Whether you’re buying or selling a house, you may wonder what can make a home fail the inspection process – and cause the buyer to back out of the purchase. Well, the concept of “failing” a home inspection is actually incorrect.
As a matter of fact, homes can’t actually “fail.” There is no grading or pass/fail system. The home inspector simply assesses the condition and quality of the home objectively – and both the buyer and seller are informed about these findings.
However, if a serious problem is found, the seller may be responsible for fixing it before the home can be legally sold. For example, if asbestos is found in the home, or there is a code violation or other serious safety issue.
In addition, buyers may be allowed to invoke their home inspection contingency and walk away from the deal if a major issue is found. What kind of home inspection deal breakers are the most common? Find out now!
The Most Common Home Inspection Problems
A qualified, professional home inspector will take a thorough look at the physical systems and main components of a home, and examine them for soundness and quality. Wondering what the most common home inspection problems are? Here’s a quick list.
- Roof and gutter issues (leaks, damaged/clogged gutters, etc.)
- Faulty wiring/electrical problems
- Poor grading or drainage around the home
- Dampness or mold/mildew in basements
- Cosmetic wear and tear (peeling wallpaper, dirty/damaged carpets, cracked driveways/walkways, etc)
- Plumbing issues such as leaks, clogged drains, poor flow
- Inadequate ventilation or insulation
- HVAC problems
Depending on the home, one or all of these issues could be present. But whether you’re a buyer or a seller, don’t panic – most home inspection issues are not that serious, and will simply require you to negotiate a proper rate for the home, based on the findings of the home inspector.
What Happens If I Get A Bad Home Inspection Report?
Both a home buyer and seller will get a copy of the home inspection report, once the inspector has finished the process. This report will usually include a high-level overview of the condition of the home, as well as a checklist that will detail each individual system and component of the home that has been checked.
If you get a bad home inspection report – either for a home you want to buy, or for the home you’re selling – don’t worry. It’s not that serious, unless serious issues like lead paint or asbestos were found.
In most cases, a home inspection report is simply used to help negotiate the proper price for a home. If your home is worth $400,000, and it needs $30,000 of repairs, you could simply sell it for $370,000 – and the buyer will be happy. The same is true of the buyer – you can use the noted issues to negotiate the proper price for the home.
Keep a level head. Most homes have at least a few issues – whether they’re minor, like a failing water heater – or more serious, like a leaky roof or a plumbing problem. As long as the home is safe, you simply must negotiate to meet your buyer or seller at the proper price – or make the repairs before the sale.
Home Inspection Deal Breakers
Home inspection deal breakers will vary, based on the person buying a home. Someone looking for a “turn-key” ready home may back out due to minor cosmetic structural issues or a roof that will need replacing soon.
In contrast, a buyer with a seriously high risk tolerance or who is looking for a “fixer-upper” may not shy away from serious issues such as structural flaws, a cracked foundation, and other such problems. The seller will likely have to reduce the price accordingly, but the home still could be sold.
However, there are a few home inspection deal breakers that are pretty consistent. Most buyers will not want to complete the purchase of a home that:
- Has multiple serious code violations (an unapproved addition, for example)
- Lead or asbestos of any kind
- Knob-and-tube wiring
- Black mold
- Termites that have damaged structural components
- A compromised foundation
- A seriously damaged roof
Again, this will depend on the buyer. If the buyer is willing, it is possible for the seller to negotiate a price based on the costs of these repairs – or to perform them on their own, before the home is sold.
When you’re buying a home, think about your own personal preferences, and determine what is – and is not – a home inspection deal breaker. This will help you negotiate more effectively, and know when to walk away.
Tricks To Pass A Home Inspection
If you’re a homeowner looking to get ready for a home inspection, and you’re looking for tricks on how to pass a home inspection, we’ve got bad news – there’s no way to cover up major issues with your home.
A qualified home inspector will certainly notice them, and trying to “fool” an inspector or a buyer by covering up a major flaw doesn’t exactly look good, and could cause the buyer to abandon the purchase completely.
However, don’t be afraid. Your best choice, if you’re concerned about your home “failing” inspection, is to be proactive. Keep your home in good shape, and fix any potential issues once you put it on the market.
Home Inspections – When To Walk Away
There’s no “hard-and-fast” rule. We’d recommend asking your home inspector what their true, objective view of a home and its value is. If they think the home is in relatively good shape, it may be worth purchasing – depending on your needs. But if there are serious issues, always be ready to invoke your contingency clause and walk away. Buying a “money pit” is not worth it.
Know What To Expect From Home Inspections!
The process of having a home inspected is quite simple – whether you’re buying or selling. So think about this guide, get ready for a home inspection, understand what you’re getting into, and be prepared. For more information, contact us right away, or schedule your own home inspection.