Ideally, nobody would want to have to deal with a bad home inspection. It’s one of those things that you just want to get through and move on from so that you don’t have to hold up the process. However, as I’m sure many of us know from experience, the house buying process is not always simple or straightforward. If you do experience problems with the inspection, negotiating the situation and coming out with a good deal will be key. Here’s how to get it right.

Think Beyond the Minor Short-Term Problems

Before you enter the negotiations, you should think about what matters most to you. There are some things that are worth haggling and negotiating over, but that maybe doesn’t apply to every single little problem. What matters more to you, getting every tiny detail fixed before you buy or moving through the process quickly? You should pick your battles. For example, if you plan on ripping out the kitchen and replacing it, is there any point having repairs done on it now?

Keep Time and Quality in Mind

You should also think about who is going to be overseeing any changes that take place. If you negotiate with the seller to arrange and oversee the repairs, they might not care about the quality of the finish because this isn’t going to be there home for much longer. You also want to get things moving quickly, and that’s why it’s often best for you to oversee the changes.

Ask for Credit and Get the Work Done Yourself

Asking credit at the end of the process is a good way to speed up the process and still get the cash to cover the repairs of the problems thrown up by the inspection. This would all happen at the close of escrow. So if you feel like you want to be the one overseeing the work and ensuring it’s completed to a high standard, this is the way to go.

Don’t Shout About Your Plans if You Want to Negotiate Successfully

If you are about to enter negotiations with the seller regarding what happens next with the sale and the repairs, you need to retain your poker face. You don’t want to give away your future plans for the home because if they find out you’re planning on changing all the interiors anyway, they’ll probably less willing to give ground on the repair issues.

Appreciate the Human Emotions Involved

Having said all of that, you do need to remember that there are a lot of human emotions at play here, and negotiating such things can be stressful for everyone involved. Try to be fair, calm and sensitive to the feelings of others when you approach this. If everyone does that, it’ll be a much easier process.

If you get a report back after the inspection telling you that the home has considerable problems, you don’t just have to accept that and carry on. It’s your right to negotiate for either a lower price, repairs or credit for those repairs. It would be wrong of you not to take action and try to win in these negotiations.

Many buyers dread their home inspection, and you can see why in a way. This is when you will find out whether your new home is going to be as safe and structurally sound as you want it to be or if it’s got a lot of problems that are going to need to be addressed. Even if the home doesn’t pass the inspection though, you don’t need to give up completely. There are some things you can do to get things back on the right track again.

Know as Much as Possible Before the Inspection

One of the worst things about discovering problems with the home from your inspection is that it so often comes as a shock. You should do what you can ahead of the inspection to minimize that. By being realistic and understanding the problems similar homes often have, you can set your expectations lower. You should also talk to the seller and find out what problems they’re aware of. It’s best that this kind of stuff is all out in the open.

Talk to Your Agent

When the inspection comes back and the news isn’t great for you, you should immediately talk to your agent. They can help you assess the problems and then formally request that the seller make changes to the home and carries out repairs before the sale goes ahead. This shouldn’t necessarily apply to a small problem, but bigger ones like structural issues should always be covered by the seller before you move forward.

Consider the Impact on the Price

One of the things that will be impacted by a poor inspection report is the price you can expect to pay for the property. You shouldn’t necessarily feel that the agreed price is set in stone if the inspection has thrown up some problems that nobody was really aware of before. The situation has changed, and that means the price can change too. You might be able to get a better deal in compensation for the problems found during the home inspection. It’s really the least you should expect.

Understand Your Options

It’s best to always keep your options open when you’re responding to problems with the home. There are many paths you can go down. You can start by requesting the seller carries out repairs. You could also renegotiate the deal in a way that reflects the new information found out about from the home inspection, or in some instances you might just decide to carry on with the purchase as is. That last option usually only applies if you feel like you’re already getting a very good deal on the property.

The prospect of a home not passing a home inspection is not something many home buyers even want to think about. But it’s something that does happen, especially when you’re buying an older home. However, it doesn’t need to be all doom and gloom because you can still move forward and maybe even still buy the home if you choose to.

Not all problems in the home can be spotted on the surface. Things can look fine and dandy until an expert scratches the surfaces and looks at what’s happening underneath. Home inspections are when those kinds of checks can be carried out. Anyone wanting to buy a home should have it inspected by a professional who knows what they’re doing. Here are just some of the most common problems found during home inspections.

Sloping or Cracks in the Foundations

You might think that sloping floors would be easy to spot, but that’s not always the case. It’s a structural issue that can signal more problems with the foundations. Another structural issue often found during a home inspection is cracking foundations. Any cracks should be treated so that the problem doesn’t become worse later on. It’s not the kind of home problem you want to ignore.

Damp Problems in the Basement

Damp is very common in basements, and there are many different things that can cause it. The problem is that even minor damp issues can cause problems to the structure to the home and eventually reach other parts of the house. It’s something that can be treated if it’s spotted by a professional during a home inspection though.

Problems With the Roof

Someone has to get up there and inspect things up close before you can fully understand the condition of a home’s roof. There are plenty of little and large problems that can be going undetected up there. Damaged flashing, missing shingles and protruding chimneys are just a few of the issues that can be found on your future home’s roof.

Bad Plumbing

Every home relies on its plumbing system. It’s one of those things that you don’t think about until something goes horribly wrong with it. Leaks and water pressure issues are two of the most common kinds of problems that get uncovered during a home inspection, and it’s best to have something done about those kinds of problems.

