As a team with over 25 years combined real estate experience, we’ve seen a home inspection or two. While the home inspection is an important part of the process in helping buyers determine if any serious adverse conditions exist with the property, it’s usually not serious conditions that pop up in most transactions. However, buyers typically want to see some sort of return for the money they spent on their home inspection. So we usually see a laundry list of minor items that may seem otherwise mundane to an owner that has lived in a home for many years. While a few of these may seem unimportant, a few can be conditions required by the appraiser in determining whether the lender will make the loan for the buyer.
Here are the five most common repair items we see requested.
  1. Standard Heat/Air Service - This is by far the most common item we see requested. In most home inspection reports, we see the inspector recommend that the heat/air system be serviced by a licensed technician. In addition, many buyers will be under some sort of home warranty during their first year of ownership. Being able to show that the heat/air was serviced prior to buying helps with any claims concerning the HVAC system when using their home warranty.
  2. Loose Railings - This is very common. Loose stair or deck railings can be a safety hazard, and repairing them is usually an FHA/VA Loan requirement as well.
  3. Rotted Trim - We see rotted trim mentioned quite often. The two most common areas we see are around exterior window casings and chimney trim. A close second would be trim around garage doors or basement service doors. Repairing rotted wood/trim is usually an FHA or VA Loan requirement
  4. Old & Worn Roof Vent Boots - These are fairly cheap to replace, but are a commonly seen item. In speaking with many home inspectors and roofers over the years, vent boots appear to be the most common area for roof leaks.
  5. Windows Won’t Open Or Lock Properly - This one is common on many older homes with wooden windows. They may just be painted shut, or there may be a bigger issue. FHA/VA typically require that windows open and close properly for safety purposes.


If you are planning to sell your home, these would be some of the most common issues to evaluate ahead of time, with possibly the exception of the heat/air. If your heat/air is in good operating order, we usually recommend waiting until after the home inspection to see if this might be a requirement. If you have already experienced issues with the system (coolant leaks, system freezing up, etc.), it might be a good idea to have it serviced prior to putting your home on the market.