Prepare For A Home Inspection

What To Expect During A Home Inspection

As a seller you need to know what to expect during the home inspection process. You should fix or replace any damaged or defective items you are aware of. The cleaner the home inspection the more likely you will have a smooth transaction.

An exterior home inspection checklist should include the following:


  • Good drainage, including downspouts, directing water away from the house with no standing water.
  • Have septic system pumped and inspected to ensure no issues.
  • Irrigation system is fully functional with no leaks and no inoperable sprinkler heads.
  • Ensure sprinklers do not spray towards windows or door openings.
  • Landscaping, driveway and walkways in good condition with no significant cracks.
  • Trees in good condition without overhanging, tohching the house or touching the roof.
  • Detached garage, shed, fence and deck show no rotted wood or evidence of termites.
  • Automatic garage door operates properly and stops for obstructions.
  • Check exterior door jams for signs of wood rot and replace as needed.


  • Always a great idea to have your roof soft washed to remove any signs of mildew or discoloration.
  • Check for any missing or damaged shingles and no signs of curling or cupping.
  • No roof nail pops.
  • No evidence of excess roofing cement or patches.
  • Limited granual loss and no bare spots on shingles.
  • Flashing around roof penetrations is present and in good condition.
  • No decay or staining on soffits and fascia; fascia board lines appear straight and level.
  • Vents for eaves are clean and not obstructed.
  • Vent pipe sleeves are in condition with no signs of damage.
  • Gutters show no decay, staining or rust and are securely attached with downspouts.
  • Chimneys are straight and show no evidence of damage; flashing and cap are in good condition.

Outside structure:

  • Visible foundation appears straight and plumb, in good condition with no significant cracks.
  • Exterior walls appear straight with no sagging or bowing.
  • Window and door frames appear square.
  • No wood-to-ground contact.
  • Siding has no cracks, decay or curling.
  • Bricks show no damage or cracks in joints.
  • Stucco shows no large cracks.
  • Aluminum and vinyl siding is not loose and shows no dents or damage.
  • Paint is not faded, flaking or blistered.
  • Exterior walls show no staining.

Doors and windows:

  • Doors have weather-stripping and latch properly.
  • Interior door leading to garage must be metal/fire rated.
  • No condensation inside double-paned windows.
  • Windows operate easily with no broken panes or sashes.
  • Frames and trim are secure with no cracks or decay.
  • Joints inside and out are caulked.

An interior home inspection checklist should include:


  • Attic pull down stairs are sturdy and properly rated.
  • No evidence in attic of staining from roof leaks.
  • Adequate roof ventilation throughout attic and at soffit vents.
  • Plumbing, exhaust and appliance vents extend through roof and are properly sealed.
  • Insulation is sufficient and properly installed.
  • No signs of rodent droppings.
  • All electrical splices are located inside junction boxes.


  • Service panel has adequate capacity with cables attached properly.
  • Check to make sure electrical panel is insurable, some brands are not (
  • No knob-and-tube wiring.
  • No aluminum cable for branch circuits.
  • Cables are secured.
  • Visible wiring is in good condition.
  • No exposed electrical splices.
  • No double tapped breakers.


  • Visible pipes show no damage or evidence of leaks.
  • Drain pipes slope toward main waste outlet to sewer or septic system.
  • Water heater is appropriate size for home and shows no signs of rust.
  • Manufacture date of water heater is within length of expected use, typically less than 10 years.
  • Water pressure at fixtures in home falls within accepted range.
  • Hot water temperature at fixtures does not exceed 125-degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Drinking water from well is tested for safety.

Heating and Cooling:

  • No mold present on or inside ac unit. If so, clean with appropriate cleaner.
  • Air conditioning and heating to operate well with good air flow throughout home.
  • Air filters are replaced and clean.
  • Ductwork is in good condition.
  • Clean any dust from around air returns and vents.
  • No rust around cooling unit.
  • AC vents are present in all interior rooms.


  • Working exhaust fan vents to exterior.
  • Adequate water flow and pressure for hot and cold water at all fixtures.
  • Tub, shower and sink drain smoothly.
  • Visible plumbing under sink is in good condition and cabinet floor shows no water damage.
  • Toilets flush and fill properly.
  • No sounds of leaking from toilet.
  • Toilet is stable, with no rocking or stains at base.
  • Caulking inside and outside of tub and shower is in good condition.
  • Tiles are secure.
  • Ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) receptacles for all electrical outlets located within 6-feet of sinks.
  • No evidence of leaking around base of tub or shower.


  • Working exhaust fan vents to outside.
  • Ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) receptacles for all electrical outlets located within 6 feet of sinks.
  • Dishwasher drains properly and shows no evidence of leaks; door and baskets operate properly.
  • Dishwasher secured to countertop to prevent tipping hazard.
  • Plumbing under sink is in good condition and cabinet shows no stains or decay from past leaks.
  • Garbage disposal is operational and shows no rust or deterioration.
  • Water flow to sink is adequate and drains properly.
  • Built-in appliances operate properly.
  • Cabinets are in good condition; doors and drawers operate properly.

Interior rooms:

  • Floors, walls and ceilings appear straight, plumb and level; no stains.
  • Doors open easily and latch properly when closed; no broken hardware.
  • Flooring materials in good condition.
  • No significant cracks in walls or ceilings.
  • Windows and doors operate easily and latch properly, no broken glass, no broken sashes and are not painted shut.
  • Paint, wall covering, paneling in good condition.
  • Wood trim installed well and in good condition.
  • Lights and switches operate properly.
  • Adequate number of 3-pronged/grounded electrical outlets in each room.
  • Electrical outlets test properly with spot checks.
  • Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are in working order and located in required and recommended areas.


  • Pool pump is in working condition with no excessive wear or noise during operation.
  • No leaks present at the pool plumbing site.
  • No leaks at the filter site.
  • No leaks inside the pool, drain or skimmer.
  • No cracks on pool edging or pool decking that could compromise pool integrity.
  • Pool surface/finish is not discolored, worn or showings sign of damage.
  • Pool tile and coping are solid with no missing grout.
  • Pool water features and waterfalls are working order.
  • Pool heater is functioning with no signs of rust, wear or leaks.

Example Home Inspection Checklist:

Note: This is not an exhaustive list, and it is not meant to replace a professional home inspection checklist and report. Only use this as a complementary point of reference and keep in mind that not every checklist item will apply to every home.