Ask Adam: Preparing for a Home Inspection

Arbour Realty

This regularly-scheduled sponsored Q&A column is written by Adam Gallegos of Arlington-based real estate firm Arbour Realty, voted one of Arlington Magazine’s Best Realtors of 2013. Please submit follow-up questions in the comments section or via email.

Question: We just put our house on the market.  In anticipation of finding a buyer we would like to prepare for the inevitable home inspection. Can you provide any advice?

A professional home inspector will go from room to room testing the heating, air-conditioning, plumbing, electrical, appliances and smoke detectors. He or she will also evaluate the structure, roof, interior and exterior of the home.  What the home inspector finds to be positive and negative about the home will greatly shape the homebuyers perception of the investment they are in the process of making.

Don’t forget that the standard home inspection contingency usually provides them with the ability to cancel the contract. Yes, this does happen regardless of the market. Even too many little things can spook a homebuyer because they consider them clues about the overall condition of the home.

It’s a lot easier to be proactive about preparing your home for a home inspection. You will avoid opening up negotiation over a laundry list of repair requests and/or monetary credits. It leads to a transaction that is likely to progress smoothly and it is likely to save you money.

One of my favorite real estate authors (Jennifer Allan) put together a home inspection checklist for sellers that I have borrowed from and added to over the years, resulting in the following:

  • HVAC system — have it cleaned and serviced. If repairs are needed, make them. Make sure it has a clean filter.
  • Clean heating and cooling registers and vacuum inside if needed.
  • Make sure your windows open, close and lock.
  • Check for leaks in faucets and under sinks.
  • Make sure toilets flush properly and are not wobbly. If wobbly, replace wax ring and bolt down firmly.
  • If warm enough outside, de-winterize hose bibs.
  • Make sure all light fixtures and light bulbs are working.
  • Ensure that sinks and tubs drain quickly.
  • Clean gutters.
  • Replace cracked or broken window panes.
  • Caulk around tubs and showers.
  • Clean out grime in faucet filters (to maximize water pressure).
  • Ensure doors open, close and lock smoothly.
  • Ensure drain spouts extend away from the foundation.
  • Make sure anti-tip bracket is in place for the stove.
  • Run all appliances if the house has been sitting vacant. Listen for odd noises and check for leaks.
  • Inspect roof and make repairs as needed.
  • Test electrical sockets for the correct polarity.
  • Test smoke detectors.
  • Provide receipts and warranties for recent repairs and servicing.

If you are living in the house, chances are you know of other fixes that should be made prior to the home inspection.  It’s always better to make the fixes upfront than to have someone else mandate how the fixes should be made.

I have not yet employed this strategy, but I have seen listings where the seller actually has a home inspection completed on the home prior to putting it on the market. The home owner can use the report as a guide to proactively making repairs. He or she may also decide to furnish the report to potential buyers if they think it positively reflects the condition of the home.

Inspections can range anywhere from $250 to over $700 (depending on the size of the home) so this is not an inexpensive endeavor. It will however, put you in the best position to catch all the fixes that will show up in a home inspection and offer a truly move-in ready home.

The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of

Recent Stories

Two people were rescued from a precarious situation in Glencarlyn Park on Friday. The driver of an SUV reportedly mistook the gas for the brake in the parking lot of…

Morning Notes

I-66 Change Takes Effect Today — “Starting Monday, Dec. 5, vehicles on I-66 in Northern Virginia will need three or more occupants to qualify as a High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV)….

Daily Debrief for Dec 2, 2022

Good Friday evening, Arlington. Today we published 6 articles that were read a total of 14680 times… so far. 📈 Top stories The following are the most-read articles for today…

Police issued a traffic ticket every six minutes, on average, during an enforcement effort in front of Nottingham Elementary on Thursday afternoon.

Hello Everyone — You are invited to the final meeting of NAACP Arlington Branch NAACP for 2022
When: Dec 12, 2022, 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Topic: 2022 General Membership Meeting — NAACP Arlington Branch
Register in advance for this webinar

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

7:00 pm Meeting Opens.
7:30 pm Installation
8:00 pm Presentation/Q&A; by Dave Schutz on Ranked Choice Voting
8:30 pm Final Remarks and Comments by Newly Elected Members
9:00 pm Meeting Adjourns

Installation Official Robert N. Barnette, Jr. President, Virginia State Conference NAACP The President of the Virginia State Conference NAACP will serve as the Installation Official and provide remarks for our newly elected officers at the general membership.

Read More

Submit your own Announcement here.

Join us December 10 & 11 for our Annual Handmade Holiday Workshop Series. We have a myriad of fun and festive programs from linoleum block wrapping paper printing and buttonhole book making workshops led by Eliza Clifford to a meditative grid workshop and Calligraphy Card Making with Anjelika Deogirikar. Join these wonderful artists and get creative this holiday season!

Submit your own Announcement here.

Light Up Arlington – Clarendon Menorah Lighting

Join us as we celebrate the holiday of Chanukah! Enjoy delicious Latkes, hot cocoa, donuts and more!

Clarendon Menorah Lighting and Community Celebration

Experience the festival of lights!!

*Lighting of a giant 9 foot Menorah

Read More

National Chamber Ensemble – Holiday Cheer!

NCE’s Holiday Concert will bring the finest classical masterpieces and holiday favorites together for the whole family. The festivities begin with Leroy Anderson’s classic “Sleigh Ride” and “Chanukkah Festival”, music from the Nutcracker and by J.S. Bach.

Outstanding Young Artist


Subscribe to our mailing list