What to do before you sell your home

By December 12, 2019December 30th, 2019Home Selling
Home for Sale

Selling Your Home?

We have created a checklist for you to see what you should do before you list your home on the market and before the dreaded home inspector arrives!

What to do before the sign goes up.


  • Trim trees away from roof and home.
  • Trim shrubs, vegetation, and remove unsightly plants.
  • Over seed lawns to maintain “paradise” look.
  • Power wash sidewalks, driveways, patios, and exterior walls.
  • Clean front door and frame.
    Paint as needed to improve curb appeal.
  • Have a roofing contractor inspect the roof and make needed repairs.
  • Remove screens and clean windows. Clean out gutters.
  • Have irrigation and lighting systems in working order.
  • Keep garbage containers in the rear of the house or in the garage.
  • Keep toys and bikes out of sight.
  • Dress up the front. A few potted plants make the house look loved.


De-clutter the home:

  • Have a yard sale to make extra cash.
  • Donate or throw away unused items.
  • Put possessions in storage.
  • Clean off everything on the kitchencounters.
  • Clean out and organize the garage andclosets.
  • Place all breakables, antiques, and other valuables in a safe place to prevent accidental damage.
  • Have the home professionally cleaned.
  • Patch and paint walls and ceilings where needed.
  • How does the house smell? If the house has an unpleasant odor it may take longer to sell.
  • Replace floor coverings as needed.
  • De-personalize the home: pack up personal photographs, family heirlooms, religious items, etc. that may deter a buyer from seeing themselves living in the home.
  • Highlight the key features of the home by making sure they are not obscured by plants and furnishings.

What to do before the inspector arrives.

Prepare Your Property:

  • Provide clear access to the attic opening, crawl space, garage, water heater, closets, electrical panel, and other mechanical systems.
  • Clear out highly congested areas.
  • Open all window coverings and remove obstructions from window and door openings.
  • Clear out storage items from the oven, stove and beneath all sinks.
  • Trim tree limbs to 10’ from the roof and shrubs from the house.
  • Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and replace any dead batteries.
  • Remove stored items or debris that may hinder the inspection.
  • Service A/C systems, particularly if they are older units. Have service records available for the prospective buyers.
  • Make minor repairs: replace burned out light bulbs in all of the sockets, fix leaky faucets, and fix doors that don’t close or latch properly.
  • Clean out gutters.
  • Re-caulk bathtubs and showers.
  • Unlock gate.

Utilities On:

  • Confirm gas, water, and electric are on prior to the inspection.
  • All electrical circuit breakers should be in the “on” position.
  • Have pilot lights on at gas appliances. All electrical boxes should be unlocked.

Protect Your Property:

  • Secure all pets. Ideally, they should be removed from the premises.
  • Protect clothing and personal items near closet attic access openings; insulation can fall when entering the attic.

Prepare for Systems Tests:

  • Clean and replace dirty A/C filters.
  • The dishwasher will be run during the inspection. You may prepare a load of dishes if you choose.
  • Provide operating instructions for any specialized or unique equipment.
  • Provide any remote controls for ceiling fans, lights, etc.

How to Avoid the Headaches… Schedule a Pre-Listing Inspection

After living in your home for 5, 10, or 50 years you probably know the house better than anyone else. However, when a buyer’s home inspector shows up there may be minor and/or major issues uncovered that were previously unknown. This can complicate the transaction and cause headaches for everyone.

Having a pre-listing inspection done before you put your home on the market allows you to address any issues ahead of time. This results in a happier you and a smoother transaction process for all involved. Call us today for more information on what makes Waypoint Property Inspection the most trusted home inspection company in the greater Tampa Bay Area.

Schedule Online Here

Download the what to do before you sell your home checklist PDF.

Aaron Shishilla

Author Aaron Shishilla

Aaron Shishilla is the youngest registered professional inspector in Florida. Coming from a family-owned home inspection company and now the marketing manager at Waypoint.

More posts by Aaron Shishilla

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