Do Home Inspectors Kill Deals?

by | Apr 1, 2024

  • Unfortunately, home inspectors have earned themselves a bit of a bad reputation in the public eye. One that suggests home inspectors kill deals. In the realm of real estate, a reputation like this casts a shadow of doubt over one of the most crucial steps in buying or selling a home: the home inspection. This myth, deeply ingrained in the psyche of buyers and sellers alike, suggests that home inspections more often than not, lead to the unraveling of deals, leaving both parties at a loss. But how accurate is this underlying notion? 

  • As a seasoned Calgary home inspector I’ve encountered this misconception firsthand. 

    While not every deal goes through – I’m firm in my belief that home inspections provide significant benefits for both buyers and sellers in all cases. Further to that, and contrary to the belief of some, they can be the very element that ensures fairness, transparency, and satisfaction in a deal.


  • At the core of any real estate transaction is the fundamental goal of ensuring that all parties involved—buyers, sellers, and agents—have a clear, accurate understanding of the property’s condition. Home inspections play a pivotal role in achieving this goal, serving as a critical bridge between the visible appeal of a property and the intricate details of its actual state. But what exactly does a home inspection entail, and why is it so vital for both buyers and sellers?

Do Home Inspectors Kill Deals?


  • A home inspection is a comprehensive examination of a property’s physical structure and systems, from the foundation to the roof, conducted by a certified professional. It covers an extensive range of components including but not limited to the electrical system, plumbing, heating and cooling systems, insulation, walls, windows, and doors. The purpose is to identify any existing problems, potential future issues, and the overall condition of the home. This process is not invasive; it does not involve tearing down walls or digging up the ground but relies on the inspector’s expertise to identify signs of issues that may not be visible to the untrained eye. Question then, how do home inspectors kill deals when they’ve only performed a limited visual based examination of the property?


    The myth that “Home Inspectors Kill Deals” is rooted in a misunderstanding of these processes and their implications. These misconceptions can largely be attributed to fear—fear of the unknown, fear of costly repairs, and ultimately, fear of losing what could be the perfect home or sale.

    Often, it stems from a single negative experience or a story heard through the grapevine. For instance, the tale of a seemingly minor issue uncovered during an inspection leading to a deal falling apart can quickly become a cautionary tale among buyers and sellers. However, these stories rarely convey the full context—such as negotiations that could have saved the deal or the eventual satisfaction of both parties when a fair resolution was found. 

    In some cases, the conditions found during the home inspection can even fall scapegoat to a purchaser’s change of heart about a property. A purchaser’s right to waive off the deal based on the home inspection is at their discretion of the conditions found. This means it’s not necessarily based on the findings of the home inspection itself.


  • Buying or selling a home is more than a transaction; it’s a significant life event filled with emotional and financial investment. For sellers, their home is a place of memories, sometimes representing their life’s work. With buyers, it’s the promise of a new beginning. The prospect of a home inspection can evoke fear that these emotional investments will be jeopardized.

    From my experience, addressing these fears directly has been key to changing perceptions. Clients are often nervous about what I may find in the home inspection. Again, there’s a fear of the unknown. A quick quip often puts them to ease: “ I’ve never had a roof cave in on me”. “I’m yet to have the electrical system set the home ablaze around me.” Or, “So far, I’ve only had to swim my way out of a flooded basement once.” This not only lightens the mood but also puts into perspective that homes, much like life, are perfectly imperfect and require care and maintenance. However, at the end of the day they are built to stand the test of time.

    Of course, the financial implications of a home inspection cannot be understated. Buyers are understandably nervous about inheriting costly repairs, while sellers worry that findings might necessitate price reductions or expensive fixes. However, this is where the true value of a home inspection shines through. By providing a detailed assessment of the property’s condition, inspections offer an opportunity for informed decision-making.

    For instance, identifying major system issues—such as structural problems or outdated HVAC systems—before finalizing a purchase can save buyers from unexpected expenses down the line. Conversely, sellers can use pre-listing inspections to address or disclose issues upfront, enhancing the home’s appeal and potentially securing a quicker sale.


  • For buyers, a home inspection is an invaluable tool that offers protection and peace of mind. It provides an objective assessment of the property’s condition, highlighting any repairs or maintenance issues that might need attention either immediately or in the future. This knowledge empowers buyers to make informed decisions, potentially negotiate the sale price, or request repairs before finalizing the purchase. It’s about understanding what you’re investing in and ensuring that your dream home won’t turn into an unforeseen financial burden due to hidden problems.

