Consider a few steps you can take on your own to ensure a smooth inspection.  If there is anything on the list that is above your DIY comfort level, consider calling in an expert.

Clean and declutter inspection access points-

  • clean/replace the furnace filter
  • clean stove and oven
  • empty storage from the attic
  • organize any closets that are access points to your attic or crawl space
  • clear at least 4-6 inches of space around the perimeter of your home’s exterior (trim landscaping if necessary)

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 and replace bulbs if necessary
  • 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 the crawl space
  • check that fan ducts are properly venting out of the attic

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

Make necessary repairs to the property

  • replace right 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 6mm plastic sheeting

Complete exterior home improvements

  • sweep debris off the roof (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

Make last-minute preparation for your inspection

  • plan to leave prior to the inspector’s arrival and be out of the home for about three hours
  • take pets with you
  • leave remotes for garage door, ceiling fans, lights, fireplaces, etc
  • turn on pilot light for gas-fired appliances including water heater, oven, fireplace
  • make sure all utilities are on
  • take the laundry out of the washer and dryer
  • remove dishes from the sink and dishwasher
  • leave a sketch identifying the location of the well or septic tank if applicable
  • leave paperwork for any maintenance, repairs, or insurance claims


This content is not the product of the National Association of REALTORS®, and may not reflect NAR's viewpoint or position on these topics and NAR does not verify the accuracy of the content.