Real estate in Long Island is not buyer friendly. The "binder" that you signed does include all of the verbiage that you mention, however, real estate agents do not view it as a contractual agreement, binding to both parties- nor does the state of New York. It's a mess for the buying public, as you are putting on the table funds for an inspection without a guarantee that the house is "yours". I ran into the same situation when I arrived in NY, and was stunned that a document signed, that indicates that it's contractual, really isn't- and we lost $500. for an inspection. In the majority of states, when you make a purchase, the Realtor generates the contract, with a stipulation that you have "x" number of days to perform an inspection- so this part of the process is done AFTER a contract has been signed by both parties. I'd love to see someone go after the real estate community (of which I am a member) in this scenario, holding the agent (s) accountable for providing a document that states one thing, but by common practice, means something else entirely. One would think, with lawyer participation typical on both sides, that this sort of thing wouldn't happen, but looking foolish and deceiving the buying public appears to be pretty ingrained on Long Island. Not good- I'd speak with an attorney, show him/her the actual binder, and leave it to them to go after the agents involved that provided you with a document that indicates an agreement, but in reality, ISN'T. Perhaps that will compel change with the format of binders before inspections; inspections before a signed agreement; and buyers that find themselves in a mess that received no adequate explanation from those involved. As long as Realtors accept this convoluted disaster, the buying public on Long Island will continue to receive the short end of every transaction. You are right to feel deceived, because you were. Good luck- next time you locate a home, insist that your agent (as they are permitted to do) fill in the blanks on a contract, submit it to your attorney for review, and present it to the seller with a time frame for an inspection. The real estate community is sitting idly by, with a "that's the way it is" attitude, when in fact, it's entirely avoidable. Talk with a lawyer, show them the binder, and if they tell you that the fact that the verbiage indicates a commitment, but it really isn't, look for an out of state lawyer that "gets" that buyers are being taken on Long Island. Just an opinion- the whole thing is horrific. I feel for you.