When you started your house-hunting journey, you were more than likely looking for particular things. Maybe you wanted a large eat-in kitchen, a Jacuzzi tub or a large backyard. Whatever it was that you were looking for, you found it.
Once you put in an offer and the seller accepted it, the real work began. One of the tasks to complete during the due diligence phase of your purchase is the home inspection. Perhaps you didn’t think you needed one from what you could see, but thankfully, you erred on the side of caution and had one done. What the inspector found may now have you wondering what comes next.
The home inspection contingency
When you negotiated your purchase agreement with the seller, you probably didn’t think much about the home inspection contingency. Now that the inspector found a problem with the home, that contingency could be your saving grace. Home inspectors look at the following aspects of a home:
- Exterior walls
- Garage or carport
- Electrical systems
- Heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, referred to as HVAC
- Laundry room
- Kitchen appliances
- Fire safety issues
The inspector will not look inside walls, behind electrical panels, inside chimneys, or inside sewer lines or pipes. However, finding major problems with any of the above could result in the need for expensive and time-consuming repairs or replacements. The home inspection contingency in your purchase contract provides you with choices.
Most often, this particular contingency allows the choice to negotiate a lower purchase price to reflect the cost of repairs if you decide to do them after the closing. It may also give you the option to request that the seller make the repairs prior to closing. Finally, you could have the option to walk away from the purchase with your earnest money. As you can see, this is one of the vitally important contingencies to have in your contract.
Making sure you have options
If you have not yet entered into a purchase contract with the seller of your New Jersey dream home, then you may want to pause and make sure that your home inspection contingency provides you with the maximum amount of protection possible should the inspector find something seriously wrong with the home.
If you have already signed your contract and the home inspector found a problem, you could probably use some assistance in enforcing the home inspection contingency in your purchase contract in the way that provides the best way forward for everyone involved.