Contract Acceptance

Once the buyers and the sellers agree on all terms of the contract AND both sides have signed the final version AND both parties have received a copy of the signed contract, then you have a firm or "ratified" contract. It is from the date of ratification that the clock starts ticking for contingencies.

For example, let say the Stotlmyers are selling their house and receive an offer on June 1st from the Paulsens. The Stotlmyers review the contract and make a counter offer to the Paulsens on June 2nd. The Paulsens are out of town and sign the counteroffer upon their return on June 6th. A copy is left with the Paulsens and another copy is delivered to the Stotlmyers on June 7th. The date of Ratification is June 7th. Let's say that the contract has a home inspection contingency with 5 days to submit a report to the sellers. The inspection must be completed and the appropriate paperwork must be delivered to the Stotlmyers on June 12th. No distinction is made between weekdays and weekends.
Please remember that when making changes to a contract, it is as if you are rejecting the previous contract and asking the other party to sign a new contract. Until the contract is ratified, either party has the right to walk away.