How long do I have to do an inspection when I buy a home?

Q: Gerald, I’m about to sign a contract to buy a home.  How much time do I have to do a home inspection?  Harry, Chatham, NJ

A: Good question, Harry.  The amount of time you have to do a home inspection normally depends on what’s written in the contract that you sign.  Purchase contracts for real estate usually include what is called an inspection contingency.

For the record, home inspection contingencies are handled differently in different states in the US, so check the local customs and laws in the area you are planning to purchase your property.  The home inspection contingency allows a home buyer to cancel the sale or try to negotiate repairs based on the results of a home inspection.

Make sure the purchase contract you are about to sign has an inspection contingency which normally includes the specific amount of time you have to do an inspection.  So when you find out how much time you have to conduct a home inspection, plan accordingly.

Thanks for your question, Harry, good luck!  For more real estate tips and information, visit my blog at

I’m Gerald Lucas and I’ll see you again soon.