Recently I was doing an inspection for a familiar client. He told me this was an important deal, and we should try not to scare the buyer. This was a pretty scary house.
Not only was the foundation in question and the front porch about to cave in, but the roof needed to be replaced ASAP. The kicker was when we found out we could not test the water. Why? Another real estate agent had shown the house, but forgot to lock the door. Someone had stolen all the copper! They of course did not shut off the water, so the basement was still wet when we inspected it.
As any real estate professional can tell you, its not what you say, but how you say it. I managed to inform the buyer of all the significant issues, while keeping everything in its proper perspective. I was able to keep the buyer from getting too scared and the agent from losing a deal, all while maintaining my professional image and integrity.
Just another tale from the eyes of a home inspector.