The buyer has the right to carry out inspections on the property as agreed in the contract. This is known as the inspection contingency date, and it varies depending on the type of property and its location. Most buyers opt for a general inspection by a contractor. A home inspection contingency gives you the opportunity to schedule a home inspection before closing, as part of the purchase contract.
This allows you to negotiate a lower price or to complete repairs based on the results of the inspection. If major problems are discovered, you can decide whether to buy the house as is or to cancel the deal and get back your collateral. In some cases, buyers choose to forgo the inspection contingency in order to make their offers more competitive in tight housing markets. This could result in them losing out on the home, so it's important to meet the deadline and carry out the home inspection as soon as possible.
A home inspection contingency requires a professional inspection of the home within a certain time frame before a real estate contract can become binding. During this inspection, the structure, appliances, and major systems of the home will be reviewed to document their condition. If you're still within the contingency period and don't want to buy the house after inspecting it, you can retire from the deal without penalty. In Washington State, buyers have an additional advantage in that they have three business days after receiving the seller's disclosure statement to terminate the purchase agreement and get their warranty money back, even if they have no contingencies.
However, this does not replace an inspection - it simply means that you won't be able to use the results of an inspection to negotiate solutions or prices with the seller. If major problems are discovered during an inspection, you can use this information to negotiate with the seller for repairs or a lower price. If they don't agree, you have a certain number of days to decide whether to give up the contingency and buy the property as is or to cancel the contract.