How To Get Ready For a Home Inspection

home inspection through walls

What Is A Home Inspection - The Basics

So your home is under contract and it’s easy street all the way to the bank, right?  Not so fast.  The first and biggest hurdle to overcome once you find a buyer for your home is the home inspection.  After an offer is accepted, the buyer has a right to carefully inspect their potential new home with one or more professional home inspectors.  Purchase contracts may vary in different states.  In Colorado, the buyer has until the Inspection Objection Deadline to notify the seller of any adverse conditions that the buyer requires the seller to correct.  At this point, the seller can agree to correct the issues or counter with alternatives or agree to do nothing.  If the seller and buyer are not in agreement on or before the Inspection Resolution Deadline, the contract will terminate.  There are ways to minimize the chances that the buyer comes back with a laundry list of items they want corrected.  Read the tips below to know how to get ready for a home inspection in Denver.

How To Get Ready For A Home Inspection

Tip 1: Clean The Home

When the inspector comes to the home it should be in the same condition as it was when you were showing the home.  Make a good impression and let the inspector know that you care about the home.  If the home is dirty and unkept, it might give the home inspector the idea that the home has not been properly maintained.  Why does this matter?  Because if the inspector doesn’t think the home has been kept up, they are more likely to look deeper for problems.  The inspector might suggest to the buyer that they ask you to clean the major systems in the home (HVAC technician to clean and service the furnace, etc.).  Another reason cleaning is a good idea when getting ready for your home inspection – many times the buyer also comes to the inspection. 

Tip 2: Provide Your Home Maintenance Paperwork

You should make all documents regarding maintenance, repairs, and remodeling projects available to the inspector and the buyers.  If you upgraded your electrical, replaced your dishwasher or even had your furnace cleaned, you should create a file with these documents and receipts to leave out during the inspection.

Tip 3: Provide Access To The Home And Outbuildings

  • Make sure that you leave keys or unlock any sheds, outbuildings, gates, garages or electrical boxes.  Leave remotes for your garage door openers, ceiling fans and lights.
  • Clear away any boxes, furniture or other items that are blocking the furnace, water heater and air conditioning units.
  • Make sure your attic, crawlspace and basement are easily accessible.
  • Clear a path around the foundation: In the winter shovel a path around your house and in the summer clear away any leaves and brush.

Tip 4: Have Your Utilities on and Your Appliances Ready For Inspection

Part of getting ready for a home inspection includes making sure the home inspector can properly inspect the mechanical systems and appliances.  If the inspector is unable to inspect them himself, he might suggest that the buyers hire a specialist which could end up costing you in the end. 

  • If your home is vacant, insure that all of your utilities are on. This includes gas, water and electric.
  • Make sure your pilot lights are lit on your furnace, water heater, gas fireplace and gas stove. Many home inspectors will not light pilot lights due to insurance or liability risks.
  • Clean out your dishwasher as well as your washer and dryer if they are included in the sale.
  • Remove your toiletries from under your sinks so that the home inspector can look at the plumbing.
  • Replace the filter in your furnace before the inspection.  Don’t give the home inspector a reason to tell the buyers the furnace should be cleaned.

Tip 5: Leave Your Home For About 3 Hours

Make sure that you are ready to leave when the home inspector arrives, if not before.  While there is probably not anything in the contract that says you can’t be home during the home inspection, you shouldn’t be.  Often, the buyers come to the home inspection and they will feel awkward or uncomfortable asking the inspector questions if you are there.  If you are unable to remove your pets, make sure they are crated.  The home inspection will typically last about 3 hours.

Tip 6: My Secret Tip

No matter how well maintained your home is, inevitably, every home inspector will find something wrong with every home.  If there are a few small items that you are going to fix anyway (small leak, ripped window screen, broken door latch), think about just leaving them for the inspector to find – then he won’t have to work so hard to find a problem.

Want To Learn More About How To Get Ready For A Home Inspection In Denver

If you have questions about how to get ready for a home inspection in the Denver area or about the inspection process in general, feel free to reach out to me at 303-564-4055 or Nathan@NathanSellsDenver.com.

You can learn more about the contractual side of the home inspection process by reading section 10.3 in the Colorado approved contract (Contract to Buy and Sell Real Estate) which can be found on my website here or the Colorado Division of Real Estate mandatory forms page.

Hud provides a document for home buyers – For Your Protection: Get a Home Inspection.

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About the Author

Nathan Hart, CRS, ABR, PSA, RENE
Nathan Hart, CRS, ABR, PSA, RENE

I have been a REALTOR in the Denver area for 25 years. Through continuing education and extensive real-world experience, I have become an expert in the real estate field. Blog posts give me an opportunity to share my knowledge and insights.

If you know of anyone who is thinking about buying or selling a home, please share their name with me or my name with them.

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