Real Estate by Debbie Reynolds: How to Get a Home Ready for the Home Inspector

How to Get a Home Ready for the Home Inspector

The Home Inspector is Coming, What Do I Do?

Preparhome inspectionsation will help eliminate problems with the home inspector and take items off the list that really shouldn't be there. Start with this dirty dozen on the preparation list. 

  1. All utilities need to be on even the ones that you don't use out of season. Inspectors don't like having to go to breaker boxes and meter boxes to turn them on.
  2. Remove the pets during the inspection time. The inspection will go faster and your pets will not get in the way. 
  3. Check all lighting to make sure bulbs are in place and working. It is a common occurrence for an inspector to note that a light doesn't function when all it is could be a is burned out or loose bulb. 
  4. If you know about something that needs repair or replacement, do it before the inspector comes. He is sure to see it and may wonder what else has been neglected.
  5. Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are target and safety items that get a close look from the home inspector. Make sure you have them in place, up to date batteries and they are working.
  6. The inspector will look around and under the house. Make sure he can get there. The attic and roof are also on the inspection list. If you have a full garage or basement, clear a path to the breaker box so it can be checked.
  7. Clean your furnace or install a fresh filter in your HVAC unit. A dirty one will most likely require that the whole unit be inspected and cleaned.
  8. Tree limbs rubbing against the house or roof be be ticketed items. The inspector doesn't like these and may call for further inspections of the roof that appear worn by the branches. 
  9. Make sure all systems can be evaluated by the inspector.  This includes the furnaces, air conditioners, water purifiers, softeners and plumbing systems. 
  10. Appliances that stay with the home will be tested and run.  Insure that the dishwasher is empty. Hes will be run it through a cycle.  He will check the elements in your oven and all burners on the stove. 
  11. The water heater will be checked to see if it is producing water sufficiently hot. Have you noticed if it is hot enough? Get is fixed if it's not.
  12. It's pool season so open the pool, have it sparkling clean and in good working order.
  13. Clean your home before the inspector comes. impressions matter and it will give you a leg up.

These tips will help you prepare for the home inspector's visit. The fewer issues on the list, the better chance the sale will go through.

For more information on how to sell your Clarksville home, contact The Real Debbie Reynolds at 931-320-6730.


 Centruy 21 Platinum Properties2130 Wilma Rudolph Blvd.

Clarksville, TN 37040

When you need Real Estate services in Clarksville TN

                  it would be my pleasure to assist you!                             

Debbie Reynolds
"The Real Debbie Reynolds"

Check out all Clarksville TN Real Estate on My Website

931-771-9070 Office | 931-320-6730 Cell

Clarksville TN Homes 


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Comment balloon 24 commentsDebbie Reynolds • April 13 2018 03:41AM


Great list of things to get ready. I am always amazed that there are some many small and obvious things not done before inspections, like burned out light bulbs.

Posted by JL Boney, III, Columbia, SC Real Estate (Coldwell Banker) 8 months ago

Good evening Debbie Reynolds,

Love your list..always good to make sure everything is in working order ready for the inspector!

Posted by Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR, Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate (Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899) 8 months ago

Great pointers, Debbie Reynolds .  I have heard more than once problems when the seller has turned off utilities and the inspector comes.  Obviously a full inspection cannot be completed unless there is power, gas and water to test everything!

Posted by Lynnea Miller, Premier Real Estate Service in Central Oregon (Bend Premier Real Estate) 8 months ago

This is excellent advice for sellers, Debbie.  By preparing the home for the inspector, some of these nuisance items will stay off the report.

Posted by Gabe Sanders, Stuart Florida Real Estate (Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales) 8 months ago

This is great advice for home sellers. I hope they will read this post 

Posted by Gita Bantwal, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) 8 months ago

Hi Debbie- what a great list! Sellers aren't in the business of selling their home and having to go through inspections so they may not realize this. Making sure there's a clear path to items that need to be inspected is so important. 

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) 8 months ago

This is great information Debbie Reynolds, so many sellers don't know how to prepare for a home inspector. 

Posted by Sybil Campbell, REALTOR® ABR, SFR, SRES Williamsburg, Virginia (Long and Foster REALTORS® 5234 Monticello Ave Williamsburg, Virginia) 8 months ago

Great post. I wrote one similar and provide it to my sellers when the time comes. I wish the seller's of a home we inspected this week had seen this.  Access to the crawlspace was covered in stuff. 

