Home Inspection Myths

1.The home inspector gives a pass or fail.
The inspector identifies defects in various components of a house. If the component does not function properly, demonstrates signs of pending nonperformance, or presents a safety risk to occupants and guests, the inspector will report a defect. This could be perceived as giving the components a failing grade but that is entirely different from deciding whether the house is the right one for you. Different clients can justifiably make different purchase decisions over the same set of defects. For example, if the clients have a family-member who is an electrician, even numerous electrical defects may not be material to them. The decision to buy or not always remains with the client. Pass or fail is up to you.

2. The inspector will look at everything.
Home Inspector
Inspectors budget their time to look at the most significant items in the home and only look at a sampling of some minor components. Other items are outside the scope of the inspection such as outbuildings, swimming pools and low voltage devices. We already have a lot to get through and you don’t have the time for us to exhaustively plod our way through every component on the property. We do look at a lot of items, the keyword being look.

3. Having an inspection removes all my risk.
Nope. Sorry. A home inspection is in no way a warranty or guarantee. Inspectors try to identify risks, or defects, for you. It helps you make a more informed decision when you buy. Hopefully we won’t find many significant issues but whatever we find, or fail to find, you accept the risk in our agreement and ultimately as the buyer. Assuming you still have an inspection condition, you always have the choice to walk away from the deal.

4. The inspector will tell me how much repairs will cost.
The best inspectors won’t. Remember that home inspectors are only allowed to visually examine a home. You don’t own the house yet. So we can’t open up the walls to see the extent of a problem. We will suggest when we think you should call a contractor to get some quotes. This works much better in the long run as you will have prices in place if you choose to proceed.

5. Inspections are all the same so lets just get the cheapest.
What you want is an inspector who is a graduate of a college home inspection program, belongs to a professional association of inspectors, is properly insured and is dedicated to providing you with the highest quality report possible. One or more of these critical factors is missing in the cheaper inspection services. They may try to race through the home and/or produce a shoddy report to save time. Be prepared to spend at least the average fee in the market if you want superior work. You are paying to find out as much as you can as part of your diligence. Why would you cut corners?

6. Inspectors are incredibly knowledgeable and invariably handsome.
This is not a myth. LOL. Inspectors are knowledgeable across a broad spectrum of house construction and maintenance practices. However we are generalists. When a specialist is needed, we will recommend you call one in; in much the same way a general practitioner will call for a medical specialist. Oh, and as for other thing, as Red Green might have said if clients don’t find you handsome they should at least find you handy.


Author: Rob Cornish is a Home Inspector in Ottawa, Canada. © 2013 HomeXam Inc.
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  1. […] is a lot of confusion in the marketplace about what a home inspection is and there are some common home inspection myths held by the public. Licensing home inspectors should help to ensure consumers have common […]

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