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Are you preparing for a home inspection

Home inspections can be stressful. You want to “put your best foot forward” for the inspector, but it’s not always easy to determine what they’re looking for, or what home inspection problems you already have in your home. 

It’s common to go “blind” to issues within the home if you’re too used to them. Do you still notice cracks in the walls? Have you gone nose-blind to the musty smell in the basement that could be an indicator of mold? 

Home inspections aren’t “pass or fail” per se, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t fail them. While you’ll get marks based on where your home needs improvement, failing refers to what happens when your problems are so large that you need to fix them in order to sell (or cut down your price). 

We’re here to explain. Keep reading to learn more. 

What Does It Mean to Fail? 

“Failing” a home inspection isn’t really a thing. It’s more like taking a test in school. While “failing” may mean that you’ve fallen below a certain set of parameters, you’re basing the inspection on points that may or may not be important to the potential buyers or the inspector. 

What’s considered “passing” for some people may be “failing” for others, depending on what they value in a new home or what they’re willing to negotiate on. 

With that in mind, it’s best to make your house as acceptable as possible before your home inspection. While you can’t fail, per se, you still want to check off as many boxes as possible. 

In other words, in this case, failing or passing is up to the buyer most of the time. 

That said, there are a few reasons that you may “fail” automatically, regardless of whether or not your home is otherwise perfect. If your home is uninhabitable or if it requires extensive repairs, it may be considered a failure. 

What Happens When I Have a Bad Home Inspection?

You don’t have to stress out too much over “failing” an inspection. The fate of your home is in the hands of the buyers, and enthusiastic buyers may be more than happy to buy a home that needs some extra work done. 

Both you and the buyers will receive a report of what was and wasn’t acceptable in your home. If you have something dangerous, like asbestos, you may be encouraged to fix it as soon as possible. 

Keep in mind that you can’t trick the inspector. Large issues are going to be obvious to them, even if you think that you’ve covered them up. 

What Could Cause Me to Fail? 

Again, different buyers are going to have different tolerances for home inspection issues. That said, there are a few consistent dealbreakers that cause buyers to pull out or negotiate. Because they’re so expensive and time-consuming, buyers aren’t willing to pay full price for your home (or pay for it at all). 

Here are a few things that tend to be “make-or-break” for your home inspection.

Foundation Problems

Foundation problems are critical regarding a home inspection. Cracks or dips in the foundation become structural issues, and they’re expensive to fix. 

There are plenty of reasons that your foundation could be compromised. Natural disasters, like earthquakes or tornadoes, may leave your house visibly unchanged but structurally damaged. 

The ground beneath and around your home can rise and fall over time, meaning that your home is no longer on equal and flat land. This can cause the base of your house to crack.

If your home doesn’t have proper drainage, water can pool around your foundation. It can seep through and cause rotting within your home, or it can shift the foundation itself. 

Leaks and Related Problems

Speaking of water and moisture, leaks are another red flag for home inspectors and buyers alike.

Small leaks that haven’t been around for a long time tend to be inconsequential. Leaky pipes are normal, and as long as they haven’t caused any damage, they’re easy to fix.

When you have leaks that have persisted for a long time, though, you may have enough related problems that the home becomes unattractive to buyers.

Leaking can lead to mold or mildew. Mold is dangerous and difficult to get rid of, so many buyers won’t be willing to go through the effort. Your leak could also lead to rotted wood.  


Termites are terrible for the structural integrity of the home. They often go undetected, meaning that your home could fall victim to them before you even notice a single bug

Buyers don’t want to deal with the damage that comes from termites, and getting rid of them doesn’t always solve the problem if there’s already enough damage to cause problems. 

Can I Try Again? 

So what happens if you “fail” the inspection anyway?

Whether or not you can “try again,” so to speak, depends on the buyers. Some buyers may decide that they want you to fix the problems before they commit to the purchase, while others will walk away in search of a more acceptable home.

You could get a second opinion if you don’t agree with the inspector’s report, though some buyers may be dubious of this.

Home Inspections: Will You Pass or Fail? 

While you can’t pass or fail a home inspection in any kind of official way, you may discover that the problems with your home are too extensive for your potential buyers to commit to the sale. 

This isn’t the end of the world. You can negotiate with them if they’re up to it, and if not, you can fix your home inspection issues so you’re ready for your next potential buyers.

If you’re getting ready for a home inspection, look for the “failing” problems first to save yourself some anxiety.

Are you in need of a great home inspection company for your next inspection? Our experienced inspectors want to meet you. Schedule an inspection today.