Educating and empowering participants

  • Education plays a crucial role in changing perceptions about home inspections. By sharing knowledge and insights gained from years of experience, home inspectors can help simplify the process. Informing clients about what to expect during an inspection, the typical issues that can arise, and how these can be addressed, goes a long way in alleviating concerns and building trust.

Protection and peace of mind

  • A home inspection acts as a protective shield for buyers, offering a clear and comprehensive understanding of the property’s condition. It identifies not only current issues but also potential future problems that could result in costly repairs. This was evident in an inspection where unauthorized electrical modifications were discovered, posing a significant safety risk. By bringing these issues to light, the inspection provided the buyers with the knowledge needed to make an informed decision, ensuring their future home was safe and up to code.

Informed Negotiations and Future Planning

  • The insights gained from a home inspection empower buyers to negotiate more effectively, whether seeking a price adjustment or requesting that specific repairs be made before purchase. This knowledge enables buyers to budget for future repairs and maintenance, ensuring they are financially prepared for homeownership. A notable case involved identifying an outdated HVAC system, which allowed the buyers to negotiate with the sellers for a reduction in price to accommodate the cost of replacement.

  • Understanding the intricacies of a home’s condition before purchasing can save buyers from unexpected headaches and financial strain down the line. Home inspections highlight the importance of regular maintenance and can guide buyers in maintaining their new home, contributing to its longevity and value. This aligns with the broader perspective that informed decisions made at the outset can lead to a more satisfying and secure homeownership experience.

A Roof Defect Discovered by a Home Inspector during a Roof Inspection
Exterior Stone Damage found by an Inspector during a pre-listing inspection
Low Attic Insulation Levels being measured by a Home Inspector
A rusted hot water tank discovered by a professional home inspector noted to be beyond it's service life
An S-Trap, below the sink, found in a post possession home inspection.

I take pride in being handy, but in the short window I have to assess a home I’m not confident I could reconfigure a P-trap into an S-trap (as shown) just to help kill a deal. Whoever installed this defective plumbing got here long before I did. 

As a Home Inspector,  yes – I did engage the drain plug for the sink and run the water. However, I wasn’t the reason that this overflow drain wasn’t functional. The person who installed this sink and drain gets all the credit for that. 

A damaged downspout on the exterior of a home; discovered by a licensed home inspector in Calgary.

This one, it’s possible I crushed with my super human home inspector grip. Although, probability is still high that I also simply observed this crushed downspout while assessing the property.


  • Sellers also stand to gain significantly from home inspections. A pre-listing inspection, conducted before putting the property on the market, can identify any existing issues that could potentially derail a sale or become points of negotiation. Addressing these issues beforehand or being transparent about them can increase a home’s appeal, potentially speed up the transaction process, and might even lead to a higher sale price. It demonstrates to potential buyers that the seller is open and honest, which can greatly enhance trust and confidence in the transaction.


  • Conducting a home inspection and sharing the results with potential buyers demonstrates a seller’s honesty and transparency, qualities that can significantly enhance trust in the transaction. This openness can lead to smoother negotiations and a more positive selling experience overall. In cases where sellers disclosed the need for minor repairs and demonstrated a willingness to address them, we’ve seen increased buyer confidence and expedited sales.


  • By identifying and either disclosing or addressing issues upfront, sellers can avoid the last-minute surprises that may cause a deal to unravel. A pre-listing inspection that revealed the need for roof repairs allowed one seller to fix the issue on their terms, preventing it from becoming a sticking point in negotiations and preserving the home’s value in the eyes of potential buyers. Plus, can you really have your home inspector kill a deal before it even happens?
A Home Inspector revealing rust inside the furnace during a home inspection in Calgary
A disconnected exhaust vent was found in the mechanical room during a home inspection

Revealing Safety Hazards: A Shared Concern

    One of the most critical aspects of home inspections is the identification of safety hazards that could pose risks to the occupants of a property. This process is not about nitpicking minor issues but ensuring the safety and well-being of future residents. My experience has shown that when it comes to safety concerns, there is often a shared commitment between buyers and sellers to address these issues promptly and responsibly.

