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Congratulations! Your hard work and preparation have attracted a great buyer, and we have a contract you can be happy with! Now the biggest hurdle between you and your successful closing is your buyer’s inspection. Your buyer has the right to inspect everything about your house, and to make sure they are fully satisfied with it before they complete their purchase, so it benefits you to do what you can do to help them feel comfortable and stay excited about their new home.

Help Your Buyer Feel Comfortable


Your buyer loved your house enough to choose it, but now they have had time to think, so they need to answer any remaining questions and resolve any existing (or just-discovered) concerns to confirm that they are happy with their purchase. This is their chance to spend more time in the house, more deeply evaluating everything, and seeing how it feels to picture themselves living there.

Step 1

Make It Feel Great

If you’ve started packing, make sure everything feels neat & organized. Declutter & clean up just like you did for their first showing (or even better, since they’ll be looking in all the hidden places this time too!). Leave a welcoming note (some cookies or snacks & water would be great too!)

Step 2 

Get Out Of The Way

Take yourself, your people, and your pets & their stuff somewhere else while your buyer and inspector are there (usually 3 hours or so).  Turn down the volume on your phone, answering machine, and other message notifications.

Step 3 

Anticipate Questions

Leave simple notes to highlight hidden features, point out less obvious switches or controls, explain the “tricks” you’ve learned for handling any quirks, & anything else you would appreciate knowing about if you were the new owner exploring it for the first time. Leave a tidy file out for them with all the helpful information you have—owner’s manuals & instructions, warranties, receipts, inspections, reports, contact info for utilities & trusted vendors, brief description of neighbors, etc…

Make The Inspector’s Job Easy



The inspector will need to test every door, window, plumbing fixture, appliance, switch, and system, and he will need to get into every space (attic, crawl space, roof, basement, shed, storage space, etc…), noting even small flaws.

In The Days Before The Inspection…

  • Move any firewood & stored items as far away from the house as possible

  • Make sure gutters are clear of debris & downspouts direct water at least six feet from the foundation

  • Cut away branches that overhang or come close to the house

  • Replace or tighten up any loose or damaged deck or fence boards

  • Paint or stain any exposed exterior wood

  • Make sure there are smoke detectors on every floor and carbon monoxide detectors within 15 feet of every bedroom

  • Check (install if needed) GFCI outlets within six feet of water & note where the resets are located

  • Replace washers on any leaky faucets inside & outside

  • Repair or replace sink & tub stoppers as needed

  • Unclog any drains that drain slowly

  • Replace worn or damaged caulk

  • Adjust the garage door sensitivity to reverse if an object is in the way

  • Tighten doorknobs and handrails

  • Make sure all doors and windows open and close and latch easily

  • Replace any worn or damaged weather-stripping

  • Install all window screens & repair any that are damaged

  • Provide easy access to electrical panel

  • Clear out and clean up the spaces around the furnace and water heater

  • Clean up the furnace and replace the filter

  • Clear away anything that obstructs access to the attic

  • Air out, declutter & clean up the garage, crawl space, attic, sheds, etc… 

  • Make sure all appliances work and are clean (the refrigerator doesn’t need to be empty, but it should be clean & organized)

  • Make sure all utilities are on and pilot lights for furnace, fireplace, etc… are lit.

  • Make sure all ceiling fans & lights (inside & outside) work.  Change any bulbs that need to be changed.


On the day of the inspection…

  • Clean the kitchen thoroughly.  Wash the dishes and put them away, leaving counters, sink, and dishwasher clean and empty

  • Clean the bathrooms carefully

  • Fold and put away the laundry, leaving the laundry space and machines clean and empty

  • Store away any breakables, paper clutter, toys and other things that might distract or get in the way

  • Make sure all storage spaces are unlocked (or leave keys for them)

  • Make sure all pet and kid messes are cleaned up

  • Leave all the lights on

  • Set out the paperwork, notes & snacks you’ve prepared for the buyer and inspector

Go do something fun, and try to relax!

You’ve done what you can do to prepare, and I’ll help you deal with any surprises they find or requests they make.

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