The Myth of Pass or Fail Home Inspections

The Myth of pass or fail

One of the top questions we get asked is did the home pass or fail the inspection?

The job of the home inspector is to report on the condition of the house, not to pass or fail it. 

Pass or Fail is in the eye of the beholder

The fact of the matter is nearly everything a home inspector finds wrong with a house is fixable. Even significant foundation problems can usually be solved by a qualified foundation contractor. 

It is up to the buyer if they want to deal with the repairs, and how significant the repairs are to them. I have seen people buy a house despite having significant foundation problems because they were OK with taking on the work, or their agent was able to negotiate terms to have the work done.  Other times I have seen people walk away from minor issues simply because they were not comfortable with dealing with the issues found.

Again, the house does not pass or fail, the concern to the buyer is if they want to take on the task of hiring and paying the contractor(s) necessary or live with the issues found. 

Inspector Aaron on a roof
Aaron inspecting a roof

Where does the myth come from? 

So the obvious question is, if a home inspector does not pass or fail a house, then why do so many people believe they do?

The answer comes from city and county building inspectors. When a house is brand new, rebuilt, or otherwise being worked on, permits are issued by the city or country having authority. When the work is done, an inspector working for the city or county comes out to sign off on the permit. They can pass or fail the work done. And in some cases, yes, they can fail an entire house by withholding the certificate of occupancy until all work is passed.

Juan inspecting a garage
Juan inspecting a garage

What is the difference then?

A city or county inspector is only there to inspect the work being under the permit issued. And usually, it’s a very limited inspection, and the results are filed with the city or country. While a home inspector is there to look at the overall house, regardless of when it was built or last worked on. An IM Home Inspector is also bringing along more tools and looking into more details than the average city or county inspector. And unlike the city or county inspector, our reports are for the exclusive use of the person paying for the report. We do not file our home inspection reports with the city, country, or any government agency

Note: Termite reports done by Calpro are filed with the State Pest Control board in accordance with state law. Termite reports are separate from the home inspection report.

Matt Inspecting a furnace

To book your inspection call 818-298-3405 or book online here.