Home inspections are one of the most important parts of the closing process, and they can cause both buyers and sellers stress. I often hear first-time buyers worry about whether the home of their dreams is going to pass inspection or not.
Here’s some good news: homes can’t really pass or fail a home inspection. The inspector doesn’t give the property a score or thumbs up or thumbs down. And home inspections are actually way more useful than a score anyway!
When you get a home inspection done, you’ll get a detailed report on the property and its condition. The inspector will look at all of the systems and components of the house and report on their condition/quality. But that doesn’t translate into a score or a pass or fail.
Sometimes, however, the inspector will find big problems with the house. There might be termite damage or black mold or leaky plumbing (the options are endless!). This could be considered a “fail.” Most lenders won’t fund the mortgage of a property with big problems that make it unsafe to live in. So if you want to buy the house with a mortgage, you’ll need to get the problems fixed.
If this happens to you, don’t stress! You, as the buyer, can usually work with the seller to figure out a solution. You can request that the seller make the repairs before moving forward or you can ask for a discount on the purchase price of the property—this is commonly referred to as repair credits, but it ultimately just knocks down the overall price.
When getting a home inspection, the worst case scenario is that it uncovers some big problems and then the seller won’t work with you to fix the issue. If this happens, the lender won’t fund the mortgage and then the sale will fall through.
This is why home inspection contingencies are so common and so important. When you waive the home inspection contingency, you’re stuck with whatever condition the home is in and that can complicate things with your lender. Worst case scenarios like that are few and far between. Generally, sellers will want to work with you and make the sale happen.
Instead of stressing about passing or failing the home inspection, spend that energy on working with your realtor to make great offers and building good relationships with the sellers.
If you have any questions about home inspections or buying in this market, just reply DM me