What Do Home Inspectors Look for When Selling a House?

Are you planning to sell your house, but it is in its “as-is” condition? You have also adjusted your listing price accordingly, but you’re worried about what will happen if the buyer decides to get a home inspection before finalizing the deal? It’s better not to get caught off guard by waiting till the last moments to know what are the potential needed repairs on your property.

As a seller, you may clear one misconception that home inspections are not for just the home buyers. It’s better to get it scheduled before you list your property to save yourself from distress and surprises while you’re on getting the best deal for your house. Once professional home inspectors conduct an inspection; you will get to see the potential areas that need attention in advance. This will save you from getting the buyer’s unpleasant reactions and, maybe worse, them backing off the deal. It’s better to make some repairs beforehand and let your property stand out in the market because, as they say, “first impression last”.

During the home inspection, the most satisfying factor is that your home’s every nook and cranny gets inspected. But, if you’re still curious about what the home inspector looks for, then this blog is for you. We’ll list down the major areas an inspector will inspect during the inspection process, giving you an idea about what to expect.


The very first thing a home inspector examines when conducting a pre-listing inspection is your home’s exterior. They ensure that it is in good condition and whether there are any potential issues that you shall address before listing your property for sale. Specifically, they pay attention to the roof, where they check for missing or damaged shingles, signs of leaks, and the condition of the downspouts and gutters. After that, the inspector evaluates the siding of the exterior, checking if it has any cracks, rot, or other damage. They also look for any cracks or signs of settling in the foundation. Following are additional checks they include when inspecting your property’s exterior:

  • The condition of exterior paint or finishes
  • Windows and doors for proper sealing and functionality
  • The state of any decks, patios, or porches

The inspectors also focus on evaluating the landscaping and drainage around the property to ensure they don’t contribute to water intrusion or other issues.


When inspecting the structure of your home, the inspectors ensure its integrity and safety. The inspector begins by examining the foundation for any signs of shifts, cracks, or water damage that might indicate underlying issues. They also assess the house’s framing, including the condition of the load-bearing walls, beams, and columns. When inspecting these, they look for signs of wood rot, termite damage or improper construction.

Later, the inspector evaluates the attic and crawl spaces for insulation quality, ventilation, and any structural damage or moisture issues. Additionally, they inspect the floors, walls, and ceilings throughout the home for any signs of sagging, warping, or cracks. All of this could point to structural problems.


When examining the electrical system of your property, the inspector makes sure that the system is safe, up to code, and most of all, functioning properly. You don’t want your home buyers to draw away from the deal just because your home’s lights flicker or you don’t have GFCI units installed. The inspector starts by inspecting the main electrical panel. They will check the proper labeling, correct breaker sizing, and any signs of overheating or corrosion. Besides this, every switch and outlet throughout your home is also tested to confirm they are properly wired and grounded.

Additionally, the inspector looks for the presence of GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) outlets in areas where they are required, such as:

  • Kitchens
  • Bathrooms
  • Outdoor spaces

They also examine visible wiring for signs of wear, damage, or outdated materials, such as knob-and-tube wiring or aluminum wiring, which may need updating.


When checking the plumbing system, the inspector checks for leaks in visible pipes, fixtures, and fittings. They check these inside the house and accessible exterior areas. The inspector inspects the condition of the main water supply line and assesses the water pressure to ensure it is within a normal range. Another area for the inspector is the water heater; they examine it, noting its age, condition, and proper installation, and check for any signs of corrosion and leaks. Fixtures such as sinks, toilets, showers, and bathtubs are tested for proper operation and drainage. During this, they look for any signs of water damage or mold around them.


The main concern when it comes to the HVAC is its perfect operation. A homebuyer doesn’t encourage uneven temperatures in their home, and this might be a turn-off for them. The inspector starts by examining the overall condition of the heating and cooling units, checking for signs of wear, corrosion, or damage. They test the functionality of the thermostat to ensure it accurately controls the system. The inspector also assesses the condition and cleanliness of the ductwork, looking for any leaks, blockages, or significant dust buildup that could impair performance.

Filters are checked for cleanliness and proper fit, as dirty or improperly fitted filters can reduce efficiency and air quality. The inspector examines the system’s ventilation, ensuring that all vents are unobstructed and properly distributing air throughout the home. Additionally, they inspect the condensate drain and pan for any signs of blockage or overflow, which could cause water damage.


To land on a potential deal, one of the things you need to offer the buyer is appliances that are in good working order and meet safety standards. The inspector will test each appliance to verify they’re operating correctly and efficiently. Some of the major appliances they will be assessing are:

  • Refrigerator
  • Oven
  • Stove
  • Dishwasher
  • Microwave
  • Garbage disposal

They check for any visible signs of damage, wear, or malfunction, such as unusual noises, leaks, or electrical issues. The inspector also evaluates the installation of the appliances, ensuring they are properly connected to power and water sources. Additionally, the inspector reviews the age and condition of the appliances, noting down if any of those are outdated or nearing the end of their lifespan.


Once you get your home inspected by professional home inspectors, you have significant advantages. It is like a little investment to get a better output of your home selling process. The home inspector identifies and addresses potential issues ahead of time that will let you improve your home’s appeal and market value. Not only this, but it will also let you prevent unexpected surprises from coming your way during the buyer’s inspection.

Scheduling a home inspection helps you foster transparency and trust with the potential buyers, showing your commitment to maintaining the property. Besides this, the inspection provides a realistic assessment of your home’s condition, letting you set a fair and competitive asking price.

Ready to sell your home with confidence? Choose Timberline Inspections for your pre-listing inspection needs! Our comprehensive services ensure that your home is thoroughly evaluated, allowing you to address any issues proactively and set a fair asking price.