An old abandoned Victorian farmhouse.

Home inspections are an integral part of the real estate sales contract process. They are a great tool that can protect buyers in a contract and ensure they are fully aware of the condition of the property. But what if a home inspection delivers bad news? What happens next?

The first thing to understand is that there is no pass or fail on an inspection. In fact, most conventional loans do not require an inspection, although it is highly recommended. There are multiple reasons why a buyer may be dissatisfied by the findings of a home inspection. There can be major issues such as a roof that needs to be replaced, a big appliance, like a furnace or water heater, that needs to be updated, or some structural or foundation damage. There can also be minor issues that pop up on the inspection that the buyers may have overlooked while viewing the house like some siding that needs to be repaired or a leaky faucet. 

Worried about an inspection? Don’t be! Here are some ways to handle bad news on an inspection:


  • First, as your trusted real estate professional, we can give you our feedback on the findings and we can discuss a plan for moving forward. 
  • Do your research on what needs fixing. Contact a contractor to get an idea of what the cost of repairs would be.
  • Negotiate with the sellers. We can strategize on a negotiation strategy based on the repairs that are most important to you and the type of resolution you want. 
  • Cancel your contract and start the house hunt again. Although this is the last choice, if you cannot come to a compromise with the sellers or the repairs are beyond what you can manage, it is okay to walk away if that is in your best interest.


  • Negotiate with the buyers. Hear their concerns and come to a reasonable compromise for all. Of course, we will be there to represent your interests. 
  • Remember that, if indicated so in the contract, a buyer can back out, leaving you to start the showing process all over again. 
  • This problem may arise on another inspection on a new sales contract as well and cause further problems down the line. It can save you time and maybe even money to negotiate with your buyer and compromise.
  • Think about how you would feel as the buyer. Would you want to buy a house with this issue?

Ultimately, both buyers and sellers want the inspection to go off without a hitch. If something does come up on the inspection, both parties can usually come to a compromise on a resolution. That is usually the most desirable outcome for all parties involved. Remember that the people on the other side of this real estate transaction are humans as well, and try to come to a place that is fair for all. We will be there to provide our expertise as well.