Recently we had Tim Gardner from Inspecx, Inc. do an inspection for one of our listings. Here is a portion of his report and we thought it would be a great way for people to understand inspections.
What You Can Expect From This Inspection Report
This inspection report is a reasonable effort to disclose the condition of this property as it existed on the day of
inspection, and is conducted in accordance with the National Association of Certified Home Inspectors (NACHI)
Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics. An inspection report cannot reveal information on concealed items or
items the inspector was unable to access and inspect. Reliance on this report, in whole or in part, for any reason
whatsoever, constitutes acceptance of the terms of the addended inspection agreement.
The following pages are a compilation of the inspector’s findings. Each category contains a brief description of
the type of system or structure, what is included in the inspection of that category and if there were any major or
minor conditions to note. For example, the Exterior category contains items such as: windows, doors and trim.
Check each description prior to reviewing the findings.
When items are rated the categories are as follows:
• A No Visible Defects rating should give satisfactory service within the limits of its age.
• A Monitor rating is generally cosmetic and repair is optional.
• Attention/Maintenance Recommended is considered normal upkeep.
• A Marginal rating is considered less than satisfactory and may soon need repair.
• A Recommended Upgrade will result in improved service or greater safety.
• A Defective-Relevant rating is a major concern generally considered to be significant and / or poses a
safety hazard; and may have relevance to the contingent conditions of the real estate contract. This
condition requires immediate attention. A licensed contractor should be consulted to evaluate the system
and the inspector’s findings; and to provide an estimate for necessary repairs.
The inspector may make recommendations to upgrade specific items or systems. (For Example: Upgrade
bathroom or kitchen receptacles to ground fault interrupter receptacles.) These recommendations are often
intended to improve a system or item with newer products and technologies.
All of the inspector’s findings are approximations and not a definitive answer. It is impossible to predict exactly
how long a system will last. Any estimate of cost to repair is an approximation for budgetary purposes only.
The two most common concerns expressed by buyers in the aftermath of a home inspection are: “Which items
are the sellers required to repair?” and “What if the sellers won’t address these problems?”
The first point every home buyer must understand is that a home inspection report IS NOT a repair list for
The only exception to this rule applies to new construction homes, where the builder or contractor must provide a
finished product free of defects. With used homes, inspection reports provide information for the home buyers,
rather than directives for sellers. This does not mean that buyers cannot submit repair requests to sellers, but such
requests are negotiable; not legally binding upon the sellers. Repair requests can and perhaps, should be made, but
with the understanding that most sellers have rights of refusal.
With this ground rule in place, buyers should divide the inspection findings into three distinct categories:
1. Legally mandated repairs: Some conditions require repairs in accordance with state laws or local
ordinances. Common in many areas are requirements to upgrade smoke detector placement, or to comply
with various building and safety standards. Such items are non-negotiable and must be addressed by the
2. Contractually mandated repairs: Some conditions are specified for repair in the real estate purchase
contract. Common are stipulations that:
• All building components are in safe working condition.
• Plumbing leaks are repaired.
• Structural problems are corrected.
• The roof be made free of leaks.
Contractual agreements of this kind are binding upon sellers. However, the seller’s obligation may be
limited to a dollar figure, above which, the seller has the right to refuse to make the repairs. If the Seller
refuses to make repairs the buyer thinks are necessary, the buyer must then decide whether to accept the
dollar figure limit in the contract and accept the property in its present condition, or terminate the contract
and receive a refund of the earnest money (offer deposit). The Roanoke Valley Association of Realtors
Purchase Agreement, Paragraph 14 and Paragraphs F, G, H & I of the Standard Provisions section,
address these conditions and requirements. Remember, all property defects are negotiable; buyers should
carefully evaluate these according to importance. Vital repairs are generally regarded as reasonable repair
requests. Examples of these repairs include a defective furnace or heat pump, a substandard chimney, and
faulty electrical wiring. Although sellers are not obligated for such corrective work, most reasonable
sellers will agree to address conditions of this kind, either by making repairs or by adjusting the sales
price of the property. Even though sellers are not required to make these repairs, buyers should feel
comfortable requesting that such corrections be completed.
3. Conditions of minor concern: Finally, there are common property defects which should be regarded for
disclosure purposes only and which buyers should accept as conditions to be repaired after the sale.
Examples are numerous and include rotted fence posts, peeling paint, rubbing doors, cracked pavement,
worn carpet, unextended downspouts, etc. These “deferred maintenance” items are usually visible and a
diligent buyer would have noticed them before going to the contract stage, and made an offer accordingly.
The key here is Don’t Nit-Pick. You need to know about these items, but you, the buyer, are
responsible for correcting them.
These three standards should be applied, when reviewing this inspection report, as a means of separating repairs
to be requested from conditions to be accepted. Most sellers are honest and are often surprised to learn of defects
uncovered during an inspection. No home is perfect. Keep things in perspective. Don’t ruin your deal over things
that don’t matter. It is inappropriate to demand that a seller address deferred maintenance, conditions already
listed on the seller’s disclosure, or insignificant items.
At this point, you and your agent should formulate a letter of request and submit it to the sellers. A wise approach
for structuring this letter is to state that some defects will be accepted in “as is” condition. Listing the items to be
accepted is a good strategy for negotiation. Itemizing the accepted defects demonstrates a willingness to be
reasonable, rather than demanding. The letter should then list the items for which repairs are requested, beginning
with conditions required by law or by contract, and concluding with the items that are subject to the sellers’
Thank you for selecting Inspecx Home Inspection Services. We have made every effort to make this report as
comprehensive as possible. If you do not understand any part of this report, please do not hesitate to call our
office at 540-297-7733