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Everyone dreads the thought of a failed home inspection. It can delay or even derail your plans to buy or sell a home, plus it adds unanticipated costs and headaches. But does failing an inspection mean disaster? Are there ways to avoid breaking down when it happens? In this post, we’ll separate fact from fiction by exploring the truth about failing a home inspection – so you can be prepared for any outcome!

What is a Home Inspection?

A home inspection is an objective examination of the physical structure and systems of a home, from the roof to the foundation. Inspectors look for visible signs of disrepair and identify any items that are not performing adequately or may have not been installed properly.

While a home inspector’s job is simply to assess the condition of the property, homeowners often mistakenly believe that inspectors are there to pass or fail them. This misconception can lead to a great deal of anxiety during the home inspection process.

So, what exactly happens if your home doesn’t “pass” inspection? In most cases, it simply means that the buyer and seller will need to renegotiate to remedy any issues that were raised. In some instances, however, failing to negotiate over a significant issue can spell the end of a sale altogether.

Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to prepare for your home inspection and increase the chances of “passing” with flying colors. First and foremost, be sure to disclose any known issues with the property upfront. This is critical to protect yourself legally and also prevent any “bad blood” from developing between the buyer and the seller. Anticipate their inspector finding a problem – it’s best to grab the bull by the horns and deal with things head-on. Secondly, take some time to address any minor repairs or cosmetic flaws that could give inspectors cause for concern. By taking these proactive steps, you can help ensure a successful outcome for your home inspection – and ultimately your home sale.

Is There Really Such Thing as Failing a Home Inspection?

When it comes to home inspections, there are a lot of myths and misconceptions out there. One of the most common is that you can “fail” a home inspection. The truth is, there is no such thing as failing a home inspection.

An inspection is simply an opportunity for you to learn more about the condition of the property you’re interested in purchasing. The inspector will look for any major problems that could affect the value or safety of the home. If any are found, they will be listed in a report for you to review.

It’s important to remember that an inspection is not a pass/fail test. The goal is simply to provide you with information so that you can make an informed decision about whether or not to purchase the property.

How to Prepare for a Home Inspection

A home inspection is an important step in the home buying/selling process. It can also be a source of stress for buyers and sellers alike. There are a lot of myths out there about what major issues can pop up on a home inspection report. In this blog post, we’ll separate fact from fiction when it comes to failing a home inspection.

Fact: The most common show stopper for an inspection is problems with the home’s foundation.

Foundation problems are one of the most common reasons for a home inspection to stall. If there are significant cracks in the foundation or the house is settling in an abnormal way, this can cause major structural issues down the road. These problems can be very expensive to fix, so it’s important to have them addressed before you list your home.

Fiction: A small crack in the foundation won’t affect my home inspection.

While a small crack may not seem like a big deal, it can indicate larger underlying problems with the foundation of your home. Even if the crack is insignificant, it’s still something that should be addressed (sealed) before you put your home on the market. Otherwise, you risk stalling the transaction and possibly incurring additional evaluations down the road.

Fact: Mold is another common issue that can cause a home inspection to fail.

Mold is a serious health hazard and it can also cause significant damage to your property. If mold is found during a home inspection, it will need to be remediated before most buyers will be comfortable moving forward with the transaction.

What Buyers Need to Know About Serious Defects

If you’re in the process of buying a home, it’s important to be aware of the potential for serious defects that could be discovered during a home inspection. While many of the items that are flagged during an inspection are relatively minor, some potential problems could have a major impact on your purchase.

The most common reason for a home inspection to fall apart is the discovery of significant defects related to neglect or deferred maintenance. These can include issues with the electrical system (evidence of overheating electrical components or breakers for example), significant plumbing leaks (that old jetted tub that leaks into the crawlspace), or an inoperative HVAC system. If any of these major systems are found to be defective, it can be costly to repair or replace them. In some cases, the cost of repairs may exceed the value of the system, making replacement necessary. It doesn’t make much sense to repair a 25-year-old HVAC system when an outright replacement may be more cost-effective.

Another reason why an inspection might fall apart is if the inspector finds evidence of pests or other damage. This can include termites, water damage, mold, or other problems that can devalue the property and make it unsafe to live in. If you’re considering purchasing a property that has any of these issues, be sure to get estimates for repairs before making an offer.

