Preparing For Your Pre-Sale Inspection

Tips for Preparing Your Home for a Building Inspection

Inexpensive Maintenance:

  • Clean gutters of debris, repair or replace broken gutters.
  • Check roof structure and covering.
  • Divert water away from the house e.g. repair downpipes, grade slope away from the house.
  • Trim trees roots and bushes back from foundations, roof and walls.
  • Paint all weathered exterior wood and seal around windows and doors.
  • Seal asphalt driveways.
  • Seal or point masonry.
  • Have heating, ventilating, and air conditioning systems professionally serviced.
  • Point any failing mortar joints.
  • Test all smoke detectors.
  • Repair and weather seal all windows and doors so that they are operational.
  • Repair all plumbing fixtures, toilet, bath, shower, and sinks of leaks.
  • Ensure that the sump pump is operational and inspect the condition of the pit.
  • Replace light bulbs and broken light fixtures.
  • Remove rotting wood from contact with the house.
  • Properly grade under the deck.
  • Seal all exterior wall penetrations.
  • Grout along tub-floor, tub-walls, tub-shower and glass doors.
  • Check that the crawlspace is dry and well ventilated.
  • Check that vents are operational.
  • Remove paints, solvents, gas etc. from the crawlspace.
  • Check that toilets are secure to the floor and not cracked.
  • Ensure clear access to the roof void, sub-floor crawlspace, and garage.

Attention to Detail:

  • Tighten loose doorknobs.
  • Replace damaged screens.
  • Replace broken panes of glass.
  • Secure loose railings.
  • Patch and repaint small holes in walls and ceilings.
  • Repair or replace faded or peeling wallpaper.
  • Repair and coat the driveway.

Safety Precautions:

  • Install good quality smoke detectors.
  • Ensure safety switch compliance.
  • Ensure pool fencing compliance.
  • Ensure adequate outdoor lighting.
  • Keep stairwells and doorways tidy and free of debris and obstructions.
  • Keep flammables and combustibles away from utility areas.
  • Ensure that the garage door is operational.

Cosmetic Improvements:

  • Keep the lawn mowed and the house tidy.
  • Clean exterior walls and wash windows.
  • Open shades and curtains to create an inviting atmosphere.
  • Pay attention to cleanliness and comfort of kitchen and bathrooms.

Prepare for Your Buyer's Inspection:

It's a good idea to assemble your various house certificates, warranties, and receipts that can be used to answer your buyer's questions:

  • Appliance receipts service records and warranties.
  • Information on the age of major components e.g. roof coverings, air conditioning.
  • Major component warranties.
  • All certification records.
  • Heating, water, power, and rates bills for the past 12 months.

Mould & Mildew:

Mildew stains and odours signal moisture and can scare buyers because moisture deteriorates building materials and attracts timber pests. The Inspector will be specifically looking for moisture and will use a moisture meter to determine how much is present.

Most foundation "leaks" are a result of poor drainage that funnels water towards foundations. Gutters need to be cleared so that rainwater flows unimpeded toward downpipes instead of spilling over gutters to pond around the base of the property.


Deteriorated roof coverings are one of the first things inspectors notice. If the elements underneath the covering are moist or rotted, significant repairs could be required. Ensure that flashings are watertight, and mortar and bricks are in good condition.


Fix leaks long before the building inspection takes place. The inspector will check water pressure by turning on multiple taps and flushing toilets at the same time. He will also check showers for waterproofing by running them for about 10 minutes with the drain covered.

Before Your Inspection:

Do everything you can to get your home in good condition before you sell, but don't be discouraged if the Inspection Report contains a few negative statements. Inspectors make note of everything they see.

Remember that the Inspection Report is not a buyer wish-list. Your contract may state that you are under no obligation to make any repairs at all, although the buyers may withdraw from the contract. Don't feel you must comply with unreasonable demands for repairs. Whether it's a Pre-Sale or Pre Purchase Inspection, it's best to be thoroughly prepared.

Clean Your House:

This sounds so simple, yet is often overlooked. A clean home may be an indication of its maintenance.

De-Clutter Your House:

So that the Inspector can effectively and efficiently conduct a thorough inspection he will need to be able to freely access all rooms to inspect walls and the floor. This means that you should minimise all obstructions including locked or inaccessible areas - move the car out of the garage, take the dog for a walk, ensure that no one is sleeping or occupying a room. Rooms should be de-cluttered of clothes and other personal items, boxes, prints and posters on walls, rugs lifted, and heavy furniture moved away from walls.

Be On Time Because the Inspector Will Be:

If an inspector makes an appointment with you for 9:00 a.m., have the house ready for inspection at 8:30 a.m.

Provide Access to Roof Space, Sub-Floor, and Garage:

The inspector will need to get into roof spaces, sub-floors, and garages. Make sure these are unlocked and accessible. Move boxes away from the walls and do not park your car beneath access holes.

Clear Away Brush from Exterior Inspection Points:

Cut down dead tree branches and clear brush from foundations. Move rubbish bins away from the house.

Provide Repair/Renovation Documents:

Make available all invoices and certification documents regarding remodelling projects or new items.

Prepare to be Away for 1-2 Hours:

Often the buyer will accompany the building inspector and may feel uncomfortable asking questions if you are present throughout this process. Try to schedule a time for the inspection when you, your children and pets can be out of the house.

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