Tips for a DIY Pre-Inspection Before You List Your Home

March 14, 2022

The spring is typically the “busiest and most robust” when it comes to real estate, so you may be readying your home for sale. Of course, consult a Realtor® to assess the best time frame to sell your home, but if now is the time, perhaps consider conducting an inspection before you list your home.

Many experts recommend a do-it-yourself (DIY) pre-inspection (in addition to, not in lieu of, the professional inspection that is conducted once you receive an offer-to-purchase). Why go through the time and effort? Zillow explains that doing so could showcase an indication of your honesty and be leveraged in your negotiating strategy. With regards to negotiation, the example Zillow provides is if you discover your home will need a new roof in a few years, you may need to give a little on price. Knowing ahead of time can make you a smart seller. Or, if you fix an issue that you find during your DIY inspection (e.g., a potentially small, easy-to-fix issue, like a clogged drain) before the home inspector comes, it becomes a moot point that doesn’t even become part of the repairs negotiation.

So, grab a flashlight, step ladder and your toolbox and let’s get started. (And if you’re curious what a professional inspection includes, Opendoor provides this checklist.)

Does everything work?

Basically, is everything working as it should? Walk around your home and check appliances, fans, switches, downspouts, windows, doors and cabinet doors, the garage door, etc. Do this check inside and outside of your home. While you’re there, knock out DIY maintenance tasks like cleaning out the gutters.

Is the water flowing?

Check the water pressure and drain venting by turning the faucet on in the bathroom sink and then flush the toilet. Is there a drop in the water pressure or gurgling noises in the pipes? This test lets you know if you have water supply pressure, drain, or venting issues. Anything other than “ what-seems-like-normal” water pressure or draining means you should call a plumber to do a specific inspection.

Next, run the water in all your sinks, showers and tubs to check how well the water is draining. If the water starts to puddle, you can try our DIY hack: the drain weasel.

Hopefully this goes without saying but check for leaks where pipes run through walls.

Are you hot and cold?

You’re likely acutely aware of your HVAC unit’s performance. Has it been keeping you warm this winter, and did it keep you cool last summer? If you’re having issues with your furnace, review our checklist to determine if it needs repaired.

Memories of our hot, hot summer (and fall!) are still probably fresh in your mind. If you had some issues with your air conditioner (A/C), use this guide to figure out if you need to repair or replace your A/C unit.

And so that you can really rest assured, you can call in the experts for a pre-season cooling inspection. Dirt and neglect are the top causes of cooling system inefficiency and failure. Having your HVAC system inspected will not only help keep your energy bills down (while you’re still living there), but also more importantly for you right now, identify … and avoid pricey repairs. From March 1 through April 30, Charlotte Mechanical is offering an A/C safety check for $79 per unit. We will come out to your home between 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. on any business day to perform this important inspection.

Lastly, we always recommend changing your air filter on a regular basis.

Are you wired correctly?

Family Handyman recommends checking a few electrical outlets with a receptacle tester to ensure they’re wired correctly. They say, “Brand new outlets sometimes mean the room was recently wired. Problems like reverse polarity suggest the work was done by the homeowner and not inspected.”

Good luck selling your home! If you’re seeking further inspiration, Family Handyman has a list of other tasks – from upgrading lighting to fixing pet issues – you can do when planning to sell your home. If you need an HVAC or plumbing expert to address any issues beyond your DIY abilities, you know where to find us!


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