Everything You Need to Know About Getting Your Home Inspected Before Selling

Nicholle DiPinto McKiernan November 7, 2023

Selling your home can be an exciting, yet nerve-wracking experience. Whether you're a first-time seller or a seasoned pro, one essential step you should never overlook is getting a thorough home inspection. In this comprehensive guide, we'll walk you through everything you need to know about home inspections before selling, helping you maximize your property's value and ensure a smooth transaction.

Why a Home Inspection Matters

Home inspections are a crucial part of the home-selling process. They provide an in-depth evaluation of your property's condition, helping you identify potential issues that could deter potential buyers or lead to costly negotiations down the line. Here's why a home inspection matters:
  • Transparency: A home inspection provides full disclosure of your property's condition. It helps you avoid surprises during the negotiation process and ensures transparency with potential buyers.
  • Maximizing Value: Identifying and addressing issues before listing your home can help you maximize its value. By making necessary repairs or improvements, you can command a higher asking price.
  • Faster Sales: A home inspection can speed up the selling process. Having a report available upfront can instill confidence in buyers and reduce the time spent on negotiations.
  • Negotiating Power: Knowing the true condition of your home allows you to negotiate from a position of strength. You can address issues or price your home accordingly, reducing the likelihood of buyers requesting extensive repairs.

When to Schedule a Home Inspection

Timing is crucial when it comes to scheduling a home inspection. Here are the key points to consider:
  • Pre-Listing Inspection: A pre-listing inspection is typically conducted before you put your home on the market. This proactive approach allows you to address issues and make necessary improvements before potential buyers see the property. It also demonstrates your commitment to transparency.
  • Buyer-Requested Inspection: In some cases, buyers may request an inspection as part of their offer. While this can save you money upfront, it can lead to last-minute surprises or negotiations.
  • Legal Requirements: Some states or municipalities may have legal requirements for when inspections must occur in the selling process. Be sure to check local regulations.
In most cases, a pre-listing inspection is the best course of action. It empowers you to control the narrative and address any issues on your terms.

Choosing the Right Home Inspector

Selecting the right home inspector is a crucial decision. You want someone with the knowledge and experience to provide a comprehensive assessment. Here's how to choose the right professional:
  • Qualifications: Ensure the inspector is licensed, certified, and a member of a reputable professional organization, such as the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) or the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI).
  • Experience: Look for an inspector with a solid track record and plenty of experience in the field. They should have a deep understanding of construction, electrical systems, plumbing, and more.
  • References: Ask for references from past clients or check online reviews to gauge the inspector's reputation and reliability.
  • Sample Reports: Request a sample inspection report to ensure it's detailed, easy to understand, and covers all relevant aspects of the property.
  • Pricing: While cost is a factor, it should not be the sole determining factor. A cheaper inspection might not be as thorough or reliable. Balance cost with the inspector's qualifications and reputation.

Preparing Your Home for Inspection

Before the inspector arrives, there are several steps you can take to prepare your home for the inspection:
  • Clean and Declutter: A clean, clutter-free home allows the inspector to access all areas easily.
  • Provide Documentation: List any recent repairs or renovations you've completed and provide documentation as necessary. This can help demonstrate that your property has been well-maintained.
  • Maintenance: Address minor issues such as leaky faucets, loose doorknobs, or burnt-out light bulbs.
  • Accessibility: Ensure that all areas of your home, including the attic, basement, and crawl spaces, are accessible to the inspector.
  • Pets: If you have pets, make arrangements for them to be out of the house during the inspection.
  • Utilities: Ensure that all utilities (water, gas, electricity) are on and accessible for the inspection.
By taking these steps, you can help ensure a smooth and efficient inspection process.

