Understanding Home Inspections

As a Seller, it's a good idea to get your own Home Inspection early. Knowing what a potential Buyer might find, and what their objections might be will make it easier when it comes time to close. Plus, it can be invaluable in determining(and sticking to) your asking price. Later, too, you can use it as a comparison to the home inspection the Buyer obtains,which will give you peace of mind that their findings are legitimate.

The National Association of Realtors® offers a lot of helpful information in their Home Inspection 101 section.

Here are some of the questions they suggest you ask a Home Inspector:

  • What are your qualifications?
  • Do you have a current license?
  • Do you carry professional errors and omission insurance?
  • Do you provide any guarantees of your work?
  • What specifically will the inspection cover?
  • What type of report will I receive after the inspection?
  • How long will the inspection take and how long will it take to receive the report?

    and, the all important . . .
  • How much will the inspection cost?

Contract Specifics

Understanding the Timelines and Obligations of your Residential Sales and Purchase Contract:


This Paragraph is used when the Seller neither wishes to warrant the Property’s condition, nor to have any obligation to make repairs.  What to think about:

  • How much time should you require for the "Inspection Period"? (10 days from Effective Date unless specified).
  • How many days after the expiration of the Inspection Period does the Buyer have to cancel the Contract? (5 days from Effective Date unless specified). The Buyer may also cancel if the estimated cost of treatment and repairs determined to be necessary is greater than the amount inserted into the paragraph below.
  • What is the maximum amount that the Buyer is willing to pay to repair the Property? (You must fill in a number. The number may be zero.)

NOTE: This affects neither the "Risk of Loss" provisions nor the "maintenance obligation" of the Seller to maintain the Property in the same condition on the Closing Date as the Effective Date (excepting normal wear and tear). This does not guarantee that a specific item works, just that the Buyer is receiving the item in the same "as-is" condition it was in at the time the contract was fully executed.

NOTE: For the Buyer's cancellation to be effective, the Buyer must deliver timely written notice of intent to cancel the Contract, and, must deliver a copy of the written repair estimates or written report from the inspector or person holding an appropriate Florida license to repairs the items inspected.


Subparagraph (1) allows the parties to make inspections with unlicensed persons, including themselves, without using a professional inspector (except for a WDO Inspection, which usually involves the approval and supervision of a lender).

Subparagraph (2) gives the Buyer the right to cancel, if, for any reason, the Buyer is unhappy with the condition of the Property. Under this provision, the buyer’s unhappiness does not have to be reasonable or justified. However, the Buyer still must furnish written notice, along with a copy of the inspection results, and must do so within 2 days from the end of the Inspection Period.

NOTE: Subparagraph (2) is the absolute "free look" by the Buyer. Sellers should keep inspection periods very short to give a Buyer a small window of opportunity to inspect the Property and then be able to repyro the Property rather quickly should the Buyer cancel the Contract.