Seller Prep From a Home Inspector’s Perspective

home inspector nothern va

Seller Prep From a Home Inspector’s Perspective

Home inspectors see homes for sale as a major part of their business. They become familiar with many possible ways that a seller chooses to present their house to prospective buyers. While a hot sellers’ market may mean that sellers don’t need to do much to close a deal, the number of offers and, ultimately, the amount of the deal can be significantly impacted by doing some work in advance of listing.


Over the years, owners accumulate belongings. From kids’ art projects to bowling trophies, inherited furniture, and mystery remotes, there are so many items that have a way of taking up residence without being noticed. Closets become places to put things, and sometimes, they become overfull from last-minute preparations for guests. Whether homeowners do the work on their own or work with a professional like Karen Sullivan of Organizing Genies in Annandale, Virginia, simplifying the look and feel of the home in advance of listing photographs and open houses will make the home more appealing to potential buyers.


Kitchens and bathrooms can get very dated fast as fashions and technologies evolve, so a perfectly useable space can make a home look old and tired. According to HGTV, the two of the top three most lucrative projects in terms of an increase in the sale price of a home are minor remodels to these two rooms. With options from switching out the hardware and resurfacing cabinets to appliance upgrades, there are many ways to make these improvements without breaking the bank. They also might result in some tax savings after the sale!


Landscaping is another area where a little goes a long way. Yards can get overgrown or sparse over time, both of which affect the home’s curb appeal. Adding color through seasonal plants or an interesting design detail like a water feature can catch the eye of potential buyers, brightening their impression of the house. There are many ways to approach this project, but giving the garden some TLC is a helpful way to increase the value.


Clogged gutters? Torn screen? Loose banister? Small home maintenance issues add up, and they have a way of making it into the home inspection report, which can lead to some bargaining by the buyer for a credit. If a home doesn’t show signs of this type of regular care, it may make potential buyers wonder what else hasn’t been tended to over the years.


When selling a home, it is hard to get excited about doing major repairs to a place that is going to belong to someone else. But, buyers are looking for move-in-ready homes, and the word “new” to describe systems like the roof or the HVAC can increase the asking price for the home well beyond the cost to do the repairs.

Not sure where to start? At Biller & Associates, we offer inspections ranging from a 30-60 minute walk and talk to a several hour deep dive into your home to identify possible areas of improvement. If you plan to list your home this Fall, we suggest the following seasonal maintenance steps:

  • Prune Trees and Plants
  • Complete Fall Lawn Care – Aerate/Fertilize/Seed
  • Replace Light Bulbs in Exterior Fixtures
  • Paint & Caulk Exterior Windows/Doors/Trim
  • Confirm Daylight is Not Visible at Exterior Doors
  • Remove Mildew on Siding
  • Repair/Replace Damaged Siding
  • Seal Wall Penetrations: Electric/HVAC/Internet
  • Inspect/Clean Chimney
  • Inspect Shingles for Elevated or Curled Shingles
  • Seal Asphalt Driveway
  • Winterize Hose Bibs


For the work you don’t want to do on your own, our network of trusted partners is a great start for finding specialists for particular projects. We can help you identify the best ways to increase the value of your home in time to capitalize on the sale. Contact us for more information about our services.