    Safety hazards in a home can range from electrical problems that might lead to fires, structural issues that threaten the integrity of the building, to the presence of hazardous materials like asbestos or radon. During an inspection, identifying these issues is paramount. For instance, in one of the properties I inspected, I discovered outdated electrical wiring that was not only non-compliant with current codes but also posed a significant fire risk. Highlighting these concerns during the inspection process underscored the potential danger to the home’s future occupants and the urgent need for remediation.

A Collaborative Approach to Safety

  • What stands out in many transactions is the collaborative spirit that emerges when safety hazards are identified. Both buyers and sellers often recognize the importance of these issues and work together to find solutions. In the case of the previously mentioned property with electrical issues, the sellers were initially unaware of the problem. Once informed, they took immediate steps to address the concern, ensuring that the home would be safe for the new owners. This sense of shared responsibility is a testament to the underlying care that people have not just for the property but for the individuals and families who will call it home.
An electrical panel with openings, which is a safety hazard, found by a Calgary Home Inspector.
An open 120V electrical junction; posing a hazard to home occupants.
An open 240V electrical junction posing a serious safety hazard revealed during a routine home inspection.
An unmounted smoke detector at risk of becoming disconnected; a hazard to the homes occupants.

Changing Perceptions through education

    Educating both buyers and sellers about the benefits and process of home inspections is crucial for debunking myths. Through countless interactions with clients, I’ve found that knowledge truly is power. Informing clients that a home inspection is a protective measure, not a hurdle, helps shift their perspective. It’s about ensuring safety, security, and satisfaction for everyone involved in the transaction.

The Truth Behind Home Inspections

    The notion that home inspections invariably lead to the termination of potential real estate deals is not just misleading; it overlooks the multifaceted benefits that inspections bring to the table. In truth, home inspections serve as a critical tool for transparency, empowering both buyers and sellers with detailed knowledge of the property in question. There’s no footing in the idea that home inspectors kill deals.

Home Inspections Unveil, Not Create, Issues

    As we’ve noted, one of the fundamental misunderstandings about home inspections is the belief that they are responsible for uncovering deal-breaking problems. In reality, these inspections simply reveal the existing state of a property. Through my experience, I’ve consistently found that most issues identified during inspections were already present and, in many cases, unknown to the homeowners themselves.

    For example, during one memorable inspection, I uncovered an electrical system that had been updated without proper permits and did not meet current safety standards. This was a surprise to the sellers, who had themselves purchased the home in its current state, unaware of these modifications. Far from killing the deal, this discovery allowed the sellers to rectify the issue, ensuring the safety of the home for future occupants and maintaining the integrity of the sale.

The Role of the Inspector: Objective Observer

    As home inspectors, our role is to observe and report on the condition of the property, not to pass judgment or influence decisions. We provide an objective assessment that helps all parties make informed choices. I approach each inspection with the understanding that every home has its quirks and issues, emphasizing to clients that perfection is not the goal—awareness is.

    This perspective is vital, especially when working with first-time buyers who might be overwhelmed by the process. By guiding them through the findings, explaining the implications, and highlighting the home’s positive aspects, I make it easier to understand their home. It’s about ensuring that buyers and sellers alike understand that inspections are a step towards transparency and safety, not obstacles to their goals.

A plumbing line improperly repaired with electrical tape; discovered during a home inspection.
A plumbing drain found by an inspector to have been leaking for some time.

Inspectors are Deal Facilitators, Not Deal Breakers

  • The true value of home inspections lies in their ability to facilitate deals rather than hinder them. By providing a clear picture of a property’s condition, inspections can prevent surprises that might derail transactions at a later stage. They offer an opportunity for negotiations, whether in adjusting the sale price or agreeing on repairs before closing.

    For instance, uncovering issues with the HVAC system or the roof can lead to discussions between buyers and sellers about addressing these concerns. In many cases, such negotiations result in solutions that are acceptable to both parties, allowing deals to proceed with a newfound understanding and acceptance of the property’s condition.

The Role of Home Inspectors in Facilitating Solutions

  • As home inspectors, our role extends beyond merely identifying problems; we also facilitate communication and understanding between buyers and sellers, especially when it comes to safety hazards. By providing clear, detailed reports and explaining the implications of our findings, we can help all parties understand the severity of the issues and the necessity of prompt action. This educational aspect of our work is critical, as it empowers homeowners and buyers with the knowledge to make informed decisions about addressing safety concerns.

