A home inspection can be a make-or-break process when you're trying to sell your home. While there's no such thing as a perfect report - the inspector will always find something - here are some tips to make sure you're not blindsided by a big repair that could scuttle a potential sale.

Check The Roof

The roof is a key component to any inspection, you'll want to make sure it's ready for its closeup.

"Get out a ladder and clean moss and debris from the gutters, check for damaged or missing tiles and make sure downspouts are in their proper position," Moving.com said. "If you do find damage on the roof, you’ll want to get it taken care of prior to the home inspection."

Check The Electrical System

Make sure your electrical system is up to code.

"Knob and tube wiring was commonly installed prior to 1950. It is ungrounded and considered unsafe by today’s standards," said Robert A Marouski Jr., owner of CT Pro Inspection.

Marouski said problems with knob and tube wiring include:

  • Limited wire gauge in conjunction with modern appliances may result in wire overheating creating a potential fire hazard.
  • With repeated overheating/cooling cycles, wire insulation covering the wire conductors can become brittle, deteriorated, and cracked, resulting in energized electrical conductors becoming exposed to touch which is a shock and fire hazard.
  • Knob and tube wiring is designed to dissipate heat to the surrounding air. When covered by thermal insulation (a common condition in attics), wiring is often no longer able to dissipate heated adequately and becomes a potential fire hazard.

In addition to updating your wiring, you'll want to make sure your circuit breaker is easily accessible and labeled correctly.

"A confusing fuse box is frustrating for homeowners and home inspectors alike," Moving.com said. "Double check that each switch in the box is labeled clearly and correctly, and replace any labels that are incorrect or difficult to read."

Check the Plumbing

Make sure toilets and other plumbing fixtures are in working order.

"The home inspector is definitely going to be looking for signs of leaks or water damage, so it’s better you beat them to it and get any water-related issues repaired prior to the inspection," Moving.com said.

Check for Critters

A spider or fly is inevitable in any home. However, you'll want to make sure to take care of any infestation problems before your inspection.

"If you’ve got a wasp nest in the backyard or are regularly seeing lines of ants in your kitchen or other interior areas, you’ll want to take care of these problems prior to inspection," Moving.com said. "Most bug problems aren’t a huge deal, but they can turn off buyers."

Odds and Ends

When it comes to a home inspection, first impressions matter.

CT Pro Inspection says you should make sure the home - inside and out - is clean and tidy. Give the siding a powerwash, make sure to clean up the yard, and clear away clutter.

The company also said it's important to fix minor defects, like loose door fixtures or leaky faucets, and to replace blown lightbulbs so the inspector doesn't note the fixture as inoperable.

CT Pro Inspection said you may want to consider hiring a handyman to take care of these projects before your inspection.

Consider a Pre-Inspection

"If you really want to know about any issues ahead of time, you can always schedule a pre-inspection before you even put your home on the market," Kazantzis Real Estate Agent Keri Roy said.

According to Homelight.com, the pre-inspection allows the seller to fix-up issues that would come up in the buyer’s inspection at closing, putting them in a position of strength during negotiations. However, the website cautions, it could also prompt you to fix things a buyer may let go.

"Keep in mind that if you do get a pre-inspection, you are legally required to disclose these results to your buyer’s agent," the website said.

Trust Your Realtor

This may be your first or second home inspection, but your real estate agent has probably guided clients through dozens if not hundreds of them. Count on your Realtor to walk you through this process and help you prioritize what items need to be dealt with before your inspection.

More Information from CT Client Protection