The Ultimate Seller Home Inspection Checklist

Home inspections are also for sellers. The following home inspection checklist would help you understand needed repairs and prepare your house for sale.

You’ve decided it’s time to sell your house, but it’s not in the best condition. You can adjust your listing price to compensate, but you probably are worried about what will happen when a potential buyer has an inspection. Don’t wait until the last minute to find out what requires repair in your home.

A checklist tool is a valuable helper in finding out the situation of your property before selling it.

As a seller, having an inspection done on your house before you list it is not ordinary. You’ll then see problem areas before any buyers and can react to them. Completing your checklist should it be your first step.

After you conduct your house inspection, you will decide it low your asking price or make a few repairs yourself.

Even if you don’t hire an appraiser, you can evaluate your home with this thorough seller home inspection checklist. Knowing where and what to look for is crucial and avoiding surprises once your house goes under contract.

Walk your property

You want to ensure you’ve got curb appeal and have properly maintained the area around your home. The place to start your inspection is outside the house. Follow your checklist and look for signs that something is not okay. Look for:

  • Trim trees and shrubs. Nothing should physically touch your house.
  • Check for cracks in driveways and walkways. This isn’t a deal breaker for everyone but could be something a buyer asks you to replace.
  • Ponds and not running water, especially after rain, ensure proper drainage.
  • Check the fence, deck, and anything else made out of wood. Look for rot in any wooden part of your garden.

Look at your outside

While looking at the yard outside, check on your home’s exterior. Since you spend most of your time at home, it’s easy to miss issues outside your house until the situation gets big. During your inspection, pay close attention to your roof, window frames, and siding. It should all be in tip-top condition. Look for:

  • Foundational cracks. You shouldn’t have any since they can signify bigger issues.
  • Siding or stucco wear and tear. Again there shouldn’t be any damage. For siding, panels must be in place without signs of decay or curling.
  • Wood frames around doors and windows should be in excellent condition.
  • The Windows should be in good condition without any cracks or damaged screens if moisture is coming in between the panes of your window. That’s usually a sign they need replacing.
  • Overall roof condition. Check for missing shingles or damage to the flashing and fascia. Damaged shingles are also a sign a roof might need replacing. If you have too many of those, consider getting them repaired.
  • Clogged or damaged gutters. It’s a good idea to have your gutters cleaned and well-maintained.
  • Condition of the chimney cap. It is a good idea to clean your chimney if you haven’t done so for a while. Look at your chimney cap condition. Sometimes homeowners don’t detect chimney cap damage. 

Inspect the Inside From Top to Bottom

Your inspection checklist may guide you that it’s best to start at the top and work your way down when looking through the interior of your home. Start with the attic, then take floors and bedrooms, going room by room. The first floor and the basement, if you have one, last.

Attic

Homeowners rarely closely look at attics. But they make up a critical item in your seller’s home inspection checklist. Your attic should be checked yearly to ensure it is termites free. Check the insulation and sign of plagues. It’s important to handle issues as they arise. Attic issues almost always become something bigger if ignored. Look for:

  • Evidence of a rodent or insect infestation.
  • Holes leading to the outside.
  • Frayed or spliced ​​electrical wires.
  • leakings.
  • Issues with ventilation in general.
  • Sufficient insulation.

Interior 

The interior room of every house deserves the same inspection before it is sold. May sure your inspection checklist includes every room of your house.

Look for:

The Kitchen

Having your appliances working is a huge necessity in the kitchen, but did you also know that you must have GFCI outlets within six feet of your sink?

Outlets must respond to codes when it comes to the location of the plug and water. An inspector will keep a close eye out for this issue. This is why it is important to have an inspection checklist.

  • Cabinets and drawers easily open and close and look in good condition.
  • Leaks in pipes under the sink.
  • Garbage disposal working properly.
  • Safety floors
  • Check your microwave and oven. These are potential buyers’ focus of attention.

Laundry Room 

The checklist is crucial to inspect places that people often overlook.

  • Gas and water connections are free of obstacles.
  • Check windows, doors, and counters, if any.

Bathrooms

Most buyers pay special attention to the bathrooms for their style. They like to observe the hardware, the tile, and the bathtub. An inspector with a critical will see how your bathrooms stack up. Bathrooms and the kitchen are what potential buyers look at the most

  • A working exhaust fan that takes the air out of the house.
  • Stains in toilets and bathtubs. 
  • Leaks in pipes or any staining from previous leaks.
  • Chips in caulking around tub and tile.
  • A stable toilet doesn’t rock or have any staining around the base.
  • Good water pressure in sinks, showers, and tubs.

