Once you’ve made the decision to sell your home the last scenario you want to be faced with is losing a perfectly good offer to purchase because of what may only be a minor repair issue. Don’t wait for a home inspection report to reveal what just might send a buyer over to a competing house for sale. With the guidance of your professional real estate agent you can complete a pre-inspection of your own. After all, who knows your house better than you do?

1. One of the first things every buyer wants to know is; how old is the roof? If you don’t know, it doesn’t mean you have to put a new roof on before you can sell.

*Are there active leaks? Check the likely places for evidence of water issues. If found, it may be time to call a professional for help. Your homeowners insurance may even allow for a new roof depending on the circumstance. Your real estate agent is a great source to locate a good roofing contractor who can even help you negotiate with your insurance company.

2. Another main area of concern to potential buyers is the foundation. A visual inspection of your own will reveal if there are any cracks or areas of suspicion. Then you can decide whether you need to call in an expert.

*Meanwhile, to avoid standing water at the foundation; install downspout extensions that divert water away from the house

3. While you’re adding downspouts, don’t forget about the gutters above them. Clean gutters allow water to flow freely down those spouts and away from your roof.

*Clogged gutters can result in water going under your roof, causing leaking problems!

4. Cover any exposed outlets or light switch fixtures.

*This isn’t just about looking good but about safety codes.

5. Take a close look in the cabinets under all the sinks in your home. Check the basement or crawl space for signs of water leaking under tubs, washing machine, dishwasher and any other drains.

*It’s easier and less expensive to repair a small leak than have a burst pipe to replace, not to mention the damage done to cabinets or floors by water leaks!

6. Take a walk up or down every set of stairs inside and outside the home. Loose handrails? Tighten them up now before further damage is done to the wall – or an unsuspecting person!

*If the screws are coming loose, replace them with molly screws or anchors for a better fit.

7. Complete a visual inspection of all windows; specifically look for evidence of condensation, water leaks or clogged weep holes, as well as checking the function and locking mechanisms.

*Weep holes are small openings in the casing of the window that allows rain to drain so windowsills aren’t filled with standing water, which can rot wood or allow mildew or mold to form.

8. Check your water heater! This is one of the most often requested items to be replaced unless it is less than 10 years old.

*Even if no active leaks are discovered during an inspection, the inspector may find the water isn’t heating properly. Replacing a heater unit is far less expensive than replacing a whole water heater!

9. Do a test on all the appliances and fixtures in the house, as if you aren’t using them every day. We can be so used to avoiding the back burner of the stove that isn’t working correctly that we don’t even think about it. For every appliance that will remain with the house once it’s sold, do your own full inspection.

*Making minor repairs that are needed can be less costly than replacing the item, as a buyer might insist you do if their home inspection reveals it isn’t working properly.

10. Clean out your dryer vent, if this isn’t already on your to do list! Lint build up combined with exhaust heat is a fire hazard.

*If the vent is old consider replacing it with an updated one to minimize the fire hazard.

11. Last but not least, do a complete walk around and walk through, checking all the light fixtures (replace bulbs as needed), ceiling fans (consider removing or replacing if they don’t work properly), garage door (beside opening and closing properly, does the light work?) and check smoke alarms (now is a good time to install new batteries). Try to look at the house with fresh eyes, see what a buyer will be seeing. Perhaps a fresh coat of paint isn’t such a bad idea before a sign goes up!

Buyers tend to have a heightened expectation for everything to be in perfect or near perfect working order. By not disappointing them with small nuisances, they may repay you with a full price offer to purchase!Start your post here...