An inspection in a homebuying transaction is a physical examination of the structure, systems, or surroundings of a property for sale. Inspections can be performed by a home inspector or general contractor (depending on local customs), and can either be a general inspection of an entire home or focus solely on one component of it. These more specific inspections include a sewer inspection, roof inspection, termite inspection, pest inspection, radon inspection, asbestos inspection, and myriad others that may apply to your specific locale and custom.

Inspections generally take place as soon as possible after a contract is signed and must be performed within a certain time period if a buyer intends to use the findings as a deciding factor to continue with the transaction. This time period expires in what is often called an inspection contingency date (but local customs vary, so consult the document specific to the state you're buying in).

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