Posted by Dan Tabit (Keller Williams Bellevue) 8 months ago

If it’s a condo make sure inspector has access to areas that are sometimes kept locked.

Posted by Edward Gilmartin (CRE) 8 months ago

Remove the fliping 6 cars parked on the driveway, front lawn, get garage cleared so that 350 pound inspector can manage to squeeze through...

Posted by Sam Shueh, mba, cdpe, reopro, pe ( (408) 425-1601) 8 months ago

An absolutely wonderful blog Debbie Reynolds , LOVE the list and all sellers must read

Posted by Scott Godzyk, One of Manchester NH's Leading Agents (Godzyk Real Estate Services) 8 months ago

Great tips, helpful for my sellers. Thanks!

Posted by Eric Sztanyo, Cincinnati & NKY Realtor® | (Keller Williams Advisors Realty) 8 months ago

Another useful article Debbie!  Many of these items also apply for home showings/open houses.  Wish sellers pay attention and put them in the shoes of a buyer!  Would they think of buying a house that's cluttered/dirty?


Posted by BIPIN CHANDRIANI, For All Things Real Estate! (Coldwell Banker Preferred) 8 months ago

About #'s 11 and 13.
I have never found a water heater that wasn't hot enough, unless it wasn't working or an element was burned out (which are both rare). In fact, the one thing that most homeowners will almost always fix right away is insufficient/no hot water, especially if there are women in the house ;)
I don't know of many people that love taking a cold shower ;)
FWIW, nearly every water heater I inspect, though, are too hot or way too hot and should be turned down/adjusted to prevent scalding hazards.
And #13, well, that should have absolutely no impression or bearing on a home inspection whatsoever and definitely doesn't give anyone a "leg up." And if it does, I'd be leery about the home inspector commenting how clean the house is ;)
Other than those 2, that is a spot-on and great list! Thanx for sharing! Now, getting all those sellers to abide to the list, well, that's another blog in itself - lol.

Posted by Josh Frederick 8 months ago

Congratulations, Debbie, on your feature recognition. This is excellent advice to share with home sellers. I will schedule an August reblog.

Posted by Roy Kelley (Realty Group Referrals) 8 months ago

Great list.  THis is a great hadnout to give to sellers.  We have run into most of these items over time, especailly the garage pathway to the water heater, shut off valve and other important areas.  :) 

Posted by Christine Kankowski North SD and Temecula, Excellent Sales and Property Management (House Match Inc) 8 months ago

The number of times burnt out bulbs cause a call for an electrical your list, such simple fixes.

Posted by Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543, Tredyffrin Easttown Realtors, Philly Main Line (Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400) 8 months ago


That is a great list.  I have seen a sparking clean house fly through the inspection even though some of the mechanicals were "older".  This guy even cleaned and waxed his furnace. Even though it was 18 years old it looked like new and well maintained (which it was)  Cob webs all around a furnace or water heater say "no ones been here for a while"  

Posted by Dana Basiliere, Making deals "Happen" (Rossi & Riina Real Estate) 8 months ago

What a great list. I never thought to mention pets to be put away. Thanks for your inciteful blog.

Posted by Jill Watts, A Luxury Experience at Every Price Point! (Realty Pro, Inc.) 8 months ago

If a seller is serious about selling and getting top dollar for the property, they should gladly follow your advice in getting ready for the inspector.

This would make a great hand-out to the seller.


Posted by John Wiley, Lee County, FL Real Estate GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA (Right Move Real Estate Group- EXP Realty) 8 months ago

An invaluable list of useful advice and information. In addition to sellers, it's also a great list of homeowners' annual or ongoing maintenance. Great post. 

Posted by Kimo Jarrett, Pro Lifestyle Solutions (WikiWiki Realty) 8 months ago

Hi Debbie

These are great suggestions. It's not uncommon for any one of these to be an issue when it doesn't need to be. I always recommend a pool/spa inspection by a qualified professional.


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (Solutions Real Estate ) 8 months ago

How could I have missed this excellent post, Debbie? Sellers ask all the time what they can do to prepare for the home inspector, and you've given them a comprehensive list. Just this week I reminded sellers to be sure the electrical panel was accessible and items under the sink did not block the plumbing.

Posted by Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty, 601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell (Front Gate Real Estate) 6 months ago

Sellers need to pay attention to these wise words...being a good scout and being prepared is a valuable asset in selling a home.

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) 5 months ago