Pat Starnes Snippets: 6 Easy Tips to Save Money on Your Home Inspection

6 Easy Tips to Save Money on Your Home Inspection

As a Realtor, I've seen hundreds of buyers and sellers negotiate costly home inspection repairs. The home inspection can create undue stress and conflict for the parties involved. By taking a few simple steps BEFORE the inspection, some of the drama and cost of repairs can be avoided.


  1. Remove clutter beneath the kitchen and bathroom sinks. Home inspectors are not required or expected to move things around, and if they can't SEE what's beneath the sink, they can't INSPECT it. You may have to pay for a second inspection or worse, correct an obstructed leak at the last moment before closing. Besides, don't you think BUYERS look under the sink? Clear the obstacles to selling your home, and if you find a problem, repair it.
  2. Dirty Ceiling Fan BladeReplace the HVAC filter and remove dust from fans and vents. This is so easy, but you would be surprised how many homes I've shown that have a layer of dust on top of the ceiling fan blades. Yuck! If the fan blades are that filthy, how dirty do you think the HVAC ductwork is? Some buyers will walk away at this point unless there's a deep discount for dirt!
  3. Clear a path to the fuse box. If the inspector can't access the fuse box because of moving boxes or excess furniture, you'll likely be handing over funds for additional inspections or hiring an electrician to verify the homes' wiring is up to code. Remember, an inspector does not have to move boxes, furniture, or televisions to access the electrical panel. Make it easy for him to get to the fuse panel.
  4. The gas logs wouldn't light during the most recent home inspection. Why? Because the starter remote was in a drawer somewhere between the family room and kitchen. The report stated "the spark igniter did not function", which sounds a lot worse than the remote control was missing. If accessories are needed to light the pilot, or the gas is turned off, or a switch must be turned on, notify the home inspector of this in advance of his visit.
  5. Replace all the blown light bulbs throughout the house. You should have already replaced the bulbs when you put your home on the market, but it's especially important now, because the home inspector will say "a representative number of fixtures failed to work", and this could raise a red flag. The buyer or the inspector might suspect the FIXTURE is faulty, and not just a blown light bulb.
  6. Repair EVERY leak from the TOP of your house to the BOTTOM. Whether it's a leaky roof due to a loose shingle, a worn out rubber boot, or a 25c gasket, make the repair BEFORE putting your house on the market. Does your toilet leak or wobble? Replace the wax seal before a home inspector requires a "qualified plumber" to do it for you.


How do I know these points cause issues? I see these items written up on almost every inspection when the seller has not resolved the issues up front.


If your house is well maintained, the list of repairs will be MUCH smaller, repairs will cost less, and the buyer will have fewer issues once the home inspection is completed.


If you are in the market to sell your central Mississippi home, or if you are looking to buy a new home, contact me. Put my skills to work for you.

Written and Published by Pat Starnes REALTOR

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Pat specializes in Residential and New Home Sales 

Primary Service Area:

Brandon, Pearl, Ridgeland, Flowood, Madison and the Ross Barnett Reservoir area

 Pat Starnes, Broker Associate

Front Gate Real Estate, 6700 Old Canton Rd., Suite C

Ridgeland, MS 39157

601-991-2900 - Office

601-278-4513 - Cell


Recent Blog Posts by Pat Starnes:


Greenfield Station in Brandon MS Continues to Grow

Six Easy Tips to Save Money on Your Home Inspection

Should You Consult a Realtor When Buying New Construction?

Homes for Sale in Scottish Hills ~ Brandon MS 39047

Homes for Sale in Hidden Hills Subdivision, Brandon, MS 39047

Homes for Sale in Castlewoods Subdivision, Brandon, MS 39047

Gardens of Manship Neighborhood Information - Brandon, MS 39047


Are you looking to buy or sell a home in the Brandon MS market? Call me!

Comment balloon 29 commentsPat Starnes-Front Gate Realty • December 29 2017 09:18PM


Pat -- excellent advice I agree . I had a home owner that had a problem because a light bulb did not work .  There was not a problem  but there was one written on the inspection to have the electric checked because the light bulb was out .

Posted by Hannah Williams, Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-820-3376 (Re/Max Eastern inc.) almost 3 years ago

Hi Pat

These are great suggestions. There are so many little things that can derail an inspection, and buyers tend to be hypersensitive about any issues, even little ones. And the little ones add up to big discontent and either a request for lots of repairs or a decision to move on.


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (eXp Realty of California, Inc.) almost 3 years ago

Hi Pat- what good tips for a home seller to have a smooth inspection!  I had not thought about making sure that the remote starter for the fireplace was tucked away in a drawer.  There are so many things that a seller can do the inspection and it's better than having to pick up the pieces after the fact. 

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) almost 3 years ago


Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) almost 3 years ago

Hannah Williams - the light bulb issue happens way to often, even in ceiling fans.

Jeff Dowler - the home inspector needs to find something, anything wrong, but let's eliminate as much as possible. :)

Posted by Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty, 601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell (Front Gate Real Estate) almost 3 years ago

Kathy Streib - thanks for the feature. It would be better to place the remote on the mantle so the inspector can find it. They won't go looking for it, and there is usually no one home to ask.

Posted by Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty, 601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell (Front Gate Real Estate) almost 3 years ago

Pat I so agree!  I am a big proponent of having pre-listing inspections for all the reasons you mentioned.  Sellers leave a lot of money on the table by not fixing this stuff before going to market.  Great post!

