Maintenance

California Civil Code §1102 requires a seller's disclosure form. This requirement to disclose applies to real estate property of 1 to 4 dwelling units transferred by a sale. Compile a record of repairs and maintenance performed during your home ownership. The document can include receipts, warranties, and any relevant permits. This document not only builds trust with buyers but also helps the inspector understand the history of your home.

The Transfer Disclosure Statement, or the TSD, is a standardized checklist the seller completes. Additionally, California's handbook includes a seller's disclosure form to assist sellers in comprehending their disclosure obligations and duties.

Tip #7 - Make Arrangements to Leave the Property

During the home inspection, it is typical for the buyer and the agent to present for the duration. In most cases, it is best for the seller to not attend the inspection. It's best to arrange to be out of the house ( including kids and pets ) for 2-4 hours. The inspector typically takes about two to four hours for an average home an hour per 1,000 square feet to complete the process.

A photo of a pest control system for an interior of a home

Tip #8 - Address Pests

If you have a history of pest issues, it's wise to address them before the inspection. Termites, rodents, or other pests can be major red flags for potential buyers. Have a system in place or hire a pest control expert if necessary. Providing receipts for regularly scheduled maintenance for pest control is a huge plus, as this builds trust and confidence in the buyer's decision-making.

An image of a home with great exterior curb appeal

Tip #9 - Maximize Curb Appeal

Remember the exterior of your home. Enhance curb appeal by maintaining your landscaping, trimming overgrown plants, and addressing any exterior issues like loose siding, peeling paint, or damaged roof shingles. A well-kept exterior can set a positive tone for the entire inspection.


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