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What Does a Home Inspector Look For?

You’ve officially put your house on the market: check. You’ve had an interested buyer: check. You have someone making an offer: check.

You’re currently waiting for the home inspector to go through your home: pause.

While the entire house buying/selling process can be exciting, there’s an equal amount of stress that goes along with it.

Just like you prepared your home for open houses and showings, it’s important to have your home ready for the inspection, too.The inspector will be going over your home with a fine tooth comb, so it’s important to make sure everything is easily accessible and visible. You can also bring any concerns about your home and property to the inspector’s attention before the inspection begins.

Here are some tips to help make the home inspection process smoother with a little less worry once you know what an inspector will be looking for.


We’ll start with the home’s interior. An inspector will spend most of their time looking through all areas of the home, including attics, basements and crawl spaces.

Doors and windows: A home inspector will make sure your windows and doors are in working order. This includes that they open and close properly and don’t have damage or broken hardware. The inspector will also check to make sure the frames are secured and any glass is undamaged.

Trim around doors, windows and baseboards: The inspector will check to make sure the wood trim is installed properly and in good condition throughout the home.

Interior rooms: The inspector will want to make sure your walls are properly framed (and not leaning) and that there’s enough insulation. They will also check to make sure there are sufficient heating vents. A home inspector will also check the paint, wall coverings and paneling to make sure it’s in good condition. Additionally, the inspector will make sure the flooring materials are in good condition and there aren’t any cracks in the floors, walls or ceilings. Finally, inspectors will check to make sure stairs are even and have sufficient railings.

Kitchen: When it comes to the kitchen, the home inspector is checking to make sure all of your included appliances are in working order, as well as the range hood fans that vent to the outside. They will also check to make sure cabinets and drawers are working properly and that there aren’t any plumping issues under your sink or near your dishwasher. Finally, the inspector will check to make sure the Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) protection for electrical outlets is within 6 feet of the sink.

Plumbing: Besides checking sinks, faucets and toilets, inspectors will check drains, showers and tubs. They will also check your pipes to make sure there is adequate water pressure and temperature.

Electrical: A home inspector will check to make sure your lights and switches are working properly, as well as electrical outlets. They will also make sure to check for adequate three-pronged electrical outlets in each room. Inspectors will make sure that electrical panels and wiring is in good working order.


Now let’s move to the outside of the home, starting with the roof and working down to the foundation.

Roof: Your inspector will be looking for missing or broken shingles, loose gutters and defects with your chimney. If you have skylights, your home inspector will check to make sure the glass isn’t cracked and there aren’t any leaks around the seals. While the inspector is on the roof, they will check your gutters to make sure they are secured, as well as making sure the gutters are attached properly, clean and have proper downspouts.

Attic: The inspector will take this time to make sure the attic has sufficient insulation and that it’s properly installed. They will also check to make sure there is adequate ventilation and that no plumbing, exhaust or appliance vents end in the attic.

Siding and brick: The inspector will take a walk around the house and make any notes of damage to the siding. This includes no dents, damage or loose siding pieces. Besides the chimney, if your home has brick, an inspector will want to make sure there aren’t any cracks or flaking components.

Foundation: Inspectors will check to make sure the visible foundation is in good condition. They will be looking closely for significant cracks and will make sure the foundation is straight and not leaning or crumbling in any area. This is especially important for older homes.

Around the yard: The inspector will check the yard and landscaping, specifically looking for standing water or brushes or branches touching the house or handing over the roof. They will look to make sure walkways and driveways are in good condition and will check sheds and decks to make sure they are secured.

This list will help get you started on preparing your home for an inspection. You can talk to your realtor about further details or questions you may have.

Moving soon? Don’t forget the homeowners insurance

Home isn’t just a place… it’s a feeling, too. At ERIE, we get how important “home” is, and we’re here to help you feel confident in your coverage. Find a local agent near you and request a homeowners insurance quote.

ERIE® insurance products and services are provided by one or more of the following insurers: Erie Insurance Exchange, Erie Insurance Company, Erie Insurance Property & Casualty Company, Flagship City Insurance Company and Erie Family Life Insurance Company (home offices: Erie, Pennsylvania) or Erie Insurance Company of New York (home office: Rochester, New York).  The companies within the Erie Insurance Group are not licensed to operate in all states. Refer to the company licensure and states of operation information.

The insurance products and rates, if applicable, described in this blog are in effect as of July 2022 and may be changed at any time. 

Insurance products are subject to terms, conditions and exclusions not described in this blog. The policy contains the specific details of the coverages, terms, conditions and exclusions. 

The insurance products and services described in this blog are not offered in all states.  ERIE life insurance and annuity products are not available in New York.  ERIE Medicare supplement products are not available in the District of Columbia or New York.  ERIE long term care products are not available in the District of Columbia and New York. 

Eligibility will be determined at the time of application based upon applicable underwriting guidelines and rules in effect at that time.

Your ERIE agent can offer you practical guidance and answer questions you may have before you buy.