How many days do you have to arrange a home inspection?

Real Estate Agent with Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 PA License - AB067198

You have found the home of your dreams, made an offer and it has been accepted.

Now what?

Well it all depends on how your agreement of sale was written and what contingencies were included. Today, I want to focus on the home inspection, as I have come to realize, that every state is different in how a real estate transaction progresses.

This post approaches from the perspective of a Pennsylvania, and principally a transaction on or around the Main Line and Chester County as even within a state there may be local idiosyncrasies. 

Generally in Pennsylvania, an earnest money deposit is made with the agreement of sale or within 5 days as so many agreements are signed remotely today. The inspections are generally done within 5-10 days from the signing of the agreement by all parties, and then a second deposit bringing the total deposits to about 5% is generally due once the home inspection has been done, negotiated and agreed upon in writing by both seller and buyer.

Over the past few years, due to the market being so active, many buyers resorted to waiving most if not all contingencies to get a home. Now things are normalizing a little, we are seeing more buyers doing home inspections as part of their purchase.

Whilst the Pennsylvania Agreement of Sale is pre-printed with sections to fill in the number of days for home inspections, generally this is something you will want to discuss with your agent. The dates in all Pennsylvania agreements are firm, as dates and time is of essence in our contracts/agreements. That means it is important to abide by the days required to not be in breach of contract and miss your opportunity to negotiate or withdraw if things are seriously wrong with the house.

Most agents can refer you to one or more local home inspectors. With the market picking up, you may find the inspector of choice is busy and you do not have enough time to obtain the inspection, receive the report, review it and put together a response to the seller.

Sellers may want you to obtain the inspection very quickly, whilst you may require a slightly longer period due to getting your inspector of choice. The main thing with any inspector is to make sure they are part of one of the National Inspection Organizations like ASHI, the Association of Home Inspectors.

You also may need longer as outlined in the agreement of sale for any Septic Tank Inspections, Stucco or Pool Inspections. These can all take longer to set up and receive the reports.

Once again, discuss with your agent, and choose what is best for you, then be ready to negotiate with the seller to reach a satisfactory result that can be achieved and stay within the parameters set by the agreement of sale.

Posted by


Nick Vandekar
Nick is a Tredyffrin Easttown Residential and Commercial REALTOR selling The Main Line, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery Counties.

Giving you the confidence to make
the right decisions.

92 Lancaster Avenue
Devon , PA 19333
Mobile: (610) 203-4543 [call or text me]
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If you are buying or selling on or around
Tredyffrin Easttown or along the Main Line, 
we can help you, contact us.

Comments (11)

Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400
The Top Team @ Charles Rutenberg Realty 255 Executive Dr, Plainview NY 11803 - Plainview, NY
Long Island Condo and Home Specialists

I like learning about Real Estate practices outside our Long Island area Nick. Here we try and have the home inspection scheduled in 3 days, but there's nothing in writing about this. After inspection, we go directly to contract signing and that's when the down-payment is given to the seller attorney to hold until closing.

Jan 26, 2023 01:39 PM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Nick the name of the game is to get the Home Inspection out of the way soon so if the buyer doesn't like the results we can move on faster, Endre

Jan 26, 2023 10:07 PM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker/REALTOR® - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

It's interesting how different states do things. We don't have a second deposit here.

Jan 27, 2023 04:56 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Hi Nick... in North Carolina we have a due diligence period that is negotiated as part of the contract with a negotiated due diligence fee to the seller. These days the time frame is running about 21 days. In other words, the buyer has 21 days from ratification of contract to arrange all inspections, appraisals, HOA doc review, etc. and decide whether to move forward with the contract or not. If they don't move ahead, they forfeit the due diligence fee. If they move ahead and close, the fee is applied to the purchase price.


I like to get inspections out of the way asap. That way if there is something seriously concerning and the seller refuses to engage on repairs or remediation we are out of the contract before buyer spend more money on appraisals, additional inspections, etc. I finalized a contract just this Tuesday and we had a whole house inspection less than 24 hours later. Now waiting for the report.

Jan 27, 2023 04:59 AM
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

In Arizona, our contract has a 10-day inspection period as default but we can decrease or increase it.  I will always make sure that the inspection is done right away in case further inspection is warranted.

Jan 27, 2023 05:37 AM
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Selling the Main Line & Chester County

Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400 it is interesting how every state and region has different practices. That is one reason why consumers need to hire an agent who understands what is typical in their region.

Endre Barath, Jr. I totally agree, however it all depends on how quickly the buyer takes action to book the home inspection. We were always taught to let the client make the booking to protect your license from lawsuits.

Kat Palmiotti that is one of the things I like about AR, you learn all the differences.

Nina Hollander, Broker yes, that is an interesting process, glad you explained it so well, I have never understood it clearly.

Brian England yes ours has a default that we can then increase or decrease as well.

Jan 27, 2023 06:45 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker

Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543 makes our system simple... we only need to keep two dates in mind: due diligence date and settlement date.

Jan 27, 2023 07:02 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker

Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543 hi Nick... that's why it's so much easier now that we are a due diligence state... spread sheets aren't necessary.

Jan 27, 2023 11:46 AM
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543

Nina Hollander, Broker I have a spreadsheet template, I always create it for each deal and send it to everyone, including the other agent so we are all on the same page.

Jan 27, 2023 11:31 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

This is good advice to share with home buyers.

I hope you are having a productive week.

Jan 27, 2023 01:14 PM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543 - obviously, home inspections may be the same, slightly different, or completely different if people are moving from another state. This is why you're the expert in your area and buyers and sellers will be glad to have you during this critical part of the home purchase. You explained the process very clearly. 

Jan 27, 2023 03:49 PM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

these dates are certainly firm! I always stress with my buyers - the inspection process is not the time to stop answering your phone --they need to stay in close touch w me during this period

Jan 30, 2023 01:22 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

This is good information for buyers in your area, Nick. Being aware of critical contractual dates and adhering to them is important to avoid jeopardizing the transaction.

I encourage my buyer clients to have the inspection as soon as possible so we know what issues there are. And on the listing side I want to see the inspection happen soon, too, so we know if there are problems that might result in the buyer not moving forward.


Jan 30, 2023 06:01 PM
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Selling the Main Line & Chester County

Roy Kelley hope you are going to stay warm this week. We stopped by Longwood on Sunday and enjoyed walking around and through the conservatory.

Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP with the market over the last few years it has become so normal for buyers to waive inspections that people have forgotten there are deadlines that need to be met.

Lise Howe I like that, this is not the time to turn your phone off.

Jeff Dowler, CRS very true, I like inspections as quickly as possible. Then everyone knows the lie of the land.

Jan 31, 2023 07:40 AM