The Home Inspector Found Something Wrong, What's Next?

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 SAL.2002007747

It's been my experience that very few homes are perfect.  I know I have things to correct around my own home before selling.  They're things I can live with, but who knows what the buyers would think?

So when it comes time to have a home inspection on your potential new home, it's almost a given that the home inspector you hire WILL find something. 

It may be something the homeowner was aware of and disclosed.

It may be something the homeowner had no clue about (e.g. what's going on inside the main electrical panel).

The issues may be minor, or they may be major.

Regardless, expect something to be found.

So what's next?

The answer is a whole lot of "it depends".

First, let's assume all issues identified were within the home inspector's area of expertise AND what are considered material defects.  You can't object because you don't like the paint color.  Let's also assume there's nothing that requires further evaluation by a specialist (structural, possible mold, etc.).

You have a decision to make:  is there anything identified that you just can't live?  

If so, you have the contractual right to exit the contract, EVEN IF THE SELLER WOULD HAVE BEEN WILLING TO REPAIR.  We provide notice, your earnest money SHOULD be returned and we return to searching for your next home.

So back to "it depends".  There are defects you want addressed, but you're not yet ready to walk away IF the seller is willing to pay for having some or all of them addressed.

Assuming the seller concurs, repairs are made, receipts provided and we complete the sale.

Now the seller may not agree to ALL of your list.  We can opt to negotiate further until you reach an acceptable position, or if we reach a stalemate, you can again opt to walk.

Depending on what is acceptable to you and the seller, the inspection issues may be resolved by a) actual repairs b) a price reduction  c) a credit towards closing costs d) funds placed into escrow for post-closing repairs e) old fashioned horse trading (how 'bout I throw in the pool table instead of fixing items 1, 3 & 6?)

So you can see why "it depends!" is an answer.

You want another layer of complexity, we could walk down the path of what happens if the inspector finds something major and a specialist is needed to assess?  Basically, more inspections, more information, more negotiations.  The same principle steps play out, the only difference is most likely the amount of dollars involved.

If you'd like to discuss further, just call Bill at 513-520-5305 or email

Serving Greater Cincinnati home buyers and sellers,

Bill & Liz aka BLiz

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Serving Warren County Ohio & Adjacent Areas


The Liz Spear Team of RE/MAX Elite
Elizabeth Spear, ABR, CRS, Ohio License SAL.2002007747

William (Bill) Spear, CRS, Ohio License SAL.2004011109  Kentucky 77938
Ask for us by name if you visit the office!

EHO Two locations: Lebanon & Mason, OH
Bill Direct:  513-520-5305
Liz Direct: 513-265-3004     
Fax: 866-302-8418


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Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Liz and Bill:  a prospective home seller might be able to live with some quirks in their current property but a buyer is likely more concerned.   Good warning.   Smart advice.

Nov 14, 2019 02:20 AM #1
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Bill. "It depends" has contractual limitations and "when the  rubber meets the road" considerations once the inspection is done. Enjoy your day!

Nov 14, 2019 04:47 AM #2
Mimi Foster
Falcon Property Solutions - Colorado Springs, CO
Voted Colorado Springs Best Realtor

I tell my Buyers all the time - There are no perfect houses, just degrees of what's tolerable for you. I sell a lot of Victorian and mid-century modern homes. On one hand they are (generally) much better made, on the other hand there are often Federal Pacific electric panels (or something similar) - it's a trade off, but there's almost always a need for an inspection and negotiation.

Nov 14, 2019 08:49 AM #3
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RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)
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