Well, first things first, a home inspection never “passes” or “fails”. A home inspection is primarily an educational experience for you, the prospective home buyer, to understand your future home. A good home inspector will carefully walk you through all of the systems and structures of the home to provide insight into the condition of the systems, recommended maintenance, and right specialists to contact to maintain, repair or replace these systems.
Because you are going through the whole home, top-to-bottom, inside-out, many prospective home buyers find the process overwhelming. Take a deep breath, grab a notebook, ask questions to your home inspector, and know that this is normal. You want to know everything about such a major purchase. You definitely don’t want any surprises after a few years, months, or days after closing!
But what if something is seriously wrong?
I’m warning you: there is going to be something that comes up in the inspection that needs to be repaired or replaced. The question is “does the home still work for you, your budget, and your lifestyle?”. That is a question only you can answer because everyone has different levels of risk or projects they are willing to take on. Some questions to consider are: how soon does this repair need to occur? How much is it going to cost? How is the repair (or choosing not to repair it soon) going to impact my lifestyle? Are the answers to these questions something that I am comfortable with?
Going back to the sellers
If the home inspection identifies an issue not previously disclosed, you can often go back to the sellers to negotiate. Typically, negotiations take three forms:
What if it is just too much work or the sellers won’t negotiate?
You can walk away. Check with a lawyer about potential consequences, but it is almost always a better idea to go with your gut instead of making a HUGE financial decision you aren’t comfortable with.