Things to Fix in Your Home Before an Inspection

October 18, 2021
Keeping a home in good repair can pay significant dividends when it’s time to sell. Buyers want move-in ready homes, and real estate agents don't want their deal to fall apart.

A little prevention can spare you from the pain of watching a buyer walk away. Here are some of the most important things you should consider repairing before selling your home:

Kitchen and Bathrooms

The kitchen and bathrooms of a home have the most mechanical systems, such as plumbing and electrical. That means they also have the highest likelihood of damage.

  • Make sure kitchen appliances are operational and clean. Appliances are a big-ticket item, and buyers will be considering the condition of existing appliances when they inspect.
  • Cabinets should be in good condition, free of water damage or rot, and cabinet doors and drawers should open and close smoothly. Fix loose hinges, oil or replace stuck drawer tracks, and replace broken knobs or handles. Most of these tasks are DIY, with a quick trip to the hardware store and a screwdriver!
  • If cabinets are painted, make sure the paint isn't chipping or peeling. If it is, sand them down and apply a fresh coat. Severely damaged cabinets may need to be replaced, a task that may require a contractor unless you're skilled at home renovations.
  • Make sure sinks and fixtures are clean, well-attached, caulked and leak-free. Drains should operate free and clear. The overflow drain should be in good working order. Hot and cold options should operate as marked.
  • Fixtures, such as the showerhead, should be fully operational, and drains should be free of clogs. If acrylic on a bathtub is peeling, you may need to resurface the tub or replace it. The exhaust vent, which removes the steam from the shower, should be fully operational. Any broken shower tiles should be replaced.
  • Look for any signs of water damage. Whether it's under the sink or behind the shower tile, water damage can be a dealbreaker for a lot of buyers.


The heating and cooling is an important component of your home. Your heating, ventilation, and AC should be in good working order, clean, and free of leaks. The thermostat should operate properly. If you have any doubts, hire an HVAC technician to perform a tune-up and give you an assessment of the system's condition.

Water Heater

Your water heater should be in good working order and not leak. The lifespan of a water heater is 8-12 years, and since it can be a costly item to replace and a pain in the you-know-what if it malfunctions, consider upgrading it if it's reaching a time beyond its useful life.

Smoke / Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Your detectors should be in good working order, and less then ten years old. Test your detectors, and replace the batteries if needed. Also keep in mind that they should be placed in the right area, per local county or state regulations.

Electrical Panel and Circuit Breakers

Outdated electrical systems are a constant source of anxiety for homeowners, but it can cost tens of thousands of dollars to update systems throughout your home. Still, it makes sense to do what you can. If that means upgrading to GFCI outlets or replacing an out-of-code panel, those are some smaller things you can do to help.


Some say this is a no-brainer. When a buyer walks into your home, they want to be able to picture living there. The paint colors you choose should be neutral and understated. This allows the buyer to see the colors they have in mind more vividly.

Exterior Items

The roof and gutters are the number one exterior item you should check before an inspection. An inspector may call out if your roof is old and you may not be planning on getting a new roof if there are still a few years of life left in your roof, but if it's in disrepair, you may need to consider replacing it. Inspectors will also check that your gutters are clear and downspouts point away from the house, and check the basement and attic (if applicable) for any signs of water intrusion.

If you’re going to sell your home soon and need to make repairs before you list it, HouseAmp can help! By using our platform, we can connect you with move-in-ready contractors to complete any necessary repairs and updates to help you get the best price for your home!

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