Navigating Inspection Findings

  • The completion of a home inspection brings with it a detailed report that outlines the inspector’s findings, providing a roadmap for the next steps for both buyers and sellers. This report, while comprehensive, can initially seem daunting. However, with the right approach, it can be navigated effectively, ensuring that necessary repairs are identified, prioritized, and addressed to the satisfaction of all parties involved.

A disconnected heat register revealed during a thermal inspection.
Missing Exterior Wall Insulation revealed by a thermal inspection.
A thermal inspection revealing to an astute home inspector that the upper heating element is defective and no longer working.
A home inspector confirming that there is no back drafting present at an older draft induced furnace.

Understanding The Home Inspection Report

  • The inspection report is a critical document that outlines the condition of the home’s major systems, structural integrity, and potential safety issues. It categorizes findings based on their severity, distinguishing between cosmetic concerns, minor repairs, and significant issues that could affect the home’s safety or value. This differentiation is crucial for making informed decisions about which issues to address immediately and which can be planned for future action. For instance, a report might highlight an outdated electrical panel as a significant concern due to safety risks, while noting less urgent issues like cosmetic cracks in interior walls. Once you have your inspection report in hand it’s easy to see that these documents hardly read  “home inspectors kill deals”. These reports are a key educational and maintenance tool that continue to serve you long beyond the inspection.

Identifying and Prioritizing Repairs

  • Once the inspection report is in hand, the process of identifying and prioritizing repairs begins. This step is essential for both buyers and sellers, as it impacts negotiations and future planning. Buyers must consider which repairs are deal-breakers and which can be managed post-purchase, often with the guidance of the inspector who can provide insights into the implications of each issue. Sellers, on the other hand, may decide to undertake critical repairs to maintain the home’s marketability and value.

    An example from my experience involved a home with significant roof damage. The inspection report allowed the buyer to prioritize this repair in their negotiation, ultimately leading to an agreement where the seller contributed to the cost of a new roof, ensuring the home was secure for its new owners.

“Forever Home” Considerations

  • For many buyers, particularly those looking for their “forever home,” understanding the long-term implications of inspection findings is paramount. This perspective requires looking beyond immediate concerns to evaluate how the home’s condition aligns with their long-term living needs and aspirations. As an example, the discovery of an aging but functional HVAC system might prompt buyers to plan for eventual replacement, considering energy efficiency and the home’s overall comfort in their future planning.

    In these cases, prioritizing repairs and upgrades becomes a balance between addressing immediate safety concerns and enhancing the home’s livability and sustainability over time. The inspection report serves as a foundational document, guiding these decisions with a clear assessment of the home’s current state and potential future needs.

Navigating Negotiations

  • Armed with the inspection report, both buyers and sellers are better positioned to engage in constructive negotiations. This process might involve adjusting the sale price, agreeing on repairs to be completed before closing, or allocating funds for future repairs in the sale agreement. Effective negotiation, informed by the detailed insights of the inspection report, ensures that both parties feel confident and satisfied with the transaction’s outcome. There’s always the chance that negotiation terms are not found to be agreeable. In this case, while the home inspection helped facilitate the negotiation, it’s still not a case of the “home inspector kills the deal”.

A Home Inspection Report; highlighting electrical defects found during the inspection.
A Home Inspection Report; highlighting attic and insulation defects found during the inspection.

Inspecting with a holistic understanding and approach

  • My approach to home inspections goes beyond merely ticking off a checklist. With a background that spans not just inspection but also construction and building design, I view each home as a complex, interconnected system. This holistic understanding allows me to identify not just the symptoms of potential issues but their root causes, providing clients with a clearer picture of the home’s overall health.

    For instance, when inspecting homes, I don’t just look at individual issues in isolation. If I find a problem with the HVAC system, I consider how it affects the home’s overall energy efficiency and indoor air quality, as well as potential implications for the structure itself if there’s inadequate ventilation or moisture control. This comprehensive approach ensures that clients receive a full picture of what to expect from their home, both immediately and in the years to come.

