Now we’ll get to the heart of the most common contingencies, starting with the Home Inspection Contingency. This will be a 2 part post because there is a lot to cover and it’s a critical part of the process.
In our area, an offer is made via the Residential Sales Contract, which, is an offer until ratified and once it is ratified, becomes the actual contract.
*Ratified means not only have all the parties had a “meeting of the minds” and came to an agreement on all terms of the contract, but the paperwork has been completely executed, with all necessary signatures and initials intact, and delivered.*
In Paragraph 10, on page 7, of the Residential Sales Contract (RSC), the Buyer chooses whether to have the property delivered in essentially:
- the same physical condition as of the contract date OR
- the date of the home inspection or other date as specified by the Buyer.
In Paragraph 10, we will also select the option “This contract is contingent on a home inspection(s) and/or other inspections.” There is also an addendum that accompanies the contract, which we will discuss in part 2.
This is important to note: Unless otherwise specified in the contract, the property – including electrical, plumbing, existing appliances, heating, air conditioning, equipment and fixtures – shall convey in AS IS condition, as of the date specified above.
Of course, unless you truly are buying the property in AS IS condition, you’re covered by the Home Inspection Contingency; you will have the opportunity for a professional inspection of the property, after which you can evaluate whether you want to continue with the purchase, contingent on the Seller making all or some repairs, OR if you decide the property has more issues than you are prepared to handle, you can void the contract and have your earnest money deposit returned to you.
As your Alexandria VA Buyer’s Agent, I am not going to advise you to forego a home inspection on your new home, no matter the age or condition. It is, of course, your right to decline an inspection and folks do decline an inspection for various reasons. In some cases, they plan to make extension changes to the home and don’t really care so much about the existing condition. In other cases, they are competing with other Buyers for the property, so not asking for a Home Inspection gives them a competitive edge.
Let’s continue this discussion in part 2 of The Home Inspection…