Several of the terms of the contract are designed to give buyers time to dig in to the home and make sure it is a property that they really want to buy.
If you have elected a home inspection (which I strongly suggest you do) then you will need to call around to get it arranged within the time frame detailed in the contract, usually 10-15 days. Many buyers ask about doing inspections prior to going under contract, but without a signed agreement the seller would be free to accept another offer while you are spending time and money on an inspector. For this reason we carve out the contingency periods as a term of your offer that will allow you to complete your inspections and proceed with the sale if the house is satisfactory, negotiate with the seller if there are deficiencies, or terminate the sale and get your deposit money back if the house is unacceptable. Don’t be surprised if a few things show up in your inspection, especially if you are purchasing a “used” house.
The inspection is your opportunity to get to know what you are buying with the guidance of a building professional. Typical inspections include the home inspection, a pest inspection and a radon inspection. Depending on the circumstances you might also have a video scope of the sewer line, an energy audit, a survey, water or septic test, a review of the zoning or property restrictions, and more. If you are buying a condo you will also have time to review the Homeowner’s Association (HOA) Documents.
Remember inspections are for your protection and you are free to use any certified home inspector you choose.