More Blog Posts on Similar Subjects:

  1. Should I be there for the inspection?

  2. I’m buying a ‘50s house with a “gravel” roof. Is the roof going to be a problem.

  3. Should I buy a fixer-upper?

  4. What do you look for when you inspect a roof?

  5. What is the difference between “character” and a defect in an old house?

  6. What are the most common problems with older houses?

  7. What’s your best advice for a Gainesville homebuyer?

  8. Does wood chip mulch in the yard attract termites?

  9. I saw some staining on the ceiling. Do you think the roof is okay?

  10. We are smarter than water!

  11. Can I do my own home inspection?

  12. What are the questions a home inspector won’t answer?

  13. Should the seller be at the home inspection?

  14. What kitchen appliances are required to pass an FHA inspection?

  15. Should I use my realtor’s home inspector or choose one myself?

  16. Can a home inspector do repairs to a house after doing the inspection?

  17. Should I use a contractor or a home inspector to inspect a house I’m buying?

  18. How can I make sure my house doesn’t fail the home inspection?

  19. Should I get a home inspection before signing a contract to buy the house?

  20. What makes a house fail the home inspection?

  21. Should I trust the Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement?

  22. I can’t find a local home inspector. What should I do?

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

  24. How can I make sure I don’t get screwed on the home inspection?

  25. Are there any minimum inspection standards that a Florida licensed home inspector must meet?

  26. Can a Florida licensed contractor do home inspections without having a home inspector license?

  27. What’s missing? Our “Top 10” list of things that are home inspection defects because they are not there?

  28. Should I buy a house that has been remodeled/renovated without building permits or has open permits?

How to Look

at a House


A blog with answers
to your questions about
HOME INSPECTION
and HOME MAINTENANCE

Search This Blog

Welcome to our blog!
We want you to be an informed homebuyer, and each blog post is a question that we have answered for our friends and customers over the years. Hope they help you make a good choice for your next home.

   There is one simple parameter that applies to most real estate contracts regarding seller’s obligation for repairs: if it’s functional, it is acceptable. A “cosmetic” defect (usually defined as any problem that is unsightly by does not affect the functionality of the home) is normally excluded from the seller’s repair list. A rusty cabinet of the a/c condenser unit, or some dings in the baseboard are typical examples. Occasionally, a defect can ride the line between cosmetic and functional. An insulated window that has become slightly fogged over due to loss of the seal between the double panes can be argued as merely cosmetic. Or, since the loss of the inert gas reduces the insulating quality of the window, it can be considered a functional defect.

    There are also often dollar-limits in the contract for the repairs in different specified categories. If the cost of the repairs exceeds the dollar-amount of the seller’s obligation, the rest will come out of your pocket or remain undone until after you close and take possession of the home.

   And, of course, if you have signed an “as-is” contract, then the seller is not obligated to fix anything. The purpose of the inspection is for you to determine whether the cost of any necessary repairs is affordable, when factored into the buy price of the house.

   The point of all this is that, 1) it’s a complicated issue and, 2) it’s a negotiation. The process of determining what repairs the seller will make, or price concessions the seller will give you for the repairs, is what an experienced, professional realtor is good at. We provide you with a list of defects, then you and your realtor sort through it, determine what your priorities are, and your realtor negotiates the best deal possible from your prioritized list.


While we hope you find this series of articles about home inspection helpful, they should not be considered an alternative to an actual home inspection by a local inspector. Also, construction standards vary in different parts of the country and it is possible that important issues related to your area may not be covered here.
©2015 - McGarry and Madsen Inspection.

Click Below to Link
to Collections of
Blog Posts by Subject

Search This Blog