When purchasing a residential property, one of the more common conditions seen in a purchase contract is the buyer obtaining and being satisfied with a property inspection, which should be conducted by a certified home inspector. The inspector’s job is to provide information about the building being purchased. This information helps the buyer decide if the home or building is worth purchasing or if there are major defects that could effect the purchase decision negatively. A thorough home inspection will cover almost every aspect of the home and any other buildings on the property. Structural elements, roof, full interiors & exteriors, & plumbing, electrical & heating systems are some of the components that should be inspected. Even the attics & crawlspaces will be inspected by a good quality inspector.
Upon completion, the inspector should provide you with a thorough report, complete with pictures, that has a section devoted to each system or structure in your home. If there are any deficiencies, they would be noted here, as well as how severe they are and how they can be remedied.
As far as protecting the buyer’s interest, a thorough home inspection is probably one of the most important steps when purchasing a home. But unfortunately, they can be overlooked in a buyer’s rush to get an accepted offer. Take for example, the bidding wars on residential properties currently happening in Canada’s largest cities. Prospective buyers have been forfeiting their right to a home inspection as they place subject-free offers in order to avoid rejection. Yet giving up your right to a home inspection could potentially result in repairs that could cost thousands of dollars. This is a mistake that can easily be avoided.
An inspection is important whether you’re buying your own home or even an investment property. An investment property should be making money, not losing it. It would be unfortunate to purchase a rental property with no inspection done, to find out a couple months later that the roof needed to be replaced.
Similarly, for sellers, pre-listing inspections can be just as beneficial. They can be used as a bargaining chip. If a seller gets an inspection done beforehand, they may be able to get a higher asking price. If any deficiencies arise, the seller can decide if they want to repair it or not. Even if they decide not to do the repairs, being transparent about any issues could provide additional negotiating power.
As with any service, it’s good to shop around. Have a quick chat with a couple inspectors. Ask your realtor to suggest a good referral. Compare fees. Regardless, make sure you get one if you’re purchasing a new property. In the long run, it will probably pay off.