What to Expect During the Inspection

A typical home inspection covers many aspects within and around your property. Here's a breakdown of what to expect during the inspection:
  • Exterior: The inspector will examine the exterior of your home, looking for issues such as roofing, siding, foundation, and drainage. They may also check for safety hazards and code compliance.
  • Interior: Inside, the inspector will assess the condition of walls, floors, ceilings, windows, doors, and more. They will look for signs of water damage, structural issues, and safety concerns.
  • Electrical: The electrical system will be evaluated, including the wiring, outlets, circuit breakers, and the main electrical panel. Safety issues like faulty wiring or overloaded circuits will be noted.
  • Plumbing: The plumbing system will be checked for leaks, drainage problems, and the functionality of fixtures like faucets, toilets, and water heaters.
  • Heating and Cooling: The inspector will assess the heating and cooling systems to ensure they work properly and are well-maintained.
  • Attic and Basement: The inspector will inspect the attic and basement spaces for insulation, ventilation, and signs of moisture or structural issues.
  • Appliances: Appliances like stoves, ovens, dishwashers, and refrigerators will be checked for proper operation.
  • Safety and Code Compliance: The inspector will identify any safety hazards and potential code violations that can affect your home's saleability.

Interpreting the Inspection Report

Once the inspection is complete, the inspector will provide a detailed report outlining their findings. It's essential to review this report carefully, as it can impact the sale of your home.

The report will typically include:
  • Overview: A summary of the inspection, including any critical findings.
  • Detailed Assessment: A section-by-section breakdown of the inspection, highlighting any issues discovered, both major and minor.
  • Photographs: Visual documentation of the issues found for clarity.
  • Recommendations: Suggestions for repairs or further evaluations.
After reviewing the report, you can determine which issues need immediate attention and which ones can be negotiated with the buyer.

Taking Action on the Inspection Report

Addressing the issues identified in the inspection report is a crucial step in maximizing your home's value and ensuring a smooth sale. Here's how to proceed:

Prioritize Repairs

Start with the most critical repairs that affect the home's safety or structural integrity. These should be your top priority.

Consider Negotiations

Discuss with your real estate agent how to handle less critical issues. You can choose to fix them before listing the property or negotiate with the buyer to adjust the selling price accordingly.

Contact the Professionals

For complex or major repairs, consider hiring professionals. Whether it's a roofer, electrician, plumber, or general contractor, experts can ensure the work is done right.

Document Repairs

Keep records of all repairs and improvements made. This documentation can help assure buyers that you've taken the necessary steps to maintain your property.

A Call to Action: Working with Nicholle McKiernan

Navigating the intricacies of selling your home can be overwhelming, but you don't have to do it alone. Working with a skilled real estate agent like Nicholle McKiernan can make all the difference. Nicholle's expertise in the real estate market and her dedication to her clients can help you achieve a successful home sale while ensuring a smooth inspection process.

If you're considering selling your home or have any questions about the inspection process, don't hesitate to reach out to Nicholle. She can provide valuable guidance and assist you in making the most of your home's value.

Contact Nicholle today to learn more about her services and get started on your journey to a successful home sale.

In conclusion, a home inspection is a vital step in the home-selling process. It provides transparency, maximizes your property's value, and empowers you to negotiate from a position of strength. By choosing the right home inspector, preparing your home, interpreting the inspection report, and taking necessary action, you can set the stage for a successful home sale. And, with the help of a dedicated real estate agent like Nicholle McKiernan, you can navigate the entire process with confidence. Don't miss out on the opportunity to maximize the value of your home and ensure a hassle-free sale. Contact Nicholle McKiernan today!


One would be hard-pressed to find a real estate agent more attuned to the opulent offerings of Longboat Key, Lido Key, and St. Armands than Nicholle. Her enthusiasm and positive attitude towards finding the perfect home in these idyllic locations are palpable and infectious. People trust Nicholle with their single largest asset when exploring the vibrant real estate landscape of Longboat Key, Lido Key, and St. Armands. It is a responsibility she shoulders with utmost seriousness. She understands that her success is a direct reflection of her clients' success in securing their dream abode in these picturesque locales. Nicholle's dedication is evident as she navigates the real estate market of Longboat Key, Lido Key, and St. Armands, ensuring a seamless and rewarding property acquisition experience for her clients.