What If a Major Defect Was Missed During My Home Inspection?

Male Construction Worker Builder Wearing White Hard Hat Crouching on Elevated Scaffolding and Reading Plans near Ceiling of Unfinished Home with Exposed Plywood Particle Board

If a major defect is missed during a home inspection, a home buyer could be left holding the keys to a property with significant problems that require extensive and expensive repairs. In order to avoid a situation like this, there are some things that you can do to make sure that you are getting the most out of your home inspection.

Bad weather and the presence of a homeowner’s personal belongings are conditions that can conceal defects. If it’s a rainy Florida afternoon, it’s possible that an inspector will miss certain issues that would have otherwise been observable in good weather. Buyers should avoid scheduling a home inspection in the evening, when a lack of sunlight may negatively impact the inspector’s ability to identify defects.  It’s important to make sure the inspector has adequate lighting to ensure that defects can be more easily observed.   It is also important to ensure that all personal property is arranged in such a way to allow for a thorough inspection of the home. For example, if an inspector inspects a home that is full of furniture and other personal belongings, many components of the home may be inaccessible to the inspector, and items may be missed by the inspector. This also goes for items blocking areas that prevent adequate inspection of them.  Do not be shy to request the seller move an item that could prevent your home inspector from conducting a thorough inspection.  It is in everyone’s benefit that any potential defects are found during the inspection period and do not come up later in the transaction or after the deal has closed.

If you’ve had an inspection and you believe that the home inspector has missed a defect that was within the scope of the inspection, there are times when an inspector could be liable to the home buyer. In this case, it’s important to review the home inspection customer agreement, as the customer agreement may limit the inspector’s liability to the cost of the inspection, or the cost of the repair. If you believe that a home inspector missed a defect that was within the scope of the inspection, and the condition was observable at the time of the inspection, you should consult with an experienced real estate attorney.


Berlin Patten Ebling, PLLC

Article Authored by DBen DeMarsh, Esq.  bdemarsh@berlinpatten.com

This communication is not intended to establish an attorney client relationship, and to the extent anything contained herein could be construed as legal advice or guidance, you are strongly encouraged to consult with your own attorney before relying upon any information contained herein.

All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged. 



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