Compare and Contrast Different Levels of Defects

We at 3 Arrows Property Inspection use three different categorical levels to help point you in the right direction during your home inspection: Minor Defect, Maintenance Item, or FYI Item, Marginal, and Significant/Safety.

Minor Defects, Maintenance Items, or FYI Items are typically standard maintenance issues (burned-out light bulbs, peeling paint, and window frames that need to be caulked) and do not typically impact the home or transaction in a significant (financial) way.

Marginal defects are more significant and are worth bringing up and correcting sooner rather than later. Most inspection issues fall into this category.

Significant/Safety defects are the most serious type of defect and can pose an immediate threat to the occupants of the home. Any inspection item that falls into this category should be evaluated and repaired by a qualified licensed contractor as soon as possible. Issues that may not pose a safety hazard but may be very expensive to repair may fall into this category as well.

Working Through Objections and Negotiations

There are definitely things you can do to help keep your deal on the table and move forward smoothly. One is to ask the seller to make the necessary repairs before you close on the home. Another option is to get an estimate of the cost of repairs and factor that into your offer price. This way, you’re not stuck with a bill for repairs after you move in. Again, this can be tough to negotiate, but it’s worth considering if you really want the home. Finally, you could always hire your own inspector to take another look at the property before you make an offer.

If you’re in the process of buying a home, you’ve likely heard some horror stories about home inspections. Maybe you’ve even heard that “failing” a home inspection is the kiss of death for a real estate deal.

Rest assured, speed bumps during a home inspection are not the end of the world. It’s quite common. Here are some tips for working with your inspector to make sure that you get the most accurate report possible:

1. Be present during the inspection. This way, you can ask questions and get clarification on anything that you don’t understand.

2. Take advantage of your inspector’s expertise. They can offer valuable insights into potential problems with the property that you may not be aware of.

3. Don’t hesitate to ask for a second opinion. If something doesn’t seem right, or if you’re not sure about something in the report, get a second opinion from a contractor or specialist.

4. Keep an open mind. Not every problem is a deal-breaker. Sometimes, small repairs can be made to address deficiencies noted in the inspection report.

5. Work with your real estate agent to negotiate repairs with the seller. In many cases, sellers are willing to make repairs to help keep the deal moving forward.

Uncovering problems during a home inspection is certainly not the end of the world, but it can be stressful. The best way to avoid this situation is to do your research beforehand and make sure that you are reasonably prepared for things that might come up. If you educate yourself on common home inspection defects as well as prepare yourself mentally, then you should be able to pass with flying colors. With these tips in mind, I am sure that even if disaster strikes and something does go wrong during your next home inspection, it will still be an opportunity for growth and improvement rather than a complete catastrophe!



The purchase of a home is often the largest investment you’ll ever make. It’s also a huge responsibility—one that comes with many considerations and anxieties. You have to consider how much you can afford, whether your family will like the neighborhood, and even how many bedrooms are in the house. One thing that doesn’t always get as much attention is making sure that your new home isn’t falling apart before you even move into it! That’s where home inspections come in: they’re an opportunity for professionals to look over your potential new property and give you peace of mind about any issues they find that could pose problems later down the road (like water damage or mold growth). However, not all issues found on home inspections are created equal—some can cost thousands upon thousands of dollars to fix while others aren’t as costly or even necessary for repair. So what exactly should a buyer expect when having their new abode inspected? Below we outline eight common issues found during home inspections:

Mold growth

Mold growth can be dangerous, and a home inspector will look for signs of it during inspections. Mold is common in damp areas like basements, bathrooms, or crawl spaces. It can also be found growing on walls or ceilings as well as in carpets or on furniture.

Mold can cause respiratory problems such as asthma and allergies. In rare cases, it may even lead to more serious infections like eye infections or skin rashes (also known as allergic contact dermatitis). If you have an allergy to mold then this is something that should be considered when looking at homes with potential mold issues.

Mold grows best in warm temperatures so inspecting your home during fall/winter months will help you identify any possible sources of moisture before they start growing out of control over the next few months!

