The Purpose Of A Home Inspection
Published on October 3rd, 2022

There is no current data collection on how many homes have sold without a home inspection. On the contrary, plenty of information states the importance of a home inspection. During the peak of the housing market seen in 2021 and even early 2022, there were anecdotal stories of many home buyers choosing to, or at least feeling pressure to, forgo a home inspection to get the house they wanted.

Inspection vs Walkthrough

There is a difference between a home inspection and a walkthrough, and it is significant. A walkthrough is what home buyers experience when viewing the house, either with a real estate agent individually or at an open house. A scheduled viewing with a real estate agent is ideal as open houses can be crowded and have limited time and opportunity to explore and ask questions. A home inspection is done by a trained professional. While the province of Ontario does not require home inspectors to be licensed, there are reputable associations like the Ontario Association of Home Inspectors. An inspection can take up to three hours, allowing appropriate time for the inspector to examine everything inside and outside the home. They will look for code violations, damage, issues with electrical or plumbing, foundation issues, appliances, circuit breakers, and more. Don’t be afraid to interview potential home inspectors before hiring. Ask questions about their education and experience levels, if they are part of an association, and what the inspection includes. Ask when the report will be finalized and sent out if time is an issue.

A home inspection protects the best interest of the home buyer. Buying a house is one of the most significant investments a person can make, so it is essential to know that the property is in good standing and worth the asking selling price. Identifying problematic issues does not mean the house is off the market. Instead, the inspection will identify items the seller may address before negotiations are on the table.

Who Pays?

The home buyer pays for the home inspection. Rates can vary, with a typical cost running up to $500. Even if home buyers are working without a real estate agent, it is inadvisable to do the home inspection themselves. Professional Home Inspectors know what to look for, with the ability to notice signs that an inexperienced eye can miss. Some believe that the seller has the advantage in negotiating if they pay for the home inspection rather than the home buyer. The reason is that sellers can prove their home’s price is fair, and buyers don’t have much room for negotiation.

When a potential home buyer pays for the home inspection and receives the report, it offers them a sense of security, with a new feeling of control to approach negotiating. Without a home inspection, the buyer may not have much-negotiating power. Paying an inspector a nominal fee before purchasing a home could save thousands in repairs and emergency maintenance.

Having the house inspected takes a lot of guesswork out of home buying and prevents unwelcome surprises after taking possession of the home. Instead of hoping the home offers everything it promises in its write-up, open house, and private viewing with a real estate agent, a home inspection done by a trained professional will put it in writing. The inspection report will include every aspect of the home, from the foundation to the roofing and everything in between.

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