BOULDER – When your home goes under contract for sale there is almost always an inspection scheduled by the buyer. As the seller there are several things you can do to prepare the property. The first thing you should do to get your home ready for an inspection is clean it. A clean house says you care about and take care of it.
An inspector will need access to all areas of a home. Remove anything that may be blocking access to your furnace, air conditioner and water heater. The inspector will need three to four feet of working space to inspect these items. Provide easy access to your basement and/or crawl space and attic as well. Leave all utilities turned on even if the house is vacant. The inspector will need to turn on the stove, run the dishwasher, test the furnace and air conditioning etc. Without the utilities on, the inspector may have to reschedule, which could delay the closing of your transaction.
There should be easy access to all exterior areas of the house. In the summer, cut down dead tree branches and clear brush from the foundation. Move items such as trash cans and BBQ grills away from the house. Leave the remote controls for your garage door opener or a key if the garage is unattached. Unlock the covers for your electrical box and sprinkler system. If there are any out buildings be sure to leave keys. In winter clear snow from driveways, walkways, decks and patios as much as possible.
Buyers will often meet the inspector for a walk through towards the end of an inspection and would feel uncomfortable asking questions if the owner is present. Try to schedule a time for the inspection when you can be out of the house for at least three hours and be on time. Sometimes home inspectors are early. If you have pets, take them with you if possible.
Finally, all invoices and documents regarding remodeling projects or new items such as a roof or furnace should be available to the inspector. If you’ve upgraded the electrical from ungrounded to grounded, installed a new roof, replaced a furnace or simply replaced a leaky faucet, find the paperwork. Any work done that required a permit should be documented. It will give the buyer peace of mind to know those items were re-inspected.
Finally, if you are aware of anything that may be red flagged during an inspection, taking care of the situation prior to the inspection can eliminate frustration for both the seller