Posted by Anna Banana Kruchten CRS CRB, Phoenix Broker, 602-380-4886 (HomeSmart Real Estate BR030809000) almost 3 years ago

Pat - these are all good points.  It certainly can make an inspectors report worse than it really is.

Posted by Grant Schneider, Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes (Performance Development Strategies) almost 3 years ago

This is a great list to prep for home inspection, or even better, prior to listing.

Posted by Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker, Bristow, VA (Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA) almost 3 years ago

Featured in the group:  BARTENDER, MAKE IT A DOUBLE.

Posted by Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker, Bristow, VA (Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA) almost 3 years ago

Thanks for sharing this.

Posted by Golden1 Agents almost 3 years ago

Anna Banana Kruchten CRS,CRB - I always encourage my sellers to repair these items before going to market. Sometimes they take my advice and other times they don't!

Chris Ann Cleland - Thanks for featuring this post in your group! I'm excited to be included.

Posted by Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty, 601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell (Front Gate Real Estate) almost 3 years ago

Great money saving tips Pat! Most homeowners wouldn't know to do these things prior to a home inspection.

Posted by Sharon Tara, New Hampshire Home Stager (Sharon Tara Transformations) almost 3 years ago

Hi Pat,
Great tips.  I was always amazed at how many people didn't take the stuff off the floor that was covering the crawl space opening (in the closet).

Posted by Carol Williams, Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager (Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals.) almost 3 years ago

There was a time that home inspectors in our area would carry some extra bulbs and a screwdriver to tighten up this or that. No more. The liability is too great and now they recommend a specialist to check it out.

Posted by Debbie Reynolds, C21 Platinum Properties, The Dedicated Clarksville TN Realtor-(931)320-6730 (Platinum Properties- (931)771-9070) almost 3 years ago

Debbie Reynolds - Couldn't they use a voltage meter or something similar to determine if the outlet worked? But I suppose you're right, there is a Standard Operating Practice they must all adhere to.

Posted by Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty, 601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell (Front Gate Real Estate) almost 3 years ago

Removing the clutter beneath the kitchen and bathroom sinks is a smart idea.  These are places that many store all kinds of clutter!

Posted by Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400, Long Island Home and Condo Specialists (The Top Team @ Charles Rutenberg Realty 255 Executive Dr, Plainview NY 11803) almost 3 years ago

These are great tips that can definitely result in a much smoother inspection for any seller.

Posted by Gabe Sanders, Stuart Florida Real Estate (Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales) almost 3 years ago

These are so common and come up on all my inspection reports, too!  It's far cheaper for a homeowner who, for example, can easily fix a leaky faucet on their own than once under contract, have a buyer demand a licensed plumber make that repair.

Posted by Francine Viola, REALTOR®, In Tune with your Real Estate Needs (Coldwell Banker Evergreen Olympic Realty, Olympia WA) almost 3 years ago

You point out several reasons why we always require a pre-listing inspection for any homes over a certain age, or one where the upkeep has been marginal.

Posted by Betsy N. Robinson - Serving the Sandhills, NC, CNS (Everything Pines Partners, LLC.) almost 3 years ago

Some inspections items would never show up on the report if home owners would check each room before the inspector shows up...of course, they shouldn't wait til the last minute :)


Posted by Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®, Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate almost 3 years ago

Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400 - that "clutter" easily hides water damage, too. It's better to remove all the bottles and cans to SEE what's going on under the sinks.

Francine Viola - Exactly! Home sellers can sometimes make these minor repairs quickly and easily.

Posted by Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty, 601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell (Front Gate Real Estate) almost 3 years ago

Betsy N. Robinson - Serving the Sandhills, NC - we don't see pre-listing inspections very often in my market, but suggesting it is excellent advice for sellers. 

Rebecca Gaujot - Last year I sold my personal home, and made most of the repairs prior to listing. That made the inspectors repair list much shorter!

Posted by Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty, 601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell (Front Gate Real Estate) almost 3 years ago

A sharp listing agent has a wide eye for all things mechanical and cosmetic before the house is listed or inspected.

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) almost 3 years ago

What an excellent post with great advice for all sellers to take to heart. Especially love the cleaning the fan blades.

Posted by Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543, Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line (Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400) almost 3 years ago

Pat this is a great post to help sellers make for a smoother situation with the buyer's home inspector.  Thank you!

Posted by Gloria Todor, & Doug Durren (484) 431-3686 in SE PA (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services) almost 3 years ago

A good listing agent will have the seller prepared for all circumstances for the most favorable sale.

Your tips will help inspectors do a proper job and will reduce problems arising in the transaction.

Posted by John Wiley, Lee County, FL, ECO Broker, GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA almost 3 years ago

Francine Viola nailed it. Many of the repairs can be done as DIY before a buyer demands a licensed this or that for repairs. ( naturally electrical and complex pluming jobs should be done by pros) We've also seen the heat blower unit on gas fireplaces packed with dust and dirt - that's also a big turnoff for buyers. 

Posted by Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD, REALTORS® in Clark County, WA (ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors) almost 3 years ago

Great advice and practical tips. 

Posted by Foster Smith Summerville, Summerville & Charleston Homes for Sale SC Realtor (Carolina One Real Estate) almost 3 years ago

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