If you are a Boston Beacon Hill condo buyer, missing the inspection deadline will bring a severe consequence including not receiving any repair credits, being stuck with home’s poor conditions or losing out on your earnest money. Every real estate contract states how many days a buyer has under the contract to perform inspection due diligence. The language in the agreement dealing with this inspection may vary per Boston condo sales deal.
The inspection period for the buyer to not only complete the inspection but to “complete” negotiations with the seller based on items on any inspection report. The last deadline is usually 5:00pm on the last day of inspection period to complete the inspection and negotiation. This means that a buyer must hire an inspector earlier and allow at least a few days from the last day of inspection so the buyer can receive the full inspection report. If you are buying a Beacon Hill condo basement or ground floor unit, you may want to order a radon testing, which takes 48 hours to get the reading back (EPA required time). That means if you have an inspection scheduled on day 8, you will likely not receive your reading prior to 5pm on day 10. You do not want to complete negotiation on day 10 and the radon reading comes back on day 11 as really high. You as a buyer just lost out an important inspection matter.
Does the period inspection period count the date of acceptance?
No. The language in the agreement is clear. It provides, “Buyer shall have xyz (if not filled in otherwise) business days, after the date Buyer and Seller have signed and accepted this Agreement (hereinafter “the Inspection Period”), in which to complete all inspections…” Note that it says xyz business “after the date” Buyer and Seller have “signed and accepted” this Agreement. That means you have xyz business days after the date of acceptance. Therefore, you don’t count the day of acceptance. In a transaction, real estate agents from both sides need to make sure they are on the same page with all the important dates for deadlines.
What if the seller did not respond my request by 5:00pm on the last day of inspection period?
This is a great question. The contract says the buyer must “complete” the negotiation by 5pm on the last day of inspection period. So what if the buyer made a “written” request to the seller asking for credits or repairs prior to 5pm on the last day but the seller has not responded prior to 5pm? Technically, the negotiation is not complete by 5pm due to the seller’s failure to respond. Does this mean that the buyer will lose out on the right and the buyer is deemed to have accepted the condition of the property? No, the seller’s failure to respond by 5pm on the last day does not mean the buyer will have deemed to have accepted the condition. It would result in an unjust result if that was the case. What if the buyer sent the “written disapproval” on day 7 or 8 and the seller still does not respond by 5pm on day 10? In fact, the lower portion of the paragraph above containing the language from the contract says that the buyer has until 5pm to provide a “written disapproval” of any inspection reports. That means so long as you have sent in your request for inspection repair or credit request by 5pm, you’re fine. Your request whether it’s an email communication or an addendum for the seller to sign, should meet the “writing” requirement for your disapproval.