Embracing a Belief That Anything Can Be Repaired

    Central to my philosophy is the belief that anything in a home can be repaired. We built it once, we can build it again. This perspective is crucial when guiding clients through the findings of an inspection report. Rather than viewing each issue as a deal-breaker, I help clients understand the scope of repairs, potential costs, and the impact on the home’s overall value and livability. This approach empowers the potential upside for purchasers buying a home that may need work. With that, purchasers should be mindful to make decisions aligned with their capabilities, budget, and long-term plans for the property.

Educating Purchasers on Repairs

  • Education is a key part of the home inspection process. I take the time to walk clients through the inspection report, explaining technical details in accessible language and offering practical advice on how to address each issue. For example, if the inspection uncovers outdated electrical wiring, I’ll discuss not just the safety implications but also the process for updating the system, potential costs, and the value it adds to the home.

    This educational approach extends to discussing how clients can prioritize repairs, especially when considering their “forever home.” I advise on which issues should be addressed immediately for safety and structural integrity and which can be planned as part of future renovations or upgrades. This guidance helps clients envision how they can transform a property into their ideal home over time, with a clear understanding of the investment required.

A calcified water connection inspected at the laundry, a result of leaking.
Frost on the underside of sheathing in the attic; a precursor to attic rain issues in residential homes.
A smoke detector that is not hard-wired and is missing batteries; rendering it useless.

Home Inspections: Preventing Deal Fallouts, Not Killing Them

  • The notion that home inspectors kill deals is a gross misrepresentation of the value they bring to the real estate transaction process. In reality, if a deal falls through following an inspection, it is not the inspection itself but the condition of the house that is to blame. The inspection simply brings to light the existing state of the property, offering crucial insights that can significantly impact a buyer’s decision-making process.

    For instance, uncovering serious structural issues or unsafe electrical wiring during an inspection provides vital information that a buyer needs to consider before proceeding with a purchase. These findings aren’t the inspector creating problems but rather revealing truths about the property that are essential for making an informed decision.

The Exceptional Benefit of Insight

  • Gaining insight into the condition of a property during the transaction stage is exceptionally beneficial for prospective buyers. It allows them to fully understand what they are committing to before finalizing the purchase. This knowledge can inform negotiations, such as adjusting the purchase price to account for necessary repairs or requesting that the seller address certain issues before closing.

    Moreover, this insight empowers buyers to plan for the future. Knowing the condition of the home helps in budgeting for repairs and maintenance, ensuring that buyers are financially prepared for homeownership. It also provides peace of mind, as buyers can feel confident in their investment, understanding exactly what needs to be done to maintain or improve their new home.

    Educating buyers, sellers, and real estate professionals about the true nature and benefits of home inspections is key to changing perceptions. By sharing knowledge, experiences, and real-world examples, we can illustrate how inspections contribute to transparent, fair, and informed real estate transactions. This is the best way to shake the notion that home inspectors kill deals.

The Truth: Home Inspectors Do Not Kill Deals

  • We’ve uncovered that the notion of home inspections as deal-killers is not only unfounded but contradicts the true value these assessments bring to both buyers and sellers. By providing a deeper understanding of a property’s condition beyond the superficial glance of a home viewing we’ve identified why home inspections are indispensable.

    The significance of choosing the right home inspector—who not only possesses the technical expertise but also embraces a holistic approach to understanding homes, believes in the power of repair, and prioritizes educating clients—cannot be overstated. This approach transforms the inspection process into an enlightening journey, offering peace of mind and empowering clients with the knowledge to make confident decisions about their potential new home or sale.

Your Trusted Calgary Home Inspectors

  • Recognizing the critical role that a thorough and insightful home inspection plays in your real estate transaction, the next step is clear. Whether you’re stepping into the market as a buyer eager to find your forever home or a seller aiming to ensure a smooth and transparent sale, the importance of a professional home inspection cannot be overlooked.

  • I invite you to take the next step in securing your real estate investment with confidence. Conveniently book your home inspection online with us—a decision that brings clarity, transparency, and peace of mind to one of the most significant transactions of your life. Embrace the opportunity to have your property assessed by an experienced professional who is committed to providing a comprehensive, educational, and supportive inspection experience.

    Don’t let myths and misconceptions stand in the way of making informed decisions. We promise to be your ally in the process, and show you why it couldn’t be farther from the truth that home inspectors kill deals.

A pre-sale home inspection in Calgary; conducting by a home inspector as part of the real estate deal.
The exterior of a home, being assessed by an inspector to help facilitate a successful real estate deal.