Real Estate Resale Option Periods

Sep 30, 14 • Advice

So, you’ve found a house that appeals to you and fits your budget. You have made an offer which was accepted by the seller, and are ready to have the house inspected prior to closing the deal. If you’re like most folks in this market you will have a 5 – 10 day option period in which to do this and many other things. Is that long enough? Probably not. Why?


1. Competent home inspectors are few and those few stay busy, as one might expect. The odds of getting a skilled expert within such a short window of time are definitely against you.


2. The inspector’s job is to identify significant issues found during an inspection and to direct you to the type of professional needed to further assess and offer remedial options. Even if you land an excellent inspector within your short time frame, you may not be so fortunate with the recommended repair persons. Like their inspector equivalents, experienced structural engineers, HVAC technicians, master electricians, et al., stay occupied.


This leaves you in the position to rely upon the B or C team to educate you regarding your prospective new home’s condition. These will usually come in the form of the obsequious that flock around your real estate agent for crumbs in the form of referrals, or those whose only drawing card is availability. Either of these is not likely to notice that the predominant angle of your future new home is not 90°, the roof leaks, or much else of significance.


What’s the answer? Extend your option period, if possible. If the seller is reluctant and your agent is incapable of negotiating an extension, you probably should move on. Rushing into a large purchase like this without being fully prepared benefits only the seller and his agent who is being paid to rush you.