Faulty Wiring

Electrical faults should always be taken seriously because the repercussions in the home can be massive when something does go wrong. Things like missing wiring or nuts seem small but can cause big problems. And open junction boxes should always be fixed by a professional electrician who can do the work safely.

Outdated and Unsuitable Heating Systems

An old water tank might have cracks in it that are starting to develop, and the same issues can also apply to the heat exchanger. Something that’s really dangerous is the risk of carbon monoxide leaking from an old heating system. It’s potentially deadly, so having it found if it’s there during a home inspection is vital.

Home inspections can throw up all kinds of nasty surprises in the home, and that’s why it’s so important to have a thorough and complete inspection carried out before you sign on the dotted line. There are so many things that can go wrong if you choose to skip past this vital part of the process.

When buying a property, it’s very easy to let the excitement take over, especially if you’re a first-time buyer. However, you cannot fall into the trap of letting the initial wow factor lull you into a false sense of security. This is the biggest financial investment you’ll ever make and will also be the place for your family to grow. Therefore, conducting a thorough inspection is imperative. Without this process, you could leave yourself open to a potential nightmare.

Here’s all you need to know about the process and how it can prevent you making a mistake or put you in a stronger position to negotiate on the price. Alternatively, it may simply confirm that this is the home of your dreams!

Your Home Inspection Checklist

When viewing a property, you’ll naturally be thinking about the space and all the incredible things you’ll be able to achieve with it. Still, it’s equally vital to be vigilant to potential faults that could lead to major problems and expensive repairs further down the line.

Let’s take a closer look at the issues you should look out for.


Roof: Check the shingles for potential signs that work is required. You are most likely to notice this on the South side of the property, as this attracts the most sun.

Guttering: Look for signs that guttering is coming away from the walls.

Garage Door: Whether electric or manual, check it opens and closes smoothly.

Driveway: Is the tarmac/gravel in the condition you’d expect?

Lawn: Is the lawn in good health?

Yard: Check for dead trees and other items that will require costly removals.

Outlets: Test lights and other outlets to rule out the threat of circuitry problems.

General Interior:

Windows: Check for broken panes, and think about the thickness of the glass. Open and close each window to analyze their function.

Doors: Open and close all doors, using their full motion. Look for stiffness, whether they scrape the floors, and potential draughts.

Floors: Walk across the whole room as you may find creaking floorboards or noticeable unevenness.

Walls: While some cracks are nothing to worry about, you should make a note of them. Holes are another issue to look out for, as is signs of dampness.

Trim: Check for damage because if there is you’ll probably need to replace the whole thing.

Water heater: Look for signs of leaking water around the base. If there is an installation date, this info is handy too.

Furnace: Again, seeking the installation date is important.

Lights: Check all lights in all rooms.

Stairs: Test the stairs for creaking and unsteady rails or spindles.


Plumbing: Check for leaks and then flush the toilet. Run the taps to test the drainage.

Toilet: Is it installed properly, or does it move when being used?

Flooring: Look for broken tiles or lifting vinyl due to water damage.

Bathtub: Keep an eye out for damage, such as cracks.

Vanity: Open and close it, and check its sturdiness.

Ventilation: If there is a window, check it opens freely. Test the fan to ensure hot air and moisture will escape the room.


Flooring: Look for scratches on hardwoods or signs of major damage on carpets.

Closets: Check to see that they open and close as expected.


Cabinets: Test all cabinets and drawers to see if they open and close as they should. Also, consider your storage needs to ensure the facilities are good enough.

Oven: Check the door, and turn it on to see that the fan and element work as expected.

Stove: Test each burner individually, and then collectively, especially if it’s a gas stove. For electric ones, checking that they all work simultaneously will suffice.

Hood: Check the cleanliness of the hood as well as the fan and light.

Dishwasher: Look for how much space there is, and check that the springs for the door work as expected.

Garbage Disposal: Check that it will safely dispose of all waste.


Doors: As well as checking that they open and close, think about how they will impact the room when opened.

Flooring: Check that state of the flooring. Place a marble on the floor and see if it rolls to one side If so, it indicates a slant.

Windows: In addition to the mechanism, think about the material and how it’ll affect the insulation.


Walls: Cracks, holes, and damp are arguably most common here. Be thorough and look behind anything obstructing walls, as they may have been placed there strategically.

Odor: Bad smells can be another sign of mold and problems.

What Next?

While it is possible to spot a lot of problems simply by using your eyes, you’d be very naïve to end the inspection there. Some jobs are best left to the experts, which is why arranging a professional property survey is vital.

Not only do they boast the experience of knowing exactly what to look for. They also have the tools needed to conduct further tests. Before booking the professional inspection, though, make a note of the following:

  • It’s best to find an independent service without the help of the selling agent. Not only does this give you the greatest chance of getting value for money, but it provides peace of mind by knowing you’ve acquired an unbiased service.
  • Choose a service with credentials. ASHI (American Society of Home Inspectors) and InterNachi CPI (Certified Professional Inspector) certifications are both sought-after awards. On a similar note, you should always check the customer reviews and testimonials for further confidence.
  • If a company offers various tiers of service, opt for the highest. It may seem a little frustrating to spend more money during this expensive period. However, as a one-off payment, even a $1k inspection is easily worth the investment.

Ultimately, the home inspection is one of the most vital aspects of the entire property purchasing process. Whether you’re buying your first home or moving on to bigger and better, overlooking this option simply isn’t an option. If nothing else, it allows you to move with the utmost confidence. This in itself is a simply fantastic reward.

The Home Maintenance Manual is given with every home inspection. It has wonderful tips and ideas for keeping your home safe and in top condition. We all need help and little reminders about home maintenance!