When your home is inspected, there are 10 common home inspection concerns that when uncovered, cause buyers to request mitigation or contingencies before the sale continues. Some of these issues can become serious deal-breakers. Why not address this list before the home inspector arrives, and ensure a smoother inspection and sale?

Often, sellers know these issues exist, and it can be cheaper and easier to fix them in advance of selling your home so that the inspection report can be positive, and encourage buyers to close the sale instead of adding contingencies and re-negotiating. 


Downspouts and gutters. 

Make sure your downspouts are properly connected to drains below and gutters above. Check to see that your gutters and downspouts are attached to the home as well! Once they’re in good repair, have them cleaned, so there’s no leaf or twig debris clogging water flow. 


Improper grading. 

The ground around your home should be sloping away from the foundation, draining water away from the basement. Adding some topsoil, mulch, and low plantings around the home for curb appeal and good drainage can give your home an advantage.


Attic ventilation.

Make sure your soffit ventilation is unblocked by stray insulation, and check that you have enough ventilation at the ridgeline. If not, it’s not expensive to add extra ventilation. Your handyman or a roofer can ensure your roof will remain safe from heat damage. 



Have you seen condensation building up inside your double-paned windows? The vacuum seal is broken and the windows are not nearly as effective at blocking excess cold or heat from your home. Do your windows open and close properly? Sticky windows can be a danger during emergency evacuations, so they must be repaired with some lubricant if possible. Can’t fix the window? You can replace individual windows with identical models, replace all your windows with new, or consider giving your buyer a window-allowance. 


Faucets and drains. 

Sometimes as simple as tightening a screw or replacing a gasket, leaky faucets are both unappealing and a water-waster. A few minutes with a zip-strip and a plunger can have all your drains running clean, too!


Inadequate grounding.

Do you have GFCI outlets in your bathrooms, kitchen, and laundry area? Are your outside outlets GFCIs? It’s cheap and easy to swap out old-fashioned outlets with new, safer GFCI outlets. This prevents electric shock where water is present and can save lives. 


Inadequate or misplaced detectors.

Does your home have smoke detectors at the recommended spots in your home? Kidde, a brand of detectors, offers a great YouTube video on where to install these life-saving devices. For less than $100 you can outfit a 2-story home with detectors that will keep occupants safe from fire and carbon monoxide. 


Chimney issues.

Your chimney should be freshly cleaned, so there is no flammable creosote build-up inside. You should also have an intact chimney-cap to keep birds and squirrels from nesting in your chimney or house!



Normally, treed lots are a big draw for buyers. Not when they overhang the roof or touch the siding. Branches, twigs, and leaves can cause roof, siding, gutter, and window damage during storms or simply as a result of the change of seasons. Cutting a few branches is cheaper than the insurance premiums will be if damage occurs!



This issue can be a deal-breaker for buyers. Make sure bathroom fans are properly vented to the outside, strip and re-caulk around tubs, showers, and sinks to remove signs of mildew. Grade your yard properly so water flows away from foundations during rainstorms, and you’ll find the likelihood of mold is dramatically decreased. 


This content is not the product of the National Association of REALTORS®, and may not reflect NAR's viewpoint or position on these topics and NAR does not verify the accuracy of the content.