One of the trickier — yet crucial — set of deadlines in a housing transaction involves the Buyer’s Inspection Contingency.

At least in Minnesota, it consists of the following three intervals:  1) how long the Buyer has to perform the inspection; 2) how long thereafter they have to deliver — in writing — any issues to the Seller to negotiate; and 3) how long the parties have to resolve any issues raised in step #2.

By convention, the usual timetable for the foregoing is 5 days/1 day/1 day (“5-1-1”), give or take (out-of-town Buyers, for example, often request more time).

“Who’s on First?”

The confusion arises when the Buyer actually performs their inspection well before the allotted five days is up.

So, if they perform their inspection on Day #2, is the written list of issues due on Day #3?

Answer:  “No,” because the first interval never gets accelerated (unless both parties agree to amend the Inspection Contingency).

However, what if the Buyer performs the inspection on Day #2, and delivers the written list on Day #3; is the deadline for resolving the issues Day #4 — or Day #7?  (the original deadline).

Answer:  Day #4, because once the written list of issues is delivered, the clock starts ticking on the related, one day deadline to resolve them.

The foregoing does create some odd results.

So, using the example above, if the Buyer and Seller couldn’t resolve the inspection issues by the end of Day #4, their deal would be cancelled — even though, at least in theory, the Buyer still had one more day to do the inspection.

Got all that??

Your Realtor had better . . .

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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