Water leaks

Water leaks are a common problem in homes, and they can often be difficult to detect. There are several different types of water leaks that can occur:

  • Leaks around windows and doors
  • Leaks from the roof or ceiling
  • Leakage on pipes or under sink fixtures

Water leaks can lead to mold growth, mildew growth, rotting wood, structural damage, and even electrical problems. Water leaks should be checked for as soon as possible because if left untreated for too long it could cause foundation issues or flooding.

Insulation deficiencies

Insulation is a must for energy efficiency. Adding insulation to your home can help you save on heating and cooling costs. You may want to consider insulating an existing home or adding insulation to a new home. Insulation can be added to the attic, walls, and floors of your home. If you have a basement, you may also want to add insulation there so that it stays dryer than normal basements tend to be

Electrical problems

Electrical problems can be a fire hazard, and they’re not always easy to fix.

  • Electrical problems are fairly common, but they can also be expensive to fix.
  • It’s best to try and avoid electrical problems by planning ahead and having your home inspected before you buy it.

Cracked foundation problems

Foundation cracks can be caused by a number of issues, including:

  • Poor drainage
  • Water pressure from irrigation systems
  • Ground shifts that occur over time due to changes in soil temperature, moisture levels and erosion

If your home inspector finds cracks around your foundation, there are many ways to repair them. The cost of repair will depend on the size and depth of the cracks. Cracks can also be an indicator of other foundation issues so it’s important for you to contact an expert who can assess whether or not your home needs additional work done.

Negative drainage

Negative drainage is when water flows away from the house. This can lead to basement or crawlspace moisture, which can damage your property and be a breeding ground for mold and mildew.

A home inspector must look for signs of negative drainage, including:

  • Poorly draining front and backyard areas that show standing water after a rainstorm.
  • Sunken areas in your lawn, indicating poor grading or surface drain problems.

Although it’s hard to fix this issue without major renovations, there are a few things you can do to prevent it:

Landscaping problems

If you’re considering installing a water feature or plan to build a deck, you should be aware that many homeowners make the mistake of not having proper drainage in place. This can result in water pooling on your property, which can lead to ponding and soggy soil that alters the landscape’s appearance and potentially damages your house’s foundation.

Another common landscaping problem is an overgrown lawn or garden. If there are large areas where grass has been allowed to grow without being mowed or trimmed for some time, it may be difficult for you to maintain your yard properly going forward because it will require more attention than would otherwise be necessary during this time period when you are trying hard to keep up with all of your other duties as well as handle any renovation projects underway at home such as kitchen remodeling projects that require new cabinets installed throughout much larger areas than originally anticipated before starting work so there was no room left over from our initial estimate given by another contractor who didn’t know what they were doing

Plumbing leaks

If you have a plumbing leak, it could be costing you more than just the water bill. A leaking pipe can cause damage to your home and even lead to mold growth. Plumbing leaks are often hard to spot, so it’s important that your inspector checks for them during their inspection of your home.

  • What causes plumbing leaks?

The most common cause of a plumbing leak is when a pipe becomes corroded or otherwise damaged over time. This can happen due to age, wear and tear from being exposed to harsh chemicals or high heat (such as hot water heaters), or simply poor installation practices by subcontractors at the time of construction/remodeling projects.

Common issues found during home inspections are sometimes costly to fix.

Common issues found during home inspections are sometimes costly to fix.

  • Mold: This can be an expensive problem, depending on the severity of it. You may need to replace drywall or flooring and possibly the entire bathroom if it’s not salvageable.
  • Water leaks: If your home has a leaky roof or plumbing issue, you will likely incur significant damage in your home over time from water damage and mold growth.
  • Insulation deficiencies: If your attic isn’t insulated properly, your utility bills could skyrocket by $200-$300 per month!
  • Electrical problems: Electrical shorts/faults often lead to fire hazards as well as shorted-out appliances like lights or electrical outlets that cause them not to function properly at all! Be sure these issues are fixed so they don’t become a problem later on down the road!


Home inspections are beneficial for both buyers and sellers. Buyers can get an idea of what’s wrong with a house before they buy it, while sellers can take advantage of their knowledge to make necessary repairs in order to sell their homes quickly at the best price possible. If you want to avoid spending money on costly repairs later down the road, it may be worth getting one done right now!