When selling your home, you don’t want the inspector’s report to be marked with a long list of little flaws that will start piling up in the buyer’s mind. You want the inspection to show all the hard work and money you have put into maintenance and upgrades. With a little effort, your inspection can be a positive experience that instills confidence in your prospective buyer, making the closing process that much easier.

1. Check your smoke detectors – they should be installed 12 inches from the ceiling in every room and in common areas on every floor. Test them to make sure they work, and replace or install them as needed.

2. Carbon Monoxide Detectors: Like smoke detectors, they should be in every bedroom and in common areas on every floor. However, carbon monoxide is heavier than air, so detectors should be placed no more than 12 inches above the floor. Test them to make sure they work, and replace or install them as needed.

3. Do you have a dripping faucet? This should be an easy and fairly inexpensive repair. Also check for other plumbing leaks and get some quotes from a licensed plumber.

4. If you have pets, make sure they are absent during the inspection. Ask them to stay with a friend or relative for a few hours if possible.

5. Clear away any clutter. The home inspector will need to see: foundation walls from the inside, roof framing from the attic, plumbing, heating, cooling, and hot water tank, electrical panel, and pipes and traps under the sinks. If the inspector can’t see an area, he can’t report on it and the buyer won’t be happy.

6. If your city has any special requirements to sell your home (sump pump inspection, radio link or wired smoke alarms, etc.) complete them first, so updates are present at the inspection.

7. Check your gutters: do they drain into an underground sewer pipe or into the ground? If they run into the ground, make sure they are as far away from the foundation as possible. Add backsplash blocks to the end of the downspout if necessary.

8. If you have tree branches hanging over your roof, cut them down to avoid damaging the shingles.

9. Check painted areas of exterior trim: windows, doors, etc. If the paint looks worn, scrape, prime, and repaint. Your home will look shiny and new! Also check these areas for worn caulk or weather stripping and replace as necessary.

10. Replace your furnace filter if it is older than 90 days or if it looks dirty as the inspector will take it out and check it.

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