Due Diligence Deadline & Inspection Period: “The Big One”

Important Dates | Written by Marji Swanson

Welcome to our Important Date Blog Series! This series of blog posts highlights each common important date in the Purchase & Sale Agreement for the State of Maine. These were written to give you a basic understanding and we suggest that you always speak with your Agent if you have any questions! 

This is potentially the most important date in the contract. Communicate with your agent, take deep breaths and calculated steps. to meet this deadline.

The biggest part of any transaction is typically the inspection period. Buyers hire a general inspector, and they go through the property with a fine-toothed comb and tell you absolutely everything wrong about it. Charming, eh? But better to know than to not know! And this is one of the biggest purchases you’ll ever make.

Buyers can also do specific inspections such as a septic inspection, water tests, chimney inspection, etc. all on their dime within the time period set forth in the Purchase & Sale Agreement. A Buyer Agent (and sometimes Lender depending on the type of loan product) will guide Buyers through which inspections they should get on any particular property. 

After all of the inspection reports come back, the Buyer and their agent will discuss the issues discovered with the property. Sometimes the only issue found is a malfunctioning tub drain stopper. Sometimes it’s a 100-page report full of missing GFCI outlets, pressure relief valves on heating systems, leaking dishwashers, etc. 

Here’s where it gets fun. Negotiations! The Buyer Agent will write up an “Investigation Contingency Amendment” to the Purchase and Sale Agreement. This amendment should outline a who, what, when, where and who’s paying. For example: “Seller to at Seller’s expense repair malfunctioning tub drain stopper in upstairs bathroom with receipts/invoices sent to Buyer at least 5 days prior to closing.” 

This is probably the most important deadline. If Buyer and Seller don’t come to an agreement with signatures on the page before 5 pm on their due diligence deadline, the Buyer waives the opportunity to ask for any repairs. Basically, if they don’t meet that deadline, they purchase the property “as-is”. 

Both agents are typically looking for a win-win for all parties. So the Buyer Agent will advise a realistic “ask” and the Listing Agent will explain to the Seller that most of the time this work will be discovered by the next Buyer so might as well get it repaired now for this Buyer. And I’m gonna say it again, this all has to be done prior to the deadline! 

It’s a tug of war. And it’s super important to know your bottom line. As a Buyer are you prepared to purchase the house even if the roof isn’t replaced like you want it to be? As a Seller are you prepared to make the necessary repairs needed to sell your property? Big questions, big feelings, and a big step in the process!

Posted by Marji Swanson
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