The home inspector should provide the inspection contract to the client before the inspection. The ideal time would be within a day after the inspection is scheduled. The minimum is the day before the inspection, but even this could be challenged in some circumstances. Providing a copy of the inspection contract on the home inspector’s website is helpful, but it is not a substitute for sending the contract to the client before the inspection. Anything other than a signed contract may not be enforceable. Delivery of the inspection contract to the client should include an offer to discuss the contract with the client before the inspection.
A common reason why an inspection contract may be deemed an adhesion contract is that the contract was presented to the client at the inspection, or worse, after the inspection. An inspection is often considered essential to proceeding with a real estate purchase contract, and the inspection (due diligence) period is often short. Any delay in the inspection process, such as to find and schedule another inspection, may be impractical and the client may believe there is no alternative other than to agree to the home inspector’s terms contained in the home inspector’s contract.