Home Inspection Checklist for House Sellers

Selling your home can be an overwhelming experience.

The process is long and harrowing. From gathering the necessary house selling documents to making critical fixes and renovations, homeowners face countless challenges before selling a home.

Furthermore, a competitive real estate market raises the stakes for home sellers. Adequately preparing your home for home buyers is now more critical than ever.

Many sellers undertake home inspections to give their listings a competitive edge. While you can hire a professional to facilitate your sale, you can significantly bump your listing price and diminish the cost of selling a home by using a house selling checklist to identify any necessary or additional modifications.

We have researched and assembled everything you need to know—from house selling tips to advantageous renovations—on selling a house in Pennsylvania.

Use this homeowners checklist for house preparation to make your experience more accessible and make a lucrative sale.

Guide to Home Inspection

A home inspection is a careful examination of your property that allows you to identify the need for repairs, renovations, and cleaning.

Home inspections benefit both the home buyer and seller; they promote transparency in real estate transactions and boost listing prices.

Buyers typically undertake home inspections to identify problems with an acquired property. Still, house inspections are also critical for homeowners who want to maximize their returns and build trust with buyers.

The American Society of Home Inspectors provides a list of standards for comprehensive house inspections. The ASHI divided these standards by specific home features. An understanding of these features can help guide you through the process of selling your home. 

The ten home systems that require inspection are: 

  • The structural system
  • The exterior
  • The roof 
  • Plumbing
  • Electrical systems
  • Heating systems
  • Air conditioning systems and air filters
  • The interior
  • The insulation and ventilation
  • The fireplace (if any)

The following checklist provides everything you need to know about inspecting, fixing, renovating, and cleaning your home systems for a successful sale. 

You can either complete the inspection yourself or hire a certified home inspector to complete it for you. If you choose to find a certified home inspector, your real estate agent can help you find one.

A professional home inspection will come with a home inspection report you can review. This report will detail the necessary repairs that need to be completed on your home. 

Home Inspection Checklist 

Use this checklist to inspect your home thoroughly before continuing the home-buying process. A first inspection will allow you to determine which changes need to be made.

Inspect the Property

Take a walk around your property to assess any exterior issues. 

  • Ensure that your drainage systems work and that there is no standing water or flooding.
  • Check for cracks in walkways, driveways, and patios. 
  • Look for rotting wood in fences, decks, and other wooden structures, and remove branches that touch the house or trees threatening to fall.
  • Lastly, look for ways to enhance your curb appeal; tend to trees, shrubs, and gardens and keep your lawn well-manicured.

Check the Exterior 

Your home’s exterior is the first thing your buyers will see. 

  • Check for any apparent issues with your roof, windows, and siding. 
  • Ensure that wood frames are free of rot or cracks, and look for windows or screens that may need replacing.
  • Your roof (flashing, fascia, and shingles) should be intact, and the gutters should be clear and in good condition.
  • Remember to check for cracks in your foundation, as they are easy to miss yet critical to your inspection.

Examine the Interior 

When inspecting the home’s interior, start on the top floors and go down. Use this room-by-room checklist to narrow your focus.

Attics, Basements, Crawl Spaces

You should begin your inspection with the attic and end with the basement. The checklist for both is essentially the same.

Attic and basement issues are common. Check for: 

  • Termite, rodent, or insect infestations
  • Flooding, water damage, and standing water 
  • Exposed or frayed electrical wires 
  • Check for damage in and around the electrical panel
  • Intact insulation 
  • Asbestos or mold issues
  • Ventilation problems.

Bedrooms and Living Spaces 

When inspecting your bedrooms, offices, and other living spaces, use the ASHI standards to check for the following:

  • Ventilation problems 
  • Smoke and carbon monoxide detector function
  • Cracks or damages to floors, ceilings, and walls.
  • Chipped or peeling paint (it’s almost always a good idea to give your home a fresh coat of paint before selling) 
  • Malfunctioning and improperly wired lights and electrical outlets 
  • Plumbing issues (if any) 
  • Fireplace damage (if any)

Bathrooms

Pay careful attention to the following issues in your bathrooms:

  • Weak water pressure or water damage
  • Broken or leaking pipes 
  • Chips to tile or caulking
  • Unstable or malfunctioning toilets 
  • Malfunctioning exhaust fans or light fixtures 
  • Stains, chips, or cracks in walls, ceilings, floors, and appliances
  • Problems with your septic tank
  • Damaged or leaking faucets
  • Water flow problems 
  • Slow to heat hot water tank

Kitchen

Buyers spend a lot of time looking at kitchens. As you inspect your kitchen, consider the following potential issues:

  • Outlets locations (whether you are selling a house in Philadelphia or elsewhere, your outlets must be up to code)
  • Cracks or leaks in pipes 
  • Malfunctioning or broken cabinets, drawers, appliances 
  • Stains, chips, or cracks in walls, ceilings, floors, and appliances
  • Weak water pressure, broken garbage disposals
  • Signs of rodents or insects

Other 

It’s always a good idea to check and tune your utilities and appliances. Ensure that:

  • Your water heater is adequately working 
  • Your cooling units and heaters are clean and functioning 
  • Your service panel is in good condition
  • All devices are relatively new, modern, functional, and clean

Once you have completed your inspection, it’s time to move on to cleaning.

