5 Tips for a Home Inspection (That You Can Take Care of Now)


Getting ready for a home inspection to sell a home is a big deal. The decision itself is an important one, and the process can be daunting. But with a little help, selling a home in Knoxville, TN can be simple and straightforward.

A home seller’s worst nightmare is discovering after the inspection that their home needs a long list of repairs and updating before it will draw the best possible offer from a buyer. Naturally, home inspections can feel invasive for some home sellers, as the inspector examines every facet of the property to determine its quality and state of repair.

You can avoid a great deal of frustration, however, and significantly increase the value of your home, by following these tips for home inspection ahead of time.

1. Apply a Fresh Coat of Paint

Painted walls can easily become damaged and dingy over time, as any homeowner knows. Rowdy pets, or even rowdier children, can lead to all sorts of scratches, scars, and stains on your interior and exterior walls. Even if your paint has held up well, a fresh layer of color is often worth the effort anyway.

For a small investment, as well as a fair amount of elbow grease, a new coat of paint will improve the home inspector’s report and make your home feel more inviting to home buyers. If time is of the essence, then it’s best to focus your efforts on the kitchen, bathrooms, and living room, where sellers typically see the highest return on investment.

2. Finish Those Repairs You’ve Been Putting Off

A home inspection might reveal a flaw with your home you didn’t know about. Unfortunately, this might be unavoidable. However, if your home has any repair or maintenance needs that you do know about, now is the best time to work on them. This could include your roof or the bathroom tiling. Perhaps a slow draining sink or cracked basement floor has been on your back burner. The home inspector will note these issues if they’re left unsolved, so fixing them now will make for a smoother sale.

Also, consider hiring professionals to fix any major issues your home may have if you don’t have the time or knowledge to do it well yourself. Home inspectors are trained to spot imperfect repairs, so unless you’re especially confident in your DIY skills, hiring a professional is the best way to avoid fixing the same problems twice.

3. Update the Bathrooms and Kitchen

Selling an older home? If so, it’s possible that your kitchen and bathroom fixtures have not been kept up to current interior design trends. Renovating in the kitchen and bathrooms, more than any other rooms, can dramatically improve the price you’re able to ask for the home. “All new appliances” makes for a great selling point, after all.

Fresh appliances, fixtures, and countertops can be great steps on their own, but also consider making large changes to the layout of your kitchen. Home buyers today prefer open-floor plans, with long sight-lines stretching across the home. If knocking out a wall improves the openness of your kitchen or installing a new breakfast counter makes it feel more modern, the effort could easily pay off.

4. Inspect and Repair the Exterior

You can also do a number of things to improve the exterior ahead of an inspection. Start by power-washing the siding and repainting doors and trim. Repair or upgrade fencing and gates, along with other exterior features that will be highly visible to potential buyers.

Keep plants trimmed away from the walls and foundation. In fact, the health of your foundation will be a large concern for an inspector. Before your scheduled walk-through, check to see how well water drains away from your foundation. Wait for a rainy day, then walk around your house, checking all of the downspouts. If they do not properly drain water away from the home, then you should extend those downspouts outward before the inspection.

5. Make Your Home Accessible to the Inspector

As the home inspection draws closer, begin working to make your home and all of its nooks and crannies easily accessible to the inspector. The last thing a home inspector wants to deal with is dragging boxes away from the crawl space or stumbling over clutter to access the water heater. To avoid this, create easy walkways in cluttered areas, better organize your belongings (getting rid of or donating any excess), and make sure all openings to the attic, basement, and crawlspace are unobstructed.

You should also empty out all cabinets underneath your sinks, so the inspector can access the pipes. By making your home more easily inspected, you’ll help keep the home inspector in a better mood, which certainly couldn’t hurt the report they ultimately produce. A clean inspection can help ensure a clean sale, as well as a better closing price. For other tips on home inspection and improving your closing price, including renovation guidance or advice for a great showing, check out our other blog posts.

We know the Knoxville real-estate market front and back, and we’re ready to help you get the most out of your sale. View our current listings, then contact us to begin your home selling process.

This post was originally published on June 17, 2014 and has since been updated. 

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  1. I agree with the checklist above especially the improving the curb appeal to give the buyers a good first impression of your house. Awesome blog by the way!

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