When a buyer makes an offer to purchase a property, there are several time line contingencies that must be adhered to. One of the most important conditions to a purchase contract is the home inspection. The contract used for Arizona homes for sale has a specific time-line condition for the home inspection. If this time frame is not met, the buyer is at risk of forfeiting their earnest money.
The contract stipulates the home inspection period shall be ten (10) days after contract acceptance. Although the number of days may be negotiated, in most cases it is not. Some banks will change this time frame to seven (7) days, so the buyer and their agent need to be aware of this potential change.
The home inspection has to be completed within ten calendar days after acceptance of the contract. This phrase sounds very clear but we have to ask ourselves, when does Day 1 start and when does Day 10 end? If these days are miscalculated, the buyer runs the risk of losing their earnest money or a request for repairs from the buyer will be rejected by the seller. A request to the seller on the 11th day to make repairs would then have to be honored by the buyer and they would still be required to purchase the home or forfeit their earnest money.
Day 1 starts the day after the buyer has a fully executed contract signed by the seller. If the buyer and seller go back and forth until they finally agree to all terms and conditions of the contract, the home inspection period starts on the following day after there is a final agreement between the buyer and seller in writing. On a short sale, bank owned home or foreclosure, Day 1 of the home inspection starts on the date of the approval letter from the bank. In some cases buyer’s agents do not receive this letter until 2 or 3 days after the date of the approval letter. Regardless, the inspection started based on the date of the letter.
If this sounds confusing, it is! There are several things the buyer and their representative can prepare for to avoid any additional risks to the buyer. First, have your Home Inspection Company in place. Find out who you are using and what their turnaround time is. Find out how long it takes the inspection company to perform the inspection and get their final report back to you once the inspection is completed.
Be sure your real estate agent discusses possible problems that could arise during the inspection. None of us like surprises and it’s important for the buyer to be aware of issues that are common with home inspections. Even brand new homes have issues. The more knowledgeable the buyer is about the process, the better understanding they will have when it is time to address any issues with the seller.
Once the inspection is scheduled, the buyer should mark their calendar to be sure they are available to meet the inspector at the home, when the inspection is complete. The home inspector represents the buyer and they will gladly walk through the home with the buyer and point out issues they found.
The buyer’s goal is to complete the inspection as soon as possible. Be sure not to respond to the seller with repair requests to quickly. There might be additional inspections you want to perform, but as soon as you submit your repair requests to the seller, you may not add any additional items to your request.
Following these procedures will lessen any potential risk of losing earnest money and will provide the buyer with “peace of mind” that all contingencies are adhered to in a timely manner.
Hi, I’m Jeffrey Austin, the owner and prior Designated Broker for Real Estate Homes, LLC. I have been licensed since 1991 in Arizona and have many years experience as a broker since 2000. I also have over 35 years experience in the technology field.
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