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  • Writer's pictureMariel Megan Ross

3 “unusual” home inspection tips for your home

Whether you're in Sterling Ranch, Littleton, or elsewhere in Denver, remember these tips for your home inspection

Light bulbs! Check out tip #3 for more

So you listed your home, and you’re fortunate to receive an offer and go under contract.  Congrats!  The next step I have on my list for our sellers here at Focus Real Estate is to help them prepare for their home inspection. 

Typically in Denver the buyer of your home will hire a local inspector who will scour the interior and exterior of your home and identify as many issues and defects as possible.  Mechanical and electrical systems, roof, foundation, sewer scopes, and more – your buyer’s inspector will analyze your home from top to bottom.  Inspectors have a 1,600 item checklist, according to the National Association of Home Inspectors.


Mariel inspecting a Lennar home

So how to prepare for a home inspection if you’re a seller?  There’s an abundance of home inspection advice out there.

Outside of the usual advice, I have three unusual tips I often tell our home sellers here at Focus.  We list homes for sale in Denver for a 1.5% listing fee, and part of our services includes helping clients through every step of the sales process, including inspections.

So without further ado, here are my three unusual tips!

Prepare like you’re going to the prom

The standard inspection advice is to de-clutter your home and make sure it’s accessible for the inspector.  I’d go one step further. I'd recommend treating the inspector like he or she is an extension of the buyer – and treat your inspection like it’s just as important as your most important showing.  Do everything you’d do for a showing – clean, clean, clean.  De-clutter, de-clutter, de-clutter.  Lights on, furniture perfectly in place, grass mowed.  Put your best foot forward!

While inspectors have a job to do, they’re human as well.  I chat with inspectors every week.  With inspectors I’m friendly with you’d be surprised how quickly the conversation moves from issues with a home to the overall more subjective quality and features of a home. 

Your buyer’s inspector might find the same issues with your home regardless, but the tone and overall feel of your inspection might go in a more positive direction if your house sparkles from a systems perspective – and a cosmetic perspective.  In short, prepare like you’re going to the big dance! 

Vacuum more than you think

This one is simple.  Don’t just vacuum your carpets and floors.  Go ahead and have your air returns and bathroom exhaust vacuumed out if possible before the inspector shows up.


Some inspectors will mention in their report if either the returns or exhaust are extremely dirty.  This might not be a “true” inspection item that needs a contractor to remedy, but in this day and age of COVID-19 and everyone’s understandable sensitivity to cleanliness, the cleaner your house is the better, even during your inspection.

Also, it’s not uncommon for a buyer to request a professional exit clean before moving into your home. These deep cleans can cost anywhere from $250 – $600+ depending on the size and location of your home in Denver. If your home is already sparkling – including the returns and exhaust – you might be able to do only a “broom clean” cleaning job when you move out.

Check every light, every light bulb!

Lots of light bulbs in this Parkwood's basement in Sterling Ranch

Many home inspection advice articles talk about checking your home systems, from plumbing to electrical, in advance. As part of that pre-inspection, be sure to check all your lights and light bulbs – including any staging lights you, your realtor, or your stager have put in your home.

As part of our 1.5% listing fee here at Focus, we coordinate a staging consultation with a professional stager for our clients. We’ve sold dozens of homes in Central Park and elsewhere in Denver and you’d be surprised how many homes are fully or partially staged. Anecdotally I’d say 60%+ of the homes we list are staged in some way, and in our experience those homes tend to “pop” more in listing photos and perform better on the market. As part of the staging and listing process it’s not uncommon to add lights into a home, and naturally a lot of those lights remain on constantly during showings.

When an inspector comes across a light that’s not working, he or she isn’t always sure what’s wrong. Electrical issue? Bad light? Bad light bulb? Don’t invite more scrutiny when there’s no issue. Light bulbs are easy to replace and mean one less issue to worry about.

So there you have it! Three of my slightly unusual home inspection tips.


Mariel Ross is a realtor who specializes in helping clients budget for, design, and build their dream homes or find the resale of their dreams. At Focus Real Estate we've helped clients build hundreds of new homes around Denver with Lennar, Parkwood, Richmond, Wonderland, Shea, and many other builders. We've also listed many beautiful homes and represented buyers throughout Denver on resales.

Learn more about what I do here, as well as the cost. In short, if you build in Sterling Ranch or just about every other new neighborhood in Denver your builder pays your realtor, not you, so our services are at no additional cost to you - which is how we're able to offer our free New Home Package.

If you'd like to chat, shoot me a note at and be sure to "Like" the Roundup on Facebook.

The Sterling Ranch Roundup is powered by Focus Real Estate. We list and sell homes in Denver for a 1.5% listing commission.

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