Preparing for a home inspection: A do-it-yourself checklist for sellers

Consider a few steps you can take on your own to ensure a smooth inspection.

Download and print the checklist
TREC requirements for inspectors


1. Clean and declutter inspection access points

  • Clean furnace filter
  • Clean stove and oven
  • Empty storage from attic
  • Organize any closets that are access points to your attic or crawl space
  • Clear at least 4 to 6 inches of space around the perimeter of your home’s exterior

2. Test functionality of the items a home inspector will check

  • Open and close windows and test locks and seals
  • Flush all toilets and run all faucets
  • Run any ceiling or bathroom fans
  • Try all light switches
  • Open and close garage doors manually and with the remote, then test the reverse safety setting
  • Confirm weather stripping on doors is intact
  • Ensure that downspouts are properly diverting water away from the home
  • Check to make sure heating ducts are connected in crawl space
  • Check that fan ducts are properly venting out of the attic

3. Take basic safety and security precautions

  • Replace batteries in smoke detectors
  • Test carbon monoxide detector
  • Have a fire extinguisher available
  • Cap gas lines or chimney entry points
  • Exterminate bugs or rodents

4. Make necessary repairs to the property

  • Replace light bulbs
  • Re-caulk around bathtubs and sinks
  • Repair any water damage in bathrooms
  • Remove any drain clogs
  • Update any dingy grout
  • Replace torn screens and cracked windows
  • Replace any missing roofing
  • Replace damaged insulation in attic and crawl space
  • Cover crawl space with 6 mm plastic sheeting

5. Complete exterior home improvements

  • Sweep debris off the roof (or pressure wash if needed)
  • Trim trees that are near or hanging over the roof line
  • Clean out gutters
  • Clear debris from around the A/C compressor, downspout drainage, and foundation vents
  • Slope soil away from the home for water runoff

6. Make last-minute preparations for your inspection

  • Plan to leave your home an hour early
  • Take pets with you
  • Leave remotes for garage door, ceiling fans, lights, etc.
  • Leave keys for gates, outbuildings, and electrical boxes
  • Turn on pilot light for gas-fired appliances, including the water heater
  • Make sure all utilities are on
  • Take laundry out of the washer and dryer
  • Remove dishes from the sink and dishwasher
  • Leave a sketch identifying the location of a well or septic tank
  • Leave paperwork for any maintenance, repairs, or insurance claims