Inspections on a House for Sale are not about Pass & Fail

Real Estate Agent with Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - 0480809

There is no such thing as a "Failed" inspection on a house. Nor is there an inspection that is considered a "Pass".  Inspections are done for buyers who want to know more information about the house they are thinking about purchasing. These are deemed "informational purposes only."

Houses for sale home inspection pass failIn most states, if a buyer doesn't like their inspection, there is usually a way to cancel the contract. But what does that mean? Does it mean the inspection failed? No, it means the inspection was thorough about the house and its present condition, in order to give the buyer information about what might need to be repaired. It means the buyer didn't like what they read.

If a report doesn't show many issues, does that mean it passed? No, it means the inspection was thorough about the house and its present condition.

Yes, I gave the same answer for both situations. There is no criteria about passing and failing a home inspection on a property for sale. An inspection is only about whether or not the buyer is willing to take on the potential challenges the house might have to offer. Many people look for houses in bad condition so they can fix it up themselves. They aren't looking for a "perfect" house. Plus, there is no such thing as a perfect house as they're all built by humans!

Houses aren't like school where you get a pass or fail grade on the inspection. All you get is information, and how you interpret that information will tell you if you want to buy the house or not.


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Donna HarrisREALTOR®
Donna Homes, Owner

www.DonnaHomes.comdonna harris donna homes austin tx real estate realtor homes for sale

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Donna Harris
Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - - Austin, TX
Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator

And educating buyers that the age of the home will bring up a lot of today's codes in inspections, and reminding them that the home is built to X code, not today's code.

Sep 18, 2014 11:18 PM #7
Better Homes and Gardens, Masiello Group - Keene, NH

Donna Thank you!  I am relatively new and am trying to absorb as much as possible about the process. I appreciated your insight.

Sep 18, 2014 11:34 PM #8
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

Sometimes anything but thorough happens. A case of a very thick three ring binder with terms about what is a sill plate, a header, BX wiring cable. Like junior high building, contruction course manual. And then where's the beef, the actual eyeballing the sticks and bricks. One page check off and not much time put into the once over glance at the property. Consider the inspection to see if it should raise eyebrows. Be taken serious.

Sep 18, 2014 11:34 PM #9
Rob Ernst
Certified Structure Inspector - Reno, NV
Reno, NV-775-410-4286 Inspector & Energy Auditor

A buyer might "pass" on a house that's in poor condition. Most buyers have a long list of requirements. Location, style, size, condition are all factors most people look at. The appraisal and inspection are usually at the end of a long process and hold the most secrets. Like you mentioned some people want a long list of inspection items.

Sep 18, 2014 11:38 PM #10
Suzanne Otto
Six Twenty Designs - Lansdale, PA
Your Montgomery County PA home stager

There's only a "pass and fail" in the buyers mind. Were there too many issues for them to consider taking on and the sellers not willing to budge? Fail. 

Sep 19, 2014 12:01 AM #11
Geoff ONeill
John L. Scott Medford - Medford, OR

In some cases it may be a fail.  An FHA inspection has a different set of criteria, and some of those items MUST be fixed, as they become a condition of funding.  While I agree, that the home inspection is for informational purposes, it can often be the beginning of a negotiation that ultimately stops a sale depending upon the flexibility of both the buyer and the seller.

Sep 19, 2014 12:14 AM #12
Margaret Goss
Baird & Warner Real Estate - Winnetka, IL
Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate

This is a very sensible way of discussing the inspection with the buyers - before the inspection.  Buyers should not go into it hoping to renogotiate.


Sep 19, 2014 12:20 AM #13
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Yes to this post and point...We have additional EYES on the prize and this invites more discussion, clarity and if handled correctly..a satisfying conclusion

Sep 19, 2014 12:38 AM #14
Aaron Poling
Long & Foster - Martinsburg, WV
Working to get YOU the BEST Deal!

I think this is something that most people don't understand. There is no right or wrong answer to what is acceptable, it depends on the situation. The home inspection is just an honest evaluation for that particular time.

Sep 19, 2014 12:38 AM #15
Hella M. Rothwell, Broker/Realtor®
Carmel by the Sea, CA
Rothwell Realty Inc. CA#01968433 Carmel-by-the-Sea

Donna Harris - I love the simplicity of your answer about "no pass or fail". The inspection gives the buyer an opportunity to go back and renogitiate if there are items that are deal breakers for them if they are not fixed. Just had that happen. 

Sep 19, 2014 12:43 AM #16
Lynette Bruster
Long Realty Company - Tucson, AZ
ABR, Associate Broker

With some people, no matter how much you prepare them for this process they still get a little nutty.  I like your explanation.

Sep 19, 2014 12:45 AM #17
Donna Harris
Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - - Austin, TX
Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator

Geoff, FHA is an Appraisal, not a home inspection. Completely different things. FHA criteria has lightened a lot over the years, and their main criteria is to have no safety hazards. No house should have a safety hazard!

Sep 19, 2014 01:59 AM #18
Kevin Mackessy
Blue Olive Properties, LLC - Highlands Ranch, CO
Dedicated. Qualified. Local.

In all my transactions this year the seller's have played ball on getting inspection items done thankfully.  We haven't had to cancel over anything yet.  

Sep 19, 2014 02:47 AM #19
Linda Weisberg
Boca Raton, FL
Experience is NOT Expensive...It's Priceless!

Inspections are so important - but it's not a pass or fail!

Sep 19, 2014 07:42 AM #20
Eddie King
Keller Williams on the Water - Sarasota - Venice, FL
Serving all of Sarasota and Charlotte Counties, FL

I always try and tell the buyer that the benefit of the inspection is they get to start out in home and know every single thing that needs attention right from the start.  They need to know that this is a good thing and that at least there will not be any surprises later.  I also tell them that all homes have some issues, even new construction.

Sep 19, 2014 08:22 AM #21
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

This quote says it all

"There is no criteria about passing and failing a home inspection on a property for sale. An inspection is only about whether or not the buyer is willing to take on the potential challenges the house might have to offer."

Sep 19, 2014 12:47 PM #22
Claude Labbe
Real Living | At Home - Washington, DC
Realty for Your Busy Life

Exactly...Someone's nightmare is someone else's "so what".

Nice way to remind people.

Sep 19, 2014 12:51 PM #23
Bill Reddington
Re/max By The Sea - Destin, FL
Destin Florida Real Estate

Here it is all about functionality. Lots of ways out of a contract for either party. If a buyer wants to buy and a seller wants to sell you work it out.

Sep 19, 2014 01:09 PM #24
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Donna Harris - this is a great point. Inspection is not a pass or fail test. (And now I'll include this in my presentation - thanks for new definition of Home Inspections.)

Sep 19, 2014 01:37 PM #25
Margaret Woda
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. - Crofton, MD
Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation

When we look at a home or a home inspection, my husband and I just want to make sure there's nothing we can't fix or live with. Some folks want a lifetime guarantee on everything in and around the home, and won't settle for less. It really is just for information purposes so buyers can apply their own standards of acceptable.

Sep 19, 2014 11:43 PM #26
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Donna Harris

Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator
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