A crucial element of any home-selling process is the home inspection. If you’re looking to sell your house in the near future, the following steps should help you get it ready for the big day.

Start preparing for an inspection outside, walking around your house a few times and taking notes of any problems you might find, concentrating on these tasks:

1. Remove or cut back landscaping so that there’s a foot-wide air gap between the house and the rest of the world. In strong winds, branches hanging too near to the side or top of your home can whip about, causing damage. Cut back any branches that look like they might be too close, taking care when climbing ladders.

2. Bring your roofing shingles or tiles and underlayment materials up to shape. Make sure that flashing around the chimney is intact, and that its flue is in good working order. Clear out gutters and check that they’re attached firmly. Adjust them if necessary so that they move water away from the foundation.

3. Repair caulk seams on exterior doors, trim, and windows. Missing or damaged patches of caulking let in rainwater and nuisance animals, which can quickly damage a home’s framework and contents.

After you’ve finished with the exterior, head inside and focus on these key areas:

4. Eliminate mold and mildew, both of which can damage wooden structural supports. To get rid of mold and mildew for good, target the source, which is often a leaky roof or torn section of siding.

5. Fix leaky plumbing. Not only do leaking pipes raise your water bill, they can damage beams and framework in hard-to-reach places such as behind walls or partitions.

6. Bring your electrical systems up to code and  install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Once both of these tasks are completed, you’ll gain peace of mind knowing that not only your family but also the family moving in after you are adequately protected from fire and electrocution.

7. Check that all heating, cooling, and ventilation systems are working properly. Make the inspector’s job easier by removing clutter from around air vents and machinery so that they’re easy to access.

8. Gather up invoices for things like a repaired asphalt driveway or a replaced roof as well as new or replaced items like a dishwasher or faucet. Getting paperwork together before an inspector comes will reduce everyone’s stress levels.

After all of these steps are completed, clean the house from top to bottom. Many homes need minor repairs or have some small defects, so don’t freak out if your inspection comes back with a few negative items on it. If you need expert assistance in bringing your property up to snuff, the home improvement pros at AROCON will gladly meet – and exceed! – your expectations.