When you find a home you want, it is important to pick your battles when it comes to repairs requested from a home inspection. While it would certainly be nice for the seller to fix every little home inspection issue, there are only so many repairs most sellers are willing to commit to – especially in a seller’s market.

The purpose of a home inspection is to find out if there are severe structural or mechanical defects. The issues should be large enough that they could have a significant impact on the use and enjoyment of the home now and in the future. A home inspection should not be to create a punch list that itemizes every minor defect with the home you expect the seller to fix.

One of the questions I often get from my clients is what reasonable requests from the home inspection are? Though there is no standard for what is reasonable and what isn’t, here’s some guidance.

Home Inspection Repair Requests to Avoid:

  • Cosmetic Issues
  • Anything under $100
  • Loose fixtures, doorknobs, railings, and similar issues
  • External buildings such as a shed
  • Cosmetic landscaping or minor problems

What Inspection Items Should Be Fixed:

  • Termites or other wood destroying insects
  • Wildlife infestation like bats or squirrels in the attic
  • Major drainage or ongoing water problems
  • Mold problems
  • Elevated Radon levels above EPA suggested levels
  • Major electrical defects that cause safety issues
  • Significant plumbing problems that interfere with the use of the home
  • Lead paint. It should be noted that it is a federal requirement for sellers to disclose the known presence of lead paint in a property
  • Well water problems, such as a lack of pressure or volume of water
  • Major structural issues such as a leaking roof or substandard building violations

If you are in the midst of negotiating a home inspection above all else be reasonable, especially if you want the home.