How to Read and React to Home Inspection Report?

How to Read and React to Home Inspection Report?

It is better to understand exactly what you're getting into when investing a significant amount of money in a home inspection process. Because of this, a house inspection is essential to the real estate process.

Interpreting the results of a home inspection report, however, can be difficult. Here are some items you should look out for and anticipate seeing on the home's inspection report if you're in the process of purchasing a property.

Different Parts of a Typical Home Inspection Report

A comprehensive report on a house inspection serves as a kind of road map for the state of a possible new residence.

If you are wondering how to read a home inspection report, the typical portions are broken out as follows:

  1. General information: The property address, the inspection company's details, the inspection date, the inspection's limitations, the keys, and access are all included in the general information section.
  2. Summary: It consists of a synopsis of results: a succinct summary of the main problems found during the examination. It also provides you with an optional rating system.
  3. Exterior: It looks at the state of the windows, doors, siding, roof, gutters, and the exterior in general.
  4. Foundation, Crawlspace, and Basement: checks for cracks, settling, or water damage depending on the kind of foundation (slab, basement, or crawl space).

Click on the article foundation inspection if you do not know how a foundation inspection is done.

  1. Roof System: It looks at the state of the downspouts, gutters, flashing, and roof.

Click on the article roof inspection if you do not know how a roof inspection is done.

  1. Plumbing system: Checks for leaks or functional problems in the plumbing, fixtures, water pressure, and drainage systems.

Click on the article plumbing inspection if you do not know how a plumbing inspection is done.

  1. Heating and cooling: Evaluates the ductwork, air conditioners, and furnaces as well as the heating and cooling systems.
  2. Electrical system: examines the outlets, wiring, electrical panel, and any possible safety risks.
  3. Interior: Examines finishes, doors, windows, floors, ceilings, staircases, and walls for wear, damage, or safety issues.
  • Kitchen and laundry appliances: The functionality of large appliances (such as the oven, dishwasher, and range) may be evaluated by certain inspectors, but this isn't always the case.

Click on the article kitchen home inspection if you do not know how a kitchen inspection is done.

  • Bathroom: This includes examining the ventilation, fittings, plumbing, and general operation.

Click on the article bathroom inspection if you do not know how a bathroom inspection is done.

  • Radon Testing/Mitigation: The usual unit of measurement for radon concentration in air is picocuries per Liter (pCi/L). The radon level in pCi/L will be displayed in the report.
  • Sewage scope: Using a sewage scope allows you to view the state of the line and spot possible problems before they get out of hand.
  • Photos: Key findings should be included in the report, frequently accompanied by captions that highlight the relevant points.

How to Read a Home Inspection Report?

Prior to delving into the specifics of what's covered, keep in mind that a lengthy inspection report does not always mean that there are significant problems.

For example, an inspector may take pictures and report damage to a window screen. These little things frequently account for the most part of the report, thus it's critical to emphasize the seriousness of the difficulties rather than their quantity.

The remarks on necessary repairs and the objects the inspector believes might pose a safety risk are what you should pay close attention to. These are usually included in the report's summary section.

How to Decode a Home Inspection Report?

The buyer (or seller, if it's a pre-inspection) will receive information from the house inspector to assist them in comprehending the meaning of each item in the report.

They'll provide a key of symbols or codes that they'll use to indicate each issue's severity throughout the report.

For instance, a variant of the following codes will often be included in house inspection reports, while they are not required to:

  • I stands for investigated. We looked over this item.
  • NI stands for Not Inspected. We did not inspect this item.
  • NP stands for Not Present. There was no way to locate or access this object.
  • S stands for Safety Concern. This item has to be fixed right away since it poses a safety risk.
  • R stands for general repair. Although it isn't currently causing any harm or damage, this object needs to be repaired.
  • D stands for defect. This item needs to be fixed or fixed by a professional tradesman since it is not working.

How to React to a Home Inspection Report?

There are several methods to respond to an inspection report as a seller or as a buyer. We'll go over each and provide advice and potential solutions with the inspection findings for buyers and sellers.

Purchaser Choices

After everything is finished, the buyer will get a thorough report on the house inspection that will identify any issues. The buyer now has four options to consider:

  1. Take the inspection at face value: The buyer just has to approve the inspection in order for the transaction to go to closure. The buyer has agreed to buy the property "as is," and therefore the seller is under no obligation to take any action.
  2. Dismiss the examination: Rejecting the inspection in its entirety, ending the agreement, and receiving your earnest money back is an additional choice. The buyer may express their dissatisfaction with the inspection report(s)' findings in the termination agreement.
  3. Assume some contingencies while accepting the inspection: The buyer could still choose to proceed with the house purchase, but there might be some things they would like to have fixed first.
  4. Request a refund of money: Even while the buyer in most real estate transactions cannot receive a direct credit at closing, the seller may be willing to lower the asking price in lieu of making the desired renovations.

Seller Choices

When the buyers have concerns about the various house inspections, the seller also has alternatives.

However, since the buyer has the last say on the matter, the seller's alternatives are even more constrained.

  • Accept or reject the buyer's conditions in part or in whole: There are backup plans in case the buyer chooses to object to the inspection report. The seller has the option to accept or reject these modifications. The vendor has the option to politely decline each request, returning the choice to the buyer. The buyer has three options: agree to the conditions, reject them, or try to renegotiate.

Frequently Asked Questions about Home Inspection Reports

How can I use a home inspection report in negotiation?

It is possible to request repairs, price reductions, or even to back out of the agreement by pointing out flaws that have been found. Prioritize large repairs that may affect the safety or value of the house. To get a better deal, use the inspector's anticipated cost of repairs as leverage.

What’s not included in a home inspection report?

Additionally, a normal report does not include information on things like a septic system and well, mold (apart from a visual inspection), asbestos, radon, or pests; however, they are frequently offered as add-ons.

What are the red flags in the home inspection report?

Problems with the sewer electrical malfunction, cracks in the drywall, the foundation, mold, improper roofing, deteriorating decks, and pipes made of zinc, are some of the most important red flags.


A home inspection report is all you get after your home inspection is done, so you should know how to read and decode it.

There are terms and codes used in home inspection reports you can understand only if you have read their meaning before.

In this post, we have explained the structure of a home inspection report and all of the items mentioned in it, with their meanings.

Let us know if this post is useful for you.