Buying or selling a house is one of the more stressful life events. Once an offer is accepted, the clock starts ticking toward closing day, and you have to jump through a lot of hoops before getting there.  Whether you are the buyer or the seller, you can run into setbacks that threaten to kill the deal at any point in the transaction. Ignoring a major problem won’t make it go away. Sooner or later, someone is going to have to pay to fix the problems before damage to the entire house becomes not just more expensive but more extensive. Here are some things to look out for. Read about how to: Watch for These Home Inspection Red Flags.

A home inspector does not pass or fail a house, but rather describe its physical condition and indicate what components and systems may need major repair or replacement. There is no such thing as a perfect house. Even if you buy a new construction home; in fact, especially with a new construction home, you can find problems. Buyers who are contemplating purchasing even a brand new home should not shy away from independently having a home inspection done by a qualified, impartial inspector and not just rely on the builder’s word.

A good home inspection should catch all kinds of concerns because the longer they go undetected, the worse they can get. The worst problems are usually structural, such as foundation problems. You must find out why the foundation has moved and what the probability is that it will continue to move.

Anything that’s not working, not right, or not up to code will be noticed. When it comes to major issues that should concern the home buyer or owner, inspectors look at the issues that would affect the persons to be occupying the house, rather than the house itself, such as unprotected pools, which are a drowning hazard for small children.

Not every issue uncovered during an inspection is that serious. If you’re the seller, how much is the problem going to cost you to fix, or how much will you have to concede to the buyer to make the repairs? If you’re the buyer, what should you ask from the seller, or should you just walk away? There are some issues that are not necessarily ‘deal breakers,’ such as broken, cracked, or loose concrete roof tiles, AC not working properly, and dirty HVAC filters.

If issues are found, do you fix them or walk away from the sale?

When it comes time to decide what to do about a less-than-stellar home inspection report, the home inspector probably is not going to tell you what to do. Regardless of what he uncovers during an inspection, the home inspector is simply a “data collector” and presents the facts. In the final analysis, it depends on how comfortable and knowledgeable you are about the type and extent of repairs needed and whether you can shoulder the additional expense. For further reading, see: The 10 Most Common Home Inspection Problems.


  1. Tommy

    What happens if I don’t get a home inspection? Are they really that necessary?

  2. Jennifer Green

    You should, at all costs, get a home inspection. This is a huge mistake not to. If you discover problems after closing, they will be your problem. It is very important to discover issues that lie within the home before rather than after, so that you can know what you are working with. There are times where there can be an issue that may be incredibly expensive to fix. So expensive, that you may not have had bought the house had you known. Please get an inspection, always!


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