Basement

It is Time to check out the basement and foundation again from the inside. Look for:

  • Any evidence of moisture.
  • Adequate venting.
  • Proof of insect or rodent infestations.
  • Any wooden elements should be in good condition without sags, damage, or decay.

Review the House Utilities

Sometimes this area is the potential source of conflict between buyers and sellers. You may see that your slightly old AC unit still has a few more years of life. If It works well and you haven’t had to make any repairs in a while. A buyer might ask to replace it 

It’s a fine line regarding utilities, so give your buyers the right information. Ensure that everything is in good condition if this is the case. Through the inspection, look for the following:

  • Leaks in plumbing.
  • Adequate performance of your water heater and furnace. Hot water should get between 118-125 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Check that all visible electrical wiring is in good condition with the fuse box in working order.
  • Clean air filters.
  • Install or replace smoke alarms.

We have designed a form you can print and use to inspect your house. The inspection will give an important advance to have the elements you need to negotiate your property with buyers.

Inspection Checklist

CheckTotal Home Inspection Checklist
Grounds
Proper grading drainage away from the house.
No evidence of standing water.
No leaks from the septic tank or leech field, if any.
Yard, landscaping, trees, and walkways are in good condition.
No branches or bushes touching the house or overhanging the roof
Exterior structures (fences, sheds, decks, retaining walls, detached
garages) in good condition, with no evidence of termite damage or rotted wood.
Railings on stairs and decks are secure.
Driveways, sidewalks, patios, and entrance landings are in good condition and pitched away from the structure.
Downspout drainage is directed away from the structure.
Structure
Ridge and fascia board lines appear straight and level.
The sides of the house appear straight, not bowed or sagging.
Window and doorframes appear square (especially bowed windows.)
Visible foundation in good condition – appears straight, plumb, with no significant cracks.
Exterior Surfaces
Appropriate clearance between ground and wood siding materials (6″ minimum); no wood-to-earth contact.
Siding: no cracking, curling, loose, rot, or decay.
Masonry veneers: no cracks in joints, no broken, spalling, or flaking components.
Stucco: no large cracks (discuss all stucco cracks with a professional inspector.)
Vinyl or aluminum siding: no dents, damage, no bowing or lose siding.
No vines on the surface of the structure.
Exterior paint or stain: no flaking or blisters.
No stains on the exterior Windows.
Doors and Wood Trim
Wood frames and trim pieces are secure, with no cracks, rot, or decay.
Joints around frames are caulked.
No broken glass (window or storm panes), damaged screens, or broken double-paned, insulated window seals.
Muntin and mullion glazing compound in good condition.
Storm windows or thermal glass used.
Drip caps installed over windows.
Roofs
Composition shingles: no curling, no cupping, no loss of granulation particulate, no broken, damaged, or missing shingles, and no more than two roofing layers.
Wood shingles or shakes: no mold, rot, or decay, no cracked/broken/missing shingles, and no curling.
Fblisters/”alligatoring” and wrinkles, no silt deposits (indicates improper drainage), sealed tar at flashings lat roofs: no obvious patches, no cracks or splits, minimal.
Flashing around roof penetrations.
No evidence of excess roofing cement/tar/caulk.
Soffits and fascia: no decay, no stains.
Exterior venting for eave areas: vents are clean and not painted over
Gutters: no decay or rust, joints sealed, attached securely to structure, no bending or sagging, no sections of gutter or downspout missing, gutters clean, with no mud deposits.
Chimneys: straight, properly flashed, no evidence of damaged bricks or cracked joints, mortar/cement cap in good condition.
Attic
No stains on the underside of the roofing, especially around roof penetrations.
No evidence of decay or damage to the structure.
Sufficient insulation and properly installed insulation (moisture barrier installed closest to the heated area of the house.)
Adequate ventilation, clear path into the attic for air entering through the soffit vents, adequately sized gable end louvers, and all mechanical ventilation operational.
No plumbing, exhaust, or appliance vents terminating in the attic.
No open electrical splices.
Interior Rooms
Floors, walls, and ceilings appear straight, level and plumb.
No stains on floors, walls, or ceilings.
Flooring materials are in good condition.
No significant cracks in walls or ceilings.
Windows and exterior doors operate easily and latch properly, with no broken glass, no sashes painted shut, and no decay; windows and doors have weather-stripping “weep holes” installed.
Interior doors operate easily and latch properly, with no damage or decay and no broken hardware.
The paint, wall covering, and paneling are in good condition.
The wood trim is installed well and in good condition.
Lights and switches operate properly.
The adequate number of three-pronged electrical outlets in each room.
Electrical outlets test properly (spot check)
Heating/cooling source in each habitable room
Evidence of adequate insulation in walls
Fireplace: no cracking or damaged masonry, no evidence of back-drafting (staining on fireplace façade). The damper operates properly, the flue has been cleaned, and the flue is lined.
Kitchen
Working exhaust fan that is vented to the exterior of the building.
Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (“GFCI”) protection for electrical outlets within 6 feet of the sink(s).
Dishwasher: drains properly, no leaks, baskets, door spring operates properly.
No leaks in pipes under sinks.
The floor in the cabinet under the sink is solid, with no stains or decay.
Water flows in the sink adequately.
No excessive rust or deterioration on garbage disposal or waste pipes.
Built-in appliances operate properly.
Cabinets in good condition: doors and drawers operate properly.
Bathrooms
Working exhaust fan that doesn’t terminate in the attic space.
Adequate flow and pressure at all fixtures.
Sink, tub, and shower drain properly.
The plumbing and cabinet floor under the sink is in good condition.
If the sink is metal, it shows no signs of rust, overflow drain doesn’t leak.
Toilet operates properly.
The toilet is stable, with no rocking or stains around the base.
The caulking is in good condition inside and outside the tub and shower area.
Tub or shower tiles secure, wall surface solid.
No stains or evidence of past leaking around the bath or shower base.
Miscellaneous
Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors were required by local ordinances.
Stairway treads and risers are solid.
Stair handrails where needed and in good condition.
The automatic garage door opener operates properly and stops properly for obstacles.
Basement or Mechanical Room
No evidence of moisture.
Exposed foundation; no stains, major cracks, flaking, or efflorescence.
Visible structural wood: no sagging, no damage, no decay, no stains, no damage from insects, sills attached to the foundation with anchor bolts.
Insulation at rim/band joists
Crawls Space
Adequately vented to exterior.
Insulation on exposed water supply, waste, and vent pipes.
Insulation between crawl space and heated areas, installed with vapor barrier towards the heated area.
No evidence of insect damage.
No evidence of moisture damage.
Plumbing
Visible pipes: no damage, no evidence of leaks, no signs of stains on materials near pipes; drain pipes slope slightly down towards the outlet to the septic/sewage system.
Water heater: no signs of rust, vented properly, sized to produce adequate quantities of hot water for the number of bedrooms in the house.
Water pump: does not short cycle.
Galvanized pipes do not restrict water flow.
The well water test is acceptable.
Hot water temperature between 118 – 125.
Electrical
Visible wiring: in good condition, no “knob-and-tube” wiring, no exposed splices, cables secured and protected.
Service panel: adequate capacity; all cables attached to the panel with cable connectors, fuses, or breakers are not overheating.
No aluminum cable for branch circuits.
Heating/Cooling System
It appears to operate well throughout (good airflow on forced hot air systems.)
Flues: no open seams, slopes up to chimney connection.
No rust around the cooling unit.
No combustion gas odor.
Air filter(s) clean.
The ductwork is in good condition.
No asbestos on heating pipes, water pipes, or air ducts.
Separate flues for gas/oil/propane and wood/coal.

