Tips for reading the inspection report

Once the inspection report comes back, you need to review it thoroughly. Don’t be alarmed if there are many “issues” noted in the report. There is a big difference between small, mainly cosmetic repairs such as needing to caulk a shower or repair a broken microwave handle and large issues such as sewer back up.

Remember, the home inspection is an informational “snapshot” report for you, the buyer, not a to-do list for the seller. We should only be concerned about structural issues, safety defects, or appliances/mechanicals not working.

Here are my tips for reading the inspection report:

  1. Pay particular attention to issues relating to the electrical, plumbing, roof, foundation, or water intrusion issues, as these can be expensive to repair.
  2. If there are any big-ticket items that concern to you, decide if you want to have additional inspections performed. For instance, we can bring in a structural engineer, a sewer inspector, an electrician, a licensed roofing contractor, etc. If you want to bring in additional inspectors, you’ll be responsible for paying their fees.
  3. Make a list of items you feel the seller must repair for you to proceed with the transaction.
  4. Make a second list of items you’d like the seller to fix but would be willing to still close on the house without the seller fixing.
  5. Make a third list of the items you’re OK with fixing yourself or feel don’t really need to be fixed.
  6. Once you’ve done this, email me your list and we’ll review it and suggest changes if you’re leaving out an expensive repair, not asking for enough, asking for too much, etc.
  7. Keep in mind you can ask the sellers to repair items or provide a credit for you to fix the items after closing. Credits go toward your closing costs. For instance, if we negotiate a $500 inspection credit, that amount would reduce your closing costs by $500. So you’d bring $500 less to closing than originally expected. That way you have that $500 to do needed repairs after the closing.
  8. Remember the things on the inspection report that are important are:
    • Safety issues
    • Structural issues
    • Working components such as appliances not working.
    • We should NOT be asking for paint to be touched up, gutters to be swept, etc. Unless you are buying new construction, no home is going to be perfect. New construction comes closer to perfect but not totally. If you aren’t buying new construction, then we need to accept the house with its cosmetic flaws.  Remember, we are concerned with safety issues and things not working.

Once we’ve agreed on a strategy, we’ll negotiate the inspection repairs with the listing agent. If there are only a few minor issues that need to be fixed, the negotiation will probably go quickly. However, if contractors or trades people need to be brought in to give estimates, expect the inspection negotiations to take up to a week.

If we are able to reach an agreement with the sellers, we’ll complete the TRR with the repair list for you and the sellers to sign. The repairs then need to be completed before the final walk through with receipts sent to us ahead of time. If we are unable to reach an agreement on the necessary repairs, you have the right to cancel the contract and be refunded your earnest money deposit.

Questions? Call or text me at 405-585-6580 or email