What You Should Know About Home Inspections and How to Prepare for One

Home buyers need inspections to verify that the property they’re about to pay for is in great shape. If the home isn’t in the best shape, the inspection will also reveal the exact issues, extent of wear and tear, and the effort necessary to reverse damages.

The following are a few things you need to know about these inspections and tips to help you prepare for an inspection.

What To Know About Home Inspections

  • Inspections are Optional

Although very important in real estate transactions, inspections are not mandatory. The decision to have a home inspection is completely up to you. No one can force you to have an inspection.  

  • Buyers Are Responsible

Part of your responsibility as a buyer is to hire a home inspector (if you feel it’s necessary). You must also ensure that the inspection is completed within a reasonable time frame and be prepared to shoulder the costs.

  • The Inspector Must Be Certified

Since the Canadian home inspection industry is largely unregulated, find an inspector attached to one of the several provincial associations. These associations are bound by the Canadian Association of Home and Property Inspectors’ (CAHPI) Standards of Practice.

  • You Can Attend Inspections

In fact, it’s in your best interest to attend. You will learn a lot about the home and how to best care for it should you decide to buy. Fortunately, most inspectors have no problem with buyers tagging along and even encourage it.

  • You Can Walk Away After an Inspection

If the inspection reveals major issues, you can negotiate renovations with the seller. But, if the negotiations bear no fruit, you have the right to walk away. If this happens, the seller gets to keep your initial deposit as collateral.

How To Prepare for a Home Inspection

  • Know the Cost

The average cost of a professional home inspection is $315. For condos and small homes under 1,000sq ft., you’ll pay around $200. For homes over 2,000sq ft., expect to pay around $400.

  • Find a Professional Inspector

The best place to begin your search is your real estate agent’s office. A great agent will be more than willing to help you get recommendations.

  • Schedule the Inspection

Most home inspectors work 24/7, even on weekends. Ensure to settle on a date that’s convenient for both of you. The inspection should take 2-3 hours.

  • Prepare to Take Notes

Since the inspector will most likely allow you to tag along, bring a pen and notebook to take notes during the inspection. You can also take pictures with your phone.

  • Ask for a Report

At the end of the inspection, the inspector should give you a detailed report on findings. Make sure to ask for this report and save it safely.

Remember…

Buyers benefit the most from home inspections. Yes, some sellers will recommend it. But it’s your job as a buyer to ensure that the property is inspected before you make the final decision.

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