Home Buying in San Francisco>Question Details

Michelle, Home Buyer in San Francisco, CA

Our agent is suggesting a 7 day inspection contingency period. Is this normal for San Francisco?

Asked by Michelle, San Francisco, CA Mon Jul 29, 2013

We are placing an all cash offer on a home, and our agent is suggesting that we reduce our time period for removal of contingencies to 7 days. Is 7 days the norm in San Francisco for removal of contingencies?

Help the community by answering this question:


yes, this is totally normal now. unless it is a tenant occupied house where there are issues with access, you need to be reducing the number of days on that contract to be competitive. a good agent will frequently pre-book a contractor inspection in the anticipation of an offer. You also kind of know what issues could be taking place in a house depending upon the area and conditions like sunken side walks in front could indicate a broken sewer line in front... sometimes agents will pre-book things like a sewer scope or a roof inspection in there are known issues.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 11, 2013
could get you in the bidding war with a nice strong offer and quick contingencies!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 11, 2013
yes... it is pretty standard. trying to get it done even quicker is better if you are not buying something that needs multiple inspections. I typically pre-book inspections to get this process jump started. you kind of know what needs to be inspected from the existing reports and a visual inspection.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 1, 2013
In San Francisco's competitive sellers market, there is no longer a normal timeframe for inspections. I caution buyers to instead ask the question, "What will it take for me to successfully purchase this property?" In a competitive bidding situation even involving all cash offers, having a 7 day inspection period could be the winning move.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 30, 2013
Have you discussed this with your Agent. Your agent owes it to you to defend any suggestions, if after the discussion you wish to proceed, you should do so with all haste.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 29, 2013
Hey Michelle,

This is not abnormal at all.

The market is very competitive right now so the shorter your contingencies, the more competitive your offer is. 7 days should be adequate time for additional inspections - assuming that the seller provided the disclosures, home inspection, and termite reports already. In today's market, the default number of days is reduced because there is so much competition and multiple offer situations.

Depending on the type of additional inspections, your realtor should know what time frame is best. Your offer should be strong and protect you simultaneously. You should definitely discuss this with your realtor so you understand why they think this is the best move. This will help you feel more comfortable and confident with the terms. Feel free to express all your concerns to your realtor.

Hope this helps!

Good luck and happy house hunting!

Tracy Ong
Better Homes and Gardens Burlingame
BRE# 01908891
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 29, 2013

The shorter the better if you are going to be in a competitive situation. Did the sellers already complete any inspections and disclose them to you? Have you considered inspections prior to the offer date so you can write an offer without an inspection timeline?

I have done several this year with inspections either done before the offer date or within 3 days to make the clients offer look the strongest.

It really is about your confidence in the property and comfort level.

Good luck,


Matthew Goulden I'm all about San Francisco

Direct : 415.729.4189

Office / efax 415.432.2023


DRE # 01460165

Zephyr Real Estate 4200 17th Street, San Francisco CA 94114
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 29, 2013
I would use 21 days in a 30-45 day escrow:
Costs nothing.
Gives some elbo room.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 29, 2013
HI Ron,
You live in Fresno, different story in bay area..good luck
Flag Sun Aug 11, 2013
The shorter the contingency periods, the better in this competitive market.

Your agent is positioning your offer to be competitive.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 29, 2013
Hi Michelle,

In San Francisco's highly competitive marketplace where multiple offers are the norm, sometimes its in your best interest to shorten your days for completing inspections on the property in order to make your offer the more compelling choice for the seller. Whats more important is that you develop a relationship with your agent where you can trust their judgement and know that they are working for you with your best interests in mind, remember they have a fiduciary duty to handle themselves in an ethical manner when representing you. But anywhere between 7-10 days is common to see when your in a competiive bid for a property.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 29, 2013
Hi Michelle, the cleaner your Offer is the better chance you will get the property. If for example, Seller gets another offer at the same price they will look at other terms, like the inspection time period. So your agent is trying to make your Offer look best.
Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 29, 2013
I actually am in a deal right now representing the buyers and we did 3 days. Some individuals even decide to waive the inspection period. But yes this is the norm. If you feel you are not comfortable with it though you can leave at whatever you choose.

Good Luck!

George Langford - Senior Sales Associate
Founder of SevenSquaredSF.com & SanFranciscoFrontDoorSteps.com
Climb Real Estate Group
251 Rhode Island, Suite 105
San Francisco, CA 94103
T: 415.336.8191
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 29, 2013

Yes, it is. This market is extremely competitive and reducing default inspection times shows that you are serious about your offer. Did you ask your agent to explain why this should be done?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 29, 2013
Thanks for your reply! Yes, he said that 7 days is average right now for San Francisco and that it would make our offer more attractive to the seller. I just wanted to make sure that this was not an abnormal.
Flag Mon Jul 29, 2013
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