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What to Do If a House Fails a Home Inspection

Aug 9, 2023 - By the dedicated team of editors and writers at Newsletter Station.

Buying a house is a significant investment, and home inspection is a crucial step in the home-buying process. A home inspection is conducted to assess the property's condition and identify potential issues needing attention. Sometimes, a house may fail a home inspection, leaving potential buyers in a dilemma.

While it can be disheartening, there are practical steps you can take if you find yourself in such a situation. In this blog, we'll explore what to do if a house fails a home inspection and how to navigate the challenges that arise.
  1. Understand the Inspection Report:
    When you receive the inspection report indicating that the house has failed inspection, take the time to thoroughly review the findings with your real estate agent or a professional. Understanding the extent and severity of the issues raised will help you make informed decisions. The inspection report will often classify issues as minor, major, or safety concerns, which will aid in prioritizing necessary repairs or negotiations with the seller.
  2. Consult with Professionals:
    Consider consulting specialists for further evaluation if the home inspection report reveals significant problems. For example, a structural engineer can assess foundation issues, and an electrician can inspect electrical problems. These experts can provide more in-depth insights into the specific issues, potential solutions, and cost estimates, empowering you with the knowledge to make informed choices.
  3. Negotiate with the Seller:
    A failed home inspection often opens the door to negotiations with the seller. You can request that they address the identified issues and carry out necessary repairs before the sale is finalized. Alternatively, you may negotiate a price reduction to account for the cost of repairs that you will undertake after purchasing the property. Being flexible and open to constructive negotiations can lead to a satisfactory resolution for both parties.
  4. Request Repairs or Credits:
    Based on the inspection report and subsequent consultations, you can request the seller to carry out specific repairs before the closing date. Alternatively, you can ask for credits toward the closing costs, allowing you to take care of the repairs yourself after the purchase. Whether to ask for repairs or credits depends on your comfort level and ability to oversee the repairs independently.
  5. Reconsider Your Offer:
    If the issues revealed during the home inspection are substantial and the seller is unwilling to address them or offer reasonable credits, it might be time to reconsider your offer. Purchasing a property with significant underlying problems can lead to expensive repairs and renovations down the line. Don't feel pressured to buy if you are uncomfortable with the potential risks.
  6. Be Prepared to Walk Away:
    Though disappointing, be prepared to walk away from the deal if necessary. A failed home inspection may indicate that the property isn't the right fit for you. Remember that plenty of other houses are on the market, and you don't want to invest in a property that will cause you stress and financial strain in the long run.
A failed home inspection doesn't have to end your home-buying journey. By carefully considering the issues raised, seeking expert advice, and engaging in open negotiations with the seller, you can find a viable solution that benefits both parties.

Remember, purchasing a home is a significant decision, and it's essential to prioritize your long-term happiness and financial well-being. Stay patient and resilient, and you'll eventually find the right home that meets your needs and stands up to inspection scrutiny.
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