You bet it can. And it's not a pretty sight either. No one is happy, however, if unknown hazards are revealed, the buyer is usually relieved they terminated the transaction. But how exactly can the home inspection kill the deal?
Let me start by saying it's not the inspector OR the house that actually kills the deal; it's something else entirely. Homes are homes and inspectors are just doing their job. Neither are responsible on their own but here's what really kills the deal.
#1. Buyers Expectations.
Our assumptions on what we expect change over time. It seems many buyers have higher expectations on what they will see in a home. We have a sense of luxury and comfort that we've come to expect and when we don't get it, we bail on the deal. If the house doesn't have everything we could possibly want, we terminate the deal. And this also means people are buying more expensive and complicated homes, not knowing how they work. This could prompt buyers remorse or even canceling the deal right after inspections.
#2. Buyers are Unprepared.
As much as I'd like there to be a high school class on how to buy a house, we're just not there. So, it's no surprise that most homebuyers just don't understand the steps involved in buying a house and what to expect in the process. We also have a whole generation of millennial homebuyers that probably didn't grow up working on the house for helping their parents work on the house, so if the house isn't perfect, there must be something wrong and therefore the deals die.
#3. New technology.
Not only have homebuyers changed over the years home inspections have changed as well. Honestly, this is a relatively new industry within the last couple of decades and we've gone to computer-generated reports, digital cameras, and other new technology, which boosts innovation, but because of this, there could be dozens or even hundreds of photos, detailed diagrams, links for additional information and a 60 page report. The sheer volume of information provided to buyers may be enough to scare them away, when the reality is that most homes have a fair number of minor issues that come along with general wear and tear of the property.
Houses are not perfect. Even brand-new construction houses have issues. Buyers need to realize limitations and lower their expectations when it comes to the home inspection process. I'm not saying that you should buy a house if there's severe mold or other hazards, but don't let a few missing lightbulbs, ugly wallpaper, or outdated counters turn you away from what could be an amazing property.