Have You Done With Your Home Inspection Checklist?

It is crucial before selling your house to do a comprehensive home inspection. Once you’ve assessed it, you may find some things you should fix before listing the property. 

Did your checklist show one of the main areas to focus on are code violations, safety issues, or structural problems? These issues will almost certainly come up in a professional inspection, so better to get them out of the way sooner to not jeopardize the sale of your home later.

If you detect any structural or foundation issues, maybe the roof needs to be replaced, and the cost of repairs exceeds 40% of the house’s market value, you may find that your realtor hesitates to list the house because buyers look for homes in perfect conditions.

Selling your House

Now that you have inspected your house and have a big picture of its condition, you can contact a real estate agent. Your buyer lender would require a professional appraisal to ensure your house back-up the money borrowed from the said buyer.

The other alternative and the most reliable is to contact an investor. A real estate investment company will buy your house quickly, and most importantly, you don’t need to do any repairs. Not even clean the house. Nor incur in sale commissions and closing costs.

A professional home buyer would close the deal in about seven days. A market sale closes between 91 to 180 days. Real estate agents require your home to be in perfect condition, which means you must carry out home repairs and, in addition, the agent’s commission, closing costs, and unexpected expenses. 

We hope this post will guide you in deciding to sell your house. Do your inspection checklist and get ready to sell your house at a good price.

Scott

Hi, I'm Scott Dalinger a real estate investor in Portland, Oregon. I focus on helping homeowners and rental property owners out of negative situations by offering cash for their property. I research and write about real estate on my business website.

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