Can you “Fail” a home inspection?

home inspectionA home inspection, especially one done by a qualified and certified home inspector, is a crucial part of the home buying process. There are however, some common misconceptions about the process, and one of the most common in that a house or inspector ultimately “passes” or “fails” a home during a home inspection. The truth is that inspectors do not pass or fail a home, rather they conduct a detailed analysis of any issues in the home including safety concerns, structural issues and general state or condition of major components.

Accompanying an inspector is a great way for the potential buyer to learn about the home and plan for any upgrades or repairs in the future. Here at HomeOwners Inspection services, we strongly recommend that our clients accompany us on our inspection whenever possible. While there are times where we will have to conduct an inspection on our own (for example if our client is out of town, or in commercial real estate not residing in our market), in most cases our clients are eager to learn as much as they can about the property they intend to own. While it is extremely rare to uncover a detail about a home that would change a buyers mind about their intent to purchase, it does occur.  The far more likely scenario is that the buyer has all the information to make an informed offer, taking into consideration the cost factors related to the state of major components.

For example, a potential buyer may attend a home inspection and learn that the roof or furnace are in desperate need of repair or replacement. On average these two items could easily set a home owner back $10-$15,000. That does not necessarily mean that you would reduce your offer by that much. In a hot market, a reduction could take you out of the running for the property. But knowing that you will likely have to deal with these things in the very near future will at least let you make whatever offer you deem appropriate with all the facts and costs considered.

One of the things that can occur during a home inspection that uncovers an “issue” is the tendency to focus on small things as detailed in this article from the Arlington Patch is Massachusetts U.S.A:

it is important for a buyer to not get caught up on the “little things”. For example, a buyer and a seller could find themselves in a stalemate over a dishwasher not functioning properly. The buyer wants it replaced, and the seller refuses to do so. This can be frustrating for a buyer but a buyer should ask them self is it really worth walking away from the home you really want? Think of it this way, if the house you are buying is worth $300,000 is it worth it to back out over a $400 dishwasher; probably not especially if it is a seller’s market? 

Remember, it isn’t about passing or failing, it is about using a home inspection to gather as much information as you can to make the right decision.

Posted in home inspection industry, qualified home inspection, Toronto Home Inspection