What is Home Inspection Contingency?

Real Estate Home Inspection ReportOne of the most common types of contingency that you will see in a purchase and sale agreement is an inspection contingency. Buying a home could be the largest single investment you will ever make. To minimize unpleasant surprises and unexpected difficulties, you’ll want to learn as much as you can about the newly constructed or existing house before you buy it. If you are buying a home in Washington state, home purchases are contingent upon inspection.

After signing the inspection addendum (which is essentially just an extra form stating that you agree to have your home purchase contingent on an inspection), the buyer will have 3- 10 days to have the inspection performed. If the inspection is not performed within that 3-10 day time frame, the inspection contingency is considered null and void. So, if you sign one of these, make sure to have your inspection completed within the allotted time period! You must have a Washington state licensed inspector to inspect the property. The inspector will thoroughly check the entire home, inside and out. They will check structural elements of the house, as well as systems such as plumbing, electrical, and ventilation, among other things. The inspector will make sure to note any and all problems that they notice with the home, and will provide the buyer with a report at the end of the inspection.

After the home inspection is complete, the buyer will review the inspection report and then will have to decide what to do next. There are essentially four different options for what to do. You can approve the report and move along with the deal. You can also choose to disapprove the report. This usually cancels the whole home buying deal, and you as the buyer can back out of the deal and reclaim your earnest money that you put up. The third option is to request additional time for inspections. If the first inspection uncovers an issue that needs a closer look, or a look by another expert, such as an expert for a potential termite problem, etc.. , you can request a short extension to bring in another set of hands (and eyes!) to look things over. The fourth and final option is to ask the seller to fix items that need repair, or ask the seller for a credit to compensate you for the repairs, the seller then has 3 days to respond to your requests. They can accept the requests, reject the requests, or offer an alternative proposal.

As you can see, an inspection contingency, while common, can still be a little confusing. It is important to understand all the aspects of an inspection contingency. With a knowledgeable real estate agent like Hamid Ali behind you, you will be able to navigate through the process with ease!

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All information provided is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed and should be independently verified.