Home hunting for the first time can be an exciting – and sometimes stressful – process. It’s thrilling to finally get the keys to your home, make your plans for decorating a reality and get started working on projects around the property. Before getting to that point, there are a number of steps that first-time homebuyers must take.

From scheduling inspections to closing costs and even contingencies, there’s a lot to learn before embarking on your home buying experience. Learning about these early in the process can prevent hiccups down the road. A home inspection contingency is time sensitive and therefore important to research before the time comes to find a home inspector.  

What is a Home Inspection Contingency?

A contingency clause in a contract is some condition or action that must be met for the contract to become binding. The intent of contingencies in real estate contracts is to make sure the buyers has a full understanding of the home they are about to buy. It protects buyers, giving them room to back out of the sale or negotiate the contract further without penalty or breach of contract.

A home inspection contingency protects the buyers and gives them the right to have an inspection in a specific period of time. An inspector will provide the buyer a list of issues, necessary or potential repairs or damage found in the home so the buyer is fully informed on the physical condition of the home before moving forward with the investment.

During the home inspection, an inspector examines the property’s interior and exterior, including the condition of electrical, finish, roof, plumbing, structural and ventilation elements. Once the inspection is complete within the specified time period, a buyer will choose how to proceed based on the inspection. Understanding this clause and being aware of it in your own real estate contract provides you as the buyer another layer of protection.

How to Get Prepared

The window of time to complete your inspection is not standard and varies by state, so be sure to work with your real estate agent and research the local laws in the area you are buying. Some inspection contingency periods are as short as five days, so being on top of this clause is crucial.

Search for a home inspector with the same vigor and on the same timeline as you’re searching for a home. You’ll likely settle on an inspector before you do a home, as it is a less complicated process. This ensures that your inspector is on deck once you’ve found your dream home.

WIN home inspectors are experienced, high-quality professionals who will help you get a full picture of the home you’re looking to buy. Get in touch with us to find a WIN Home Inspection professional near you.