Home Cleaning Checklist 

A thorough house cleaning is a necessary prerequisite for selling your house. Use this home cleaning checklist to streamline your process.

General Checklist

There are several important guidelines to consider as you clean every room.

  • Declutter: removing clutter is the most crucial element on this checklist. When in doubt, throw it away or tuck it into a closet or drawer. Pare down your possessions and keep minimal items out of place. Organize drawers, shelves, and bookcases.
  • Depersonalize: when trying to sell a house, it’s important to stage it so that your buyer can imagine themselves living there. To that end, remove any personal items from view, such as photographs, clothing, art, decorations, and memorabilia.
  • Sweep: sweep or vacuum your entire home thoroughly 
  • Remove unpleasant sights or odors: dispel unpleasant odors by using a diffuser or air freshener. Grinding a lemon in the garbage disposal is also a great way to clean your home.

Kitchen Cleaning 

To thoroughly clean your kitchen, complete the following checklist:

  • Dust and wipe down countertops
  • Remove personal items from your refrigerator and thoroughly clean and polish them. 
  • Clean and scour ovens, stoves, microwaves, and other appliances 
  • Sanitize garbage disposals and dishwashers 

Bathroom Cleaning 

Bathrooms almost always need special attention. Complete the following checklist for best results:

  • Clean your toilet bowl and scrub it 
  • Clear all drains, polish fixtures, and scrub sinks, bathtubs, and showers 
  • Use glass cleaner for mirrors 
  • Wipe down shelves and drawers 

Bedrooms and Interior Rooms

Use this house cleaning checklist for your bedroom and living spaces:

  • Dust and clean ceilings and walls and remove scuff marks 
  • Clean windows inside and out 
  • Dust and polish furniture and ceiling fans
  • Clean upholstery, drapes, sheets, and any other fabrics
  • Make the beds, straighten pillows, and add neutral decorative elements

Once you have thoroughly cleaned your house, it’s essential to keep it clean for showings. Next, you are ready to identify fixes and renovations to be made.

Home Renovations Checklist 

Your home may need several renovations to enhance its appeal. 

However, ensure that you don’t undertake too many renovation projects, as some may be expensive and unlikely to boost your revenue.

Consider the following possible renovations, as they can add tremendous value to your home.

Painting 

Any real estate agent will tell you that a fresh coat of paint can spruce any room up. Consider repainting walls in neutral tones to best prepare your home for staging. 

Paint walls, ceilings, and doors if necessary.

Update Flooring 

Update your flooring to give your whole house a fresh look. Remove carpeting and install hardwood. Only upgrade your flooring if your existing structure is worn and outdated.

Upgrade Appliances

Replace old or outdated appliances and utilities to maximize your home’s appeal.

Remodel or Add Bathrooms 

Bathrooms are a significant selling point for buyers. Consider upgrading your existing bathrooms with new fixtures and appliances or adding a new bathroom to boost the value of your home.

Add an Outdoor Space 

Patios, porches, and decks can add value to your home. Consider adding a small patio or deck to your house before putting it on the market. Also, consider replacing exterior doors and windows for a fresher look.

Lastly, consider landscaping to add curb appeal.

Home Repairs Checklist 

Finally, you should identify house repairs to make before selling. Use the inspection checklist to identify issues and consider the following maintenance.

Exterior 

To prepare your home for sale: 

  • Repair any cracks in the foundation 
  • Repair broken or cracked walkways, porches, decks, steps, and driveways
  • Remove dead branches and trees 
  • Repair your shingles, stucco, gutters, downspouts, and soffits if necessary
  • Repair any broken windows or doors 

Attics and Basements 

Have all utilities checked and tuned (and replaced if necessary). Also, consider:

  • Repairing cracks or chips in walls, flooring, and ceilings 
  • Replacing insulation
  • Repairing leaks 
  • Repairing or replacing frayed or exposed wires and electrical splices

Bedrooms and Living Spaces 

To prepare your bedrooms and other living spaces, repair any: 

  • Ventilation problems 
  • Broken smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Cracks or damages to floors, ceilings, and walls.
  • Lights and electrical outlets 

Bathrooms

Fix any issues in your bathrooms before putting a home on the market. These include:

  • Weak water pressure 
  • Ruptured pipes 
  • Broken toilets 
  • Malfunctioning exhaust fans or light fixtures 
  • Chipped tiles or caulking

Kitchen

Kitchens are most commonly in need of fixes. Consider repairing or replacing:

  • Outlets 
  • Ruptured pipes
  • Old or broken appliance
  • Malfunctioning or broken cabinets, drawers, appliances 
  • Stains, chips, cracks, or holes in walls and flooring

Conclusion

Once you have completed this checklist, you are ready to sell your home! 

Preparing your home for sale is the hardest part of selling a property. Conducting your inspection can eliminate many of the common challenges sellers face.

You can also contact a professional home inspector for more information if you are selling a house in Chester or elsewhere.

Get More Info On Options To Sell Your Home...

Selling a property in today's market can be confusing. Connect with us or submit your info below and we'll help guide you through your options.

What Do You Have To Lose? Get Started Now...

We buy houses in ANY CONDITION. There are no commissions or fees and no obligation whatsoever. Start below by giving us a bit of information about your property or call (267) 244-9163...
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *