How To Look At A House

McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of  

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How does InterNACHI's We'll Buy Back Your Home Guarantee work?

Friday, April 30, 2021

Many home inspectors that are members of InterNACHI (International Association of Certified Home Inspectors) include a home buy-back guarantee with their inspections. “If we miss anything we’ll buy your home back” and "at full purchase price."

    InterNACHI stands behind this guarantee, and has bought back houses where the inspector missed a significant defect and the homebuyer wanted their money back. But there are a number of requirements in the buy-back program that make it worthwhile only when the inspector missed a very expensive defect. It’s not as simple as, say, getting the entire $250,000 you paid for a home refunded to you.

    You must hire a realtor to represent you in the buy-back transaction and, as a homebuyer that has now become a seller, that means you pay a 6% fee to the realtors in the transaction. That’s $15,000 off the top for a $250,000 home, along with other regular seller’s expenses in a real estate transaction, such as seller’s title insurance. It’s not unreasonable to lose $18,000 or more in the transaction, and that does not include the closing and mortgage fees you paid on top of the listed purchase price earlier when you bought the house. 

    There are also multiple other requirements and restrictions. Here’s two of them:

•• You must have moved into the house and made it your primary residence. Not allowed for second houses, rentals, vacant houses, and “flips."

•• The program does not apply for defects that the inspector is not required to inspect for, based on the InterNACHI Residential Standard of Practice ( A termite infestation would be one example of what's excluded. Others are mold, structural issues, radon, asbestos, toxic (Chinese) drywall, and meth issues.

    You can read the full boiler-plate of the legal document for the program at All of this does not mean the program is useless—just that it is only possible to take advantage of it under specific circumstances. Also, the money lost by taking advantage of the buy-back program should be less than the loss from keeping the defective house and making necessary repairs for it to make sense. 

    We are proud to be members of InterNACHI for many years now, but do not participate in the buy-back program.

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  To learn more strategies for getting the best possible home inspection, here’s a few of our other blog posts:

How can I make sure I don't get screwed on my home inspection? 

How thorough is a home inspector required to be when inspecting a house?

Should I trust the Seller's Property Disclosure Statement?

Can I do my own home inspection?

How can homebuyers protect themselves against buying a house over a sinkhole? 

The seller gave me a report from a previous home inspection. Should I use it or get my own inspector? 

If we already looked at the house very carefully, do we still need a home inspection?

    To read about issues related to homes of particular type or one built in a specific decade, visit one of these blog posts:

What are the common problems to look for when buying a 1940s house?

What are the common problems to look for when buying a 1950s house?

What are the common problems to look for when buying a 1960s house?

• What are the common problems to look for when buying a 1970s house?

What are the common problems to look for when buying a 1980s house?

What are the common problems to look for when buying a 1990s house?

What problems should I look for when buying a country house or rural property? 

What problems should I look for when buying a house that has been moved?

What do I need to know about buying a foreclosure? 

What should I look for when buying a former rental house?  

What problems should I look for when buying a house that has been vacant or abandoned?

What are the most common problems with older mobile homes?

What should I look for when buying a house that is being "flipped" by an investor seller? 

What do I need to know about a condo inspection?

What are the "Aging In Place" features to look for when buying a retirement home?

   Visit our HOME INSPECTION page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles.

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