Over half of the issues found during home inspections are issues that could be taken care of quickly and at a relatively low cost. Once it is written into a buyer's inspection report it can create more value for the buyer, and in retrospect, leave less to the seller.
Too many little issues begin what's known as a 'laundry list' of repairs and can discourage a potential buyer or, more commonly, make them feel entitled to receive many credits and a lower purchase price.
To diminish the chance of a laundry-list of fix-it items, sellers should go through the home and repair or update easy-to-fix things prior to having a buyer's home inspector come in.
Light bulbs - There is always a potential for electrical problems and buyer's think twice when they see too many bulbs not working. Instead, make sure all light bulbs are replaced and working before you list your home.
Loose fixtures - Along with other fixtures, toilets are amongst the most common items listed as "loose" during a home inspection and require fastening to ensure proper service and prevent leakage. Making sure that this is addressed beforehand not only reduces the laundry list but also puts your home in better shape to help secure a better selling price.
Clogged gutters - Roof gutters are a very important part of the home as they help with drainage. They should be cleaned periodically and maintained in good condition to ensure service. When filled with leaves or other debris they can't function properly. Home owners can clean roof gutters themselves or get professional help before a buyer's home inspector takes a look.
Water Heaters - Water heaters can have many issues. One of the most common found during home inspections is missing or incorrect seismic straps. Seismic strapping is required in California, the seller is required to verify that they've complied with water heater requirements and, particularly in cases dealing with FHA loans, they can even slow the closing process.
Smoke Detectors & Carbon Monoxide Detectors - Like water heater strapping, working smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are required when selling your home. In fact, the seller is required to document that there are working when selling their home. Not addressing this beforehand will only add to the laundry list, and a seller will still need to address it at one point or another.
If you're thinking of selling and decided against getting a professional pre-listing inspection, just remember it's a good idea to personally go through the home and conduct a visual inspection, and address as many easy-fixes as possible… it may cost you more when the buyer brings it up.