Let's say you've finally found the home of your dreams. However, much like test driving a car, you need to investigate the home you just said you're going to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on. In North Carolina this is done during the "due diligence period."
The next part of this negotiation is the due diligence period - or the time you'll need to conduct all your investigating. You'll want enough time to schedule the home inspection and negotiate repairs. Your lender will need enough time to schedule the appraisal, survey, and complete your approval process.
In a normal transaction, I'd recommend a due diligence period of 30 days.
If during this period you uncover that the home has lead pipes, was built on a cemetery, or you just change your mind - you can back out and get your deposit back and walk away.