Don't Let Your Home Inspection Become a Deal Breaker

Written by Posted On Thursday, 07 February 2019 06:51

How to Avoid Home Inspection Problems

It is essential to be honest with a buyer and yourself when you sell your home. If you know that some areas of your home need improvement, the best idea is to get them fixed before you start the selling process.

Taking a home inspection lightly is not smart. A lot of money will be on the line and once the home inspection happens you have no control over the results. Working as an experienced Framingham Massachusetts Real Estate agent for the past thirty-two years, I can tell you first hand many sellers could have benefited from just a little bit more attention paid to their homes.

If any significant problems show up on a home inspection, they are likely to become deal breakers, and you could lose the sale. One of the best pieces of advice any seller can receive is to prepare for the buyer's home inspection. More sales fall through at the home inspection than at any other time during a real estate transaction.

Who wants that right? Putting a home back on the market after a home inspection comes with a whole set of doubts from the next batch of buyers. Many of these folks will be wondering if there is an enormous problem they will be stuck with.

Real Estate agents often are questioned up and down from buyer's agents why the home is back for sale. Before putting the for sale sign in the lawn make sure you scope out these areas of your property first.

Top Areas of Your Home Which Can Cause Problems

What areas should you check out before listing your home with a Realtor? There are some areas which are more crucial than others, and you should check them out.

  •  HVAC system
  •  Interior Plumbing
  • Insulation
  • Foundation
  • Basement
  • Roof

HVAC System

Make sure there are no leaks and that you have all required permits. If you have had a new energy efficient model installed, have the certification ready. This will not only look great at a home inspection arranged by a buyer, but it will give a buyer confidence in other areas of your home.

It makes you look like a diligent homeowner, and that is what all home buyers look for when they consider purchasing your home. It is always an excellent idea to make sure you get a yearly servicing of your heating and cooling system, especially if you have oil heat.

With a gas-fired system, you can typically have the servicing done every two years.

Interior Plumbing

Don't forget to check out the plumbing. Minor leaks are cheap to fix, and damp areas will be investigated on a home inspection. An inspector discovered significant issues is what you want to avoid. If you are not sure about doing it yourself, get a local contractor to check it for you.

Remember that interior plumbing includes leaking faucets, dripping showers, and toilets. Get them fixed if you notice even a small problem. One of the more common areas where you will see water stains in the ceiling is when there is a bathroom above.

Most of the time these common stains are not caused by active leaking but from a shower curtain being left open or a one time incident like an overflowing toilet.

A buyer, however, is going to think the worst, so it is vital to make sure you get these stains removed before a home inspection takes place. It goes without saying that if it something more than that get it fixed and disclosure the previous issue to the buyer.


When you own an older home, it is essential that you check the insulation. Asbestos insulation is still being discovered in homes across the country. Make sure that you don't have any. It is a highly toxic substance that has been known to cause cancer. Mesothelioma is an aggressive form of cancer that kills thousands of people every year.

Insulation should not be damaged at all from water leaks or outside elements. If you find some, replace it.

Adding insulation is one of the easiest and least expensive things you can do to improve your homes energy efficiency.


It is tough to check areas like the foundation yourself. However, take a good look outside of your home and in your basement. Do you notice any cracks or splits beginning to appear? This is what a home inspector will look for when he or she inspects your home for the first time.

Another good idea is to check your basement floor. Is it damp? If it is moist, find out why. You may not have a significant problem, and there are numerous ways you can damp proof your basement yourself without spending a fortune.

Sometimes the moisture can be cured very quickly but just running a dehumidifier. Doing so is a smart move as it keeps moisture out of the air and your belongings as well. Nobody likes the smell of a musty basement.


If you have not extended your home into the basement and made a living area out of it, you could have a few issues that might not be easily discoverable. We spend more time in our basements when they are finished than ever before.

Make sure your basement is clean and not cluttered. If you have windows and outside access, they need to be both secure and lockable.

We spend more time in our basements when they are finished than ever before. It makes sense to make sure this area is in tip-top shape.

The Roof

One of the best home inspection tips is to make sure you do a thorough check of your roof. This is where a lot of home inspections can get tricky. When was the last time you were up in your attic or a crawl space? The first thing you should do is to make sure you don't see any daylight through the roof.

If you do, call a roofing contractor straight away. You may even have a home insurance claim on your hands. That could save you money and update your home at the same time. Replacing a roof can be a good long term investment.

Additionally, check your gutters and make sure they are clean. The home inspector will be looking at the gutter system as part of the inspection. Clean guttering gives a good impression of your home and says a lot about the way you have maintained your home. Gutters filled with leaves suggest you don't pay too much attention to your house.

Clogged gutters are also a primary culprit of ice dams for those who live in cold weather climates, along with insulation problems.

Unless you are confident with heights, you probably don't want to get up on the roof. Most roofing contractors offer both interior and outside inspections. Contact your local roofing contractor and ask if they can help you.

An inspection is a great way to make sure everything is okay and gives you peace of mind.

Final Thoughts

A home inspection should be a matter of routine and not something that you should worry about on the day it happens. Homeowners who take care of their property have little to worry about.

Those that neglect their property will probably find an extensive laundry list the buyer is going to be requesting a repair of credit. Yes, the home inspection is often a place where buyers love to renegotiate.

If you don't want to be making a ton of repairs or giving the buyer a significant credit, do you part and make sure your home makes a positive impression.

Additional Articles Worth Reading

Use all the resources in the article to make sound decisions whether you are buying or selling a home.

About the author: Bill Gassett is a nationally recognized Real Estate leader who has been helping people buy and sell Metrowest Massachusetts real estate for the past thirty-two plus years. Bill has been one of the top RE/MAX Realtors in New England for the past decade.

In 2017 he was the #6 RE/MAX real estate agent in New England. His real estate advice has been featured on, CNBC, RIS Media, National Association of Realtors, Inman News, Placester, RESAAS, Credit Sesame and others.

Bill covers real estate sales in the following Massachusetts communities: Ashland, Bellingham, Douglas, Framingham, Franklin, Grafton, Holliston, Hopkinton, Hopedale, Medway, Mendon, Milford, Millbury, Millville, Northborough, Northbridge, Shrewsbury, Southborough, Sutton, Wayland, Westborough, Whitinsville, Worcester, Upton and Uxbridge MA.

Reach out for his advice anytime.

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Bill Gassett

One of the top RE/MAX agents in New England over the last decade plus. Providing exceptional real estate services to buyers and sellers in the Metrowest Massachusetts area including the following communities: Ashland, Bellingham, Douglas, Framingham, Franklin, Grafton, Holliston, Hopkinton, Hopedale, Medway, Mendon, Milford, Millbury, Millville, Northborough, Northbridge, Shrewsbury, Southborough, Sutton, Wayland, Westborough, Whitinsville, Worcester, Upton and Uxbridge MA.

See my real estate website at Maximum Real Estate Exposure - one of the most visited real estate sites in Massachusetts.

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