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Confused About Your Home Inspection Contingency? Critical Points To Discuss With Your Realtor

Cody Day

Contingency clauses are common in all types of contracts but are especially important in real estate transactions. Basically defined as a condition that must be met before a contract becomes legally binding, one of the most common contingencies utilized in real estate purchase contracts pertain to inspections of the property for the purpose of gathering condition information. While most buyers are somewhat familiar with the concept of property inspections and the use of a formal contingency related to them, there are a few important points they will want to discuss with their realtor before making an offer. 

Inspection contingencies are not a guarantee of condition

Before writing a purchase offer, prospective buyers should understand that inspection contingencies are not a guarantee of condition. Instead, your realtor will include an inspection contingency in your purchase offer to help ensure that you have a specific time period in which to perform inspections of all or part of the property for the purpose of helping ensure that your decision to complete the purchase transaction is an informed one. The time periods specified by your realtor in the purchase offer take effect on the time and date of acceptance by the seller. 

Understanding what happens after the inspections are completed 

Home inspections are not just a good idea for the buyer's peace of mind. They can also be a requirement for some types of home loans. Once these have been performed per the specifications of the inspection contingency and the reports have been received and reviewed, your realtor will assist you in moving forward in one of the following ways:  

  • accepting the property in its current condition and formally waiving the inspection contingency so that the transaction moves forward 
  • presenting the seller with an inspection notice as part of an attempt to negotiate and resolve any unsatisfactory inspection findings 
  • utilizing the findings of the home inspection to exercise the right to legally withdraw from the contract

While inspection contingencies cannot force sellers to address any repair issue, most sellers want to sell their homes and are willing to negotiate with prospective buyers to address any serious condition or safety issues found during the inspection. Prospective buyers can rely on the skills and expertise of their realtor to help them successfully negotiate with the home's sellers to resolve home inspection safety or repair issues to their satisfaction. If an agreement cannot be reached, your realtor will guide you through the process of terminating the contract. 


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Your Home for Real Estate Information

This website can serve as your home for information about real estate. Here, you will find articles about the buying process and others on the selling process. We've also included content related to getting a mortgage, finding a real estate agent, and scheduling an inspection. We hope that by addressing all aspects of the real estate world, we will make you better prepared to handle any real estate transactions that might be in your future. After all, real estate can be a really smart investment, but only if you buy the right home and know how much to offer. Start reading, and enjoy what you find.