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Can My House Fail a Home Inspection? 

  • 6 min read

Demystifying the Inspection Process

The home inspection process can be nerve-wracking for both buyers and sellers. A home inspection can expose defects in a house that the current owner may not be aware of, yet it’s crucial to understand that there’s no such thing as a “pass” or “fail” when it comes to home inspections. Although some properties may have significant defects, potentially rendering them uninsurable or prompting buyers to reconsider their purchase, a poorly resulting home inspection does NOT render your house UNSELLABLE.

The Home Inspection Process: 

Home inspections are thorough examinations of a property’s condition, conducted by qualified professionals. They provide valuable insights into a home’s structural integrity, mechanical systems, and safety features. It’s essential to remember that inspectors don’t issue grades or pass/fail judgments. Instead, they present an unbiased evaluation of the property’s current state.

Uninsurable Defects: 

Very moist basement, with signs of settlement
Missing house wrap with Vinyl Siding and no house wrap or vapor protections
poorly installed scuppers on a townhome shared flat roof
Signs of corrosion on the cold water inlet for a water heater
Termite Dirt Trails
Termite Dirt Trails
Termite Damage Found in Garage 1
Termite Damage Found in Garage.
Asbestos Cement Chimney Flue
Asbestos Cement Chimney Flue Found in Attic

During an inspection, the inspector may identify certain defects that insurance companies consider high-risk or uninsurable. These could include issues with the roof, electrical system, plumbing, or foundation. While this doesn’t mean the property “failed” the inspection, it does raise red flags for insurers and might affect a buyer’s ability to secure insurance or lead to higher premiums.

Costly Repairs and Buyer Decisions: 

Excessive roof sheathing disrepair – potentially needs replaced.
Poorly replaced and repaired gutters
Heavily worn asphalt shingles
New Roof Burnt Rafters
“New Roof” Burnt Rafters – This will most likely void any roof material warranty.
Cracked Clay drain pipes
Duck taped plumbing
LEAD water supply piping
Signs of poor drainage (need for sewer replacement)

In some cases, a home inspection report may reveal significant and costly repair needs. While this doesn’t constitute a failure, it can impact a buyer’s decision. When faced with extensive repair costs, buyers may choose to renegotiate the purchase price, request repairs from the seller, or even back out of the contract altogether. The report serves as a tool to inform and empower buyers in their decision-making process.

It is also important to remember that just because major findings are discovered during the home inspection doesn’t always mean the buyer with back out of a contract. Although home inspectors can often be dubbed “contract killers” our job is not to showcase the best features of the home, but to describe the property as it is on that day so that future buyers have an idea of work needed and future repairs. Some buyers are looking for a house that is “turn key” ready and perfect to move in on day one, but even brand new constructed homes have a large laundry list of repairs needed before move in day. As a home inspector we provide and unbiased opinion about the property, some buyers don’t blink an eye over split rafters and full roof replacements, some buyers can’t handle small cosmetic cracks and blemished in the walls.

The idea of a home inspection “failure” is a common misconception. Rather, it’s a critical step in the home buying process, enabling informed decisions. By understanding the role of inspections and the potential implications of identified defects, both buyers and sellers can navigate real estate transactions with confidence.

If you’re a current home owner worried their property might not “pass” inspection

If you’re a current home owner and you are considering selling your home, or know that there maybe some ignored or neglected maintenance on the property, consider a home inspection as the first step in getting your property in tip top shape for a long lifetime of use, and or an easy sell.

Get a Pre-Listing Inspection

Pre-listing inspections are often requested by a potential home SELLER as an evaluation of the current condition of the home, to help avoid unsuspecting red flags and hiccups during the sale process, and to get an itemized/ prioritized list of possible repairs that could increase the sale value.

Not selling soon? Consider annual maintenance inspections.

Annual or bi-annual maintenance inspections can help current home owners maintain the value and condition of their property and can often give an early heads up on potential issues before they become damages or expensive repairs. Think of them like an annual check up at the doctors office, for your home.