No. of Recommendations: 2
Rad, I like your example, because I think it illustrates the true purpose of an inspection: to provide the buyer with information that he can use to (1) justify walking away with full refund of his deposit, or (2) negotiate with seller for price reduction and/or repairs, to the extent seller is interested in further negotiations.

OP seemed to have the impression that the inspection is a tool to guarantee a near-perfect house, and that if the seller isn't willing to bring the house up to the buyer's standards, that's the seller's (or Realtor's) fault, in which case the buyer should be made whole by refund not only of his deposit but also of his inspection fee.

OP, it doesn't work that way, and why should it? From the seller's POV, when he accepts your initial offer, he takes the house off the market (thereby losing other potential buyers) and allows your inspector full access. You pay for inspection. After that, if the deal falls through, you both lose something: he loses time on the market, and you lose the cost of inspection. Depending on time of year, that could well hurt him more than it does you.

As a buyer, I make an offer assuming:
- The house is being sold as is (even when the listing doesn't say so).
- The inspection gives me info so I know what I'll have to fix later.
- If I ask for any fixes by seller, it's with the understanding that the seller might say no.
- If the seller says no, I'll buy the house anyway, unless the inspection turned up something egregious. Every used house has its wear and tear, which is typically reflected in the price to begin with; and new houses also have their quirks.

OP, don't fixate on the timing of phone calls. Back up a few steps and think about what an inspection is really for.
And, best of luck with your house hunt going forward.
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