Dear Home Seller, please let me into your attic

Dear Home Seller,

I’ll be doing a home inspection at your house in the near future. I’ll be going through your house from top-to-bottom for the new home buyer(s) to help make sure that your home is as great as the buyers think it is. I’ll surely have several recommendations for maintenance and safety upgrades, and I may even find a few problems, but nobody expects a used house to be perfect.

One of the major components of a home, and by extension the home inspection, is the attic. I’m writing to ask you to please make your attic accessible. The buyers will expect me to inspect the attic, and I don’t want to let them down. I’ve blogged extensively about attic problems with brand-new homes (, and as you may imagine, I find even more problems with attics on used houses than on new ones. I don’t expect to find any issues with your house, but it’s important that I have access to your attic to inspect it.

blocked attic accessNot only do home buyers expect the attic to be inspected, but the home inspection contingency form that the home buyers probably used will have language that says “Seller will provide access to attic(s) and crawlspace(s).” This is new language that was added to the contingency form on August 1st, 2016. You can read more about this new form here:

To get into your attic, I’ll probably need to set up a ladder below the attic panel to climb up there. I’ll bring a tarp or painters plastic along with me to make sure I don’t make a mess of your floor. I’ll also wear gloves to help make sure I don’t leave fingerprints on the access panel. If you could kindly move any stored belonging that might prevent me from setting up a ladder and climbing up into the attic, I would greatly appreciate it.

If there is installed shelving that blocks access to the attic, please remove it. If the attic access panel is ‘sealed’, I’ll pop it open. This is usually a quick and easy thing for me. Here’s a short video that I made to show what’s involved in opening a ‘sealed’ panel:

Every once in a while, I come across attic access panels that don’t look like they’ll pop open as easily as the one in the video. In those cases, I’ll use a razor to cut the seal, especially if it’s caulked. If you would prefer to do this yourself, please don’t hesitate to do so.

If you are not OK with any of these requests or there are any other conditions that might prevent me from inspecting your attic, please let the buyer’s agent know as soon as possible. This will help to make sure that the buyers are aware of this limitation, and will prevent last-minute phone calls during the home inspection.

Thanks a million. I really appreciate your help with this, and I’m sure your buyer(s) will too.

Author: Reuben SaltzmanStructure Tech Home Inspections

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Reuben is a second-generation home inspector with a passion for his work. He grew up remodeling homes and learning about carpentry since he was old enough to hold a hammer. Reuben grew up thinking he was going to be a school teacher because he enjoyed teaching others so much. In a sense, that’s a lot of what home inspections are about, so Reuben truly does what he loves. Sharlene has worked with Structure Tech since 2000 and Reuben has been contributing to her blog since 2008.

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