You’re selling a home and someone has made an offer on it, contingent upon a home inspection. It’s a common condition written into most offers, meaning that if the buyers aren’t happy with the result, they can cancel the sale without losing their earnest money deposit, or reopen negotiations. It’s an important step in the home buying process.

What can you do to make the inspection process go smoothly? Here are four important steps you can take:

  • De-clutter. You’ll want to make sure the inspector can easily access all areas of your home — beneath your bathroom and kitchen sinks and the areas around your hot water heater, furnace, electrical panel and any major appliances. Is your attic and/or basement tidy and easy to inspect? Turn on the lights throughout the home or open the blinds so the inspector can clearly look around each room.
  • Provide paperwork. Create a file detailing all maintenance and repairs you’ve completed on your home over the years, including any inspections of important components such as your furnace or chimney. Leave the file for the inspector to review.
  • Provide access. Make sure the inspector can get into any locked rooms or exterior storage buildings. Move items off window sills and away from areas that the inspector needs to be able to examine. Keep pathways clear. You don’t want the inspector to have to try and move things to properly perform an inspection or trip over clutter on the floor while they walk around your home.
  • Don’t hover. Inspectors hired by the home buyers find it easier to do their work without the home sellers, children and pets around. You can be there to meet the inspector, but after introducing yourself and providing your cell phone number, give the inspector time and space to do the job.