By: Martin M. Shenkman, CPA, MBA, JD
Before purchasing a home its common (recommended) to have a formal inspection by an experienced licensed home inspector. The time period for doing this, and the rights you have to request repairs, modifications to the contract, or even to cancel the contract, generally must be contained in the actual real estate contract you signed. While state law may govern important provisions, the contract should be clear. This is why you should have the contract carefully reviewed by a real estate attorney before signing. When you hire a home inspector, you will likely sign an agreement with the home inspector limiting the scope of the inspectors actions (they cannot tear open plaster or walls) and the liability of the inspector (they won't agree to be responsible for a range of matters) and the damages you can claim if they do make a mistake (many of these are really limited). If your inspector fails to find a problem, you have to see what the agreement provides for. While state law might create certain obligations that the contract cannot limit, you should consult a real estate litigator to address them.
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