Things a Buyer Should Know About Home Inspections

A home inspection enables a potential home buyer to have a knowledgeable professional inspect the property prior to purchase. A home inspection report can help you decide on an appropriate purchase price, understand whether a property has more potential problems than you want to take on, and make plans for future repairs.

Our Richmond Hill real estate lawyers may help to ensure that you understand everything a buyer should know about home inspections. Contact us for more info.

When to Arrange for a Home Inspection? 

Commonly, a buyer makes a conditional offer to purchase a home, depending upon the results of a home inspection. If the seller accepts the offer, the buyer arranges for a home inspection of the property.

If the buyer is satisfied with the home inspection report, they remove the condition, and the purchase goes ahead as planned. If the report reveals a problem that the seller is not willing to fix and the buyer is not willing to accept, then the buyer can back out of the purchase without any repercussions.

What Are the Risks of Buying a Home Without an Inspection? 

If you purchase a house without a home inspection, you risk:

  • Paying more than the property is worth, given its general condition and/or the need for specific repairs
  • Facing unexpected and potentially costly repairs
  • Owning a property that is unfit for your planned uses, or that is difficult to sell.

The cost of a home inspection may range from $300 to $2,000, depending on where you live, the size of your house and the extent of the inspection.

What Does a Home Inspector Look For? 

A home inspector conducts a visual inspection of the various parts of the property, including:

  • The foundation
  • The walls
  • The roof
  • Heating systems
  • Overall structural integrity
  • Grading and drainage around the house
  • Any parts of the electric, plumbing and HVAC systems that can be seen
  • And more

They will not look behind walls or under floors, so their inspection is limited to the parts of the home that are visible, although it is common for the inspector to go into the attic.

How to Find a Home Inspector

Home inspection in Ontario is not a regulated profession, so it is possible that some of your local home inspectors are more qualified than others. Home inspectors may come from a variety of backgrounds and have a wide range of training and education.

When looking for a home inspector, you may want to ask a potential home inspector for:

  • References
  • Information about their training, education, experience
  • Confirmation of whether they carry insurance (this is not mandatory in Ontario)
  • A quote (although cheaper is not necessarily better)
  • A sample of their written inspection report

A home inspection offers the buyer a chance to obtain a professional opinion on the general state of the property they intend to purchase, before it is too late to back out of the deal. It is one potential step of many that home buyers may take over the course of their purchase transaction, and the advice of a real estate lawyer may help clarify the process.

Contact our Richmond Hill Real Estate Lawyers Today for a Consultation

The primary purpose of a home inspection is to understand the realities of a property’s physical status, to help make an informed decision about a potential purchase. Working with a real estate lawyer can likewise help a home buyer understand their legal rights, every step of the way. For more information on things a buyer should know about home inspections, or assistance with any other real estate questions, contact us to book a consultation with our real estate lawyers today.

* Please note that the contents of this article do not constitute legal advice; this information is an introductory overview of things a home buyer may consider about home inspections in Canada. For legal advice, please consult with a lawyer.