How often do buyers back out after inspection? Unfortunately, they don’t back out as frequently as they should due to limited knowledge of the subject.

In this guide, we’ve discussed what’s covered by home inspection and dealbreakers or red flags that should trigger walking away.

Let’s examine each of these in greater detail for more clarity.

Walking Away After Home Inspection

As an interested buyer looking to invest in a property, home inspection is essential as it helps in the negotiation process by allowing you to assess the property’s overall condition.

Knowing when to walk away after a home inspection is crucial as it helps you avoid costly and regrettable mistakes.

Save yourself the pains of a bad investment by knowing common red flags to look out for.

  • What Home Inspection Entails

You might have heard the term ‘home inspection’ used loosely. While that may be true, it’s a vital home assessment process that helps determine the actual condition of a structure before purchase.

By evaluating the building, the buyer seeks to know if it’s worth the investment. Homeownership involves a significant investment, hence the need to safeguard it.

During home inspection, different aspects of the structure are closely evaluated. These include windows & doors and plumbing systems & fixtures.

Home inspection also covers fuel-burning appliances like fireplaces and chimneys, electrical wiring & fixtures, insulation and ventilation around the building, and foundational integrity.

Home inspection will also assess roofing structure & materials, HVAC systems, and other appliances. The buyer must be satisfied by findings on these crucial areas before purchasing.

Anything short of utmost satisfaction will likely lead to the buyer walking away.

Signs You Should Walk Away From a Real Estate Sale

People walk away after a home inspection due to several red flags. Several of these include active pest infestations and bad or leaky roofs.

More dealbreakers have signs of contractors cutting corners, mold growth, and significant mechanical and electrical faults affecting plumbing and plumbing.

Other red flags that may signal walking away after a home inspection include environmental hazards, bad neighbors, signs of water damage, and structural issues.

It may also be wise to walk away when discovering the property’s location is problematic. Let’s expand each of these dealbreakers for better understanding.

i. Active Pest Infestations

Should you walk away from a house with termites? Yes.

One of the common reasons people walk away after home inspection is due to the discovery of active pest infestations.

This is especially true for pest situations like termites, bed bugs, roaches, and wood-boring pests. No buyer wants to commit their investments to a property with pest issues.

This may cause a potential buyer to walk away as the pest situation may be considered a red flag.

However, there are cases where people have bought homes despite knowledge about pest presence. In such circumstances, the pest situation may not be considered severe and may be deemed manageable.

This has led some buyers to regret their purchase significantly when the pest situation worsens or can’t be contained.

ii. Bad or Leaky Roofs

A home with a bad or leaky roof will not attract many buyers unless the problem is fixed.

When a home inspection determines a roof to be faulty, it significantly affects the property’s value, as the roof may require costly repairs or complete replacement.

In the case of roof replacement, this will require significant investments, which many would rather avoid.

iii. Discovering the Contractor Cut Corners

One of the first signs a contractor cuts corners while building a home includes a shabby cleanup of the area, fresh paint overspray, substandard wood, and overdependence on subcontractors.

Any of these situations aren’t good for business and could cause a buyer to walk away after an inspection. Careful assessment of every nook and cranny is necessary.

Plus, you’ll need a trained eye for a thorough inspection job.

iv. Mold Growth

Mold growth is a major red flag during home inspections. Mold presence signals moisture problems and could cause many problems, including health-related ones.

It’s best to walk away when mold growth is confirmed. Remember, most home sellers look out for their interest and won’t mind selling a problematic home.

Involve the services of a professional during home inspection.

v. Significant Mechanical & Electrical Faults

HVAC systems and other electrical components of a home may be faulty, including plumbing. These are enough to make a buyer walk away after a home inspection.

As earlier mentioned, it’s best to look out for your best interest during home inspections to avoid future pains. A home’s mechanical and electrical components must function excellently.

vi. Environmental Hazards

People must deal with environmental hazards when their properties are around areas prone to wildfires, flooding, or earthquakes.

Besides mold growth, which could lead to health risks, radon leaks may lead to high levels within a home. When high radon levels are detected or any of the other hazards mentioned, it’s best to walk away.

vii. Presence of Bad Neighbors

In many instances, bad neighbors have caused a breakdown in negotiating a home. Home inspection includes the surroundings, with crime-ridden neighborhoods causing buyers to walk away.

It would help if you considered walking away when the neighborhood is noisy or when would-be neighbors are perceived as uncooperative and hostile.

viii. Signs of Water Damage

Are there signs of water damage on the property? If there are, you should consider walking away after an inspection, which can lead to several other problems.

Symptoms of this can be seen in mold growth, water stains, saggy floors, etc.

Having confirmed water damage, you’re better off walking away, as going ahead with the purchase could attract higher repair costs.

ix. Structural Issues

What structural problems can affect a home? Several include sagging or cracked foundations, leaning walls, uneven gaps in windows and doors, and many more.

A thorough inspection identifies these problems. It’s best to back out for your own good, as fixing any of these can be expensive.

x. The Property’s Location Poses a Problem

You may discover you’re not in love with the neighborhood due to the potential of pest infestations or the area having too many commercial (industrial) neighbors.

You’re better off walking away from negotiations, as such a move might save you future regrets.


How often do buyers back out after inspection? Around 4-5% of real estate deals are never closed.

Knowing when to leave after a home inspection will save you money and stress. We’ve identified the different scenarios where this action is necessary.

It’s essential to have professionals evaluate a property before going ahead with the purchase.

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