Recently, a buddy of mine who is selling his home called me and said that the buyers were having their home inspected in just a few hours. He asked what he could do before the inspector showed up. I told him even in the short time, there were a few things he could do in a few hours. Nothing makes a buyer feel more confident in their offer than a clean inspection report. Here is a complete list of items that can easily be done by just about anyone.
1. Caulking. Caulk is semi-solid magic. Plain and simple, it keeps water out of places it shouldn’t be. Common areas where it is missing include: between the counter and backsplash in kitchens and bathrooms, behind tub spouts and between the tub and the floor.
2. Replace missing cover plates. Simply putting on an inexpensive cover plate over a light switch or outlet gives a cleaner look and removes the shock hazard – and the blemish from the inspection report.
3. Trim bushes. Plants and trees that come in contact with the house allow unwanted water and bugs into the house. They should be trimmed back at least 12” from the house.
4. Earth that touches siding. I’ve seen significantly damaged siding that has been covered by dirt for years. This also allows water and bugs into the home. In most cases, the dirt just needs to be scooped away and relocated in flower beds or elsewhere.
5. Smoke detectors. Anyone that walks into a house with that annoying chirping noise will notice and it will detract from the homey feeling you want to create.
6. Clean out gutters. Most buyers will not know if it has been done, but any inspector will notice and will point it out.
These are the most common things I see day to day. I’ve never seen a perfect home, not even brand new construction; but taking care of these items will make for a more flawless inspection and potentially could save the hassle of tedious negotiations as you finalize the deal.
Disclaimer: At the risk of leaving myself liable for harm or injury, all items should be done by a qualified person/contractor/engineer.