What is the home inspection contingency, and why is it so important? I’ll go over four key points for you today.

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The inspection contingency period is by far the most important contingency when buying a home. There are four key points that you need to know about in order to understand this process a little better.

1. What is the time frame allowed for the standard contingency period? Usually, the contingency period lasts 17 days. In our current market, the inspection contingency period has dropped to 14, 12, or even 10 days depending on the property and how much activity is on it. Shortening the inspection contingency period helps the transaction move along at a faster pace.

2. What is inspected? There will be a general home inspection, pest inspection, and roof inspection. If you are buying an older home, you may want to get a sewer line or chimney inspection so that you understand the condition of all parts of the property. In addition to reviewing the physical condition of the property, you will also have the opportunity to review all seller disclosures during this time. Since they have lived in the house, they know a few more details than the inspection will review. For example, they’ll be able to tell you if there was a flood or fire in one of the rooms.

“Pay attention to major issues or safety concerns.”

3. What happens if I discover something? In other words, what happens if something comes up on the home inspection report? Once this happens, you can submit a request for repairs asking the seller to correct the issue before close of escrow. Pay attention to any major repairs or safety concerns. Don’t ask for small, cosmetic issues to be handled. If you noticed that the living room needs a fresh coat of paint or that you want to replace the countertops, take care of that on your own. The seller can agree to take care of all, some, or none of the repairs. From that point, it is up to you to decide how to proceed.

4. Don’t submit a laundry list of repairs to the seller. Again, highlight items that are important, like major roof repairs or safety concerns. Don’t ask the sellers to do something that you could easily take care of on your own, like replacing a light switch. If you do, you risk offending or irritating the seller, which could make negotiations more difficult down the line. Include bigger repairs so that the seller will take your requests seriously into consideration.

If you have any other questions about inspection contingencies or the home buying process, just give me a call or send me an email. I would be happy to help you!