If you are a buyer and just found your perfect home at the right price, the next logical and crucial step is the home inspection. Are you ready? As a seller, you may be excited to have an agreed upon offer to purchase, yet to move forward with the transaction, your home has to pass the inspection. What will the inspector find?
Most buyers and even sellers, now see the value of home inspections. Although tedious, if used for what they’re intended, home inspections can save both sides of a real estate deal many headaches down the road.
There are many parties involved during and after the inspections, and it helps when everyone has a “realistic” approach to the entire process. It also helps, when everyone acts in “good faith”, and does not use the home inspection as a pretext to a definite price reduction.
What inspections offer: A professional opinion and report on the overall condition of the home including everything that is visible and accessible.
What inspections do not offer: An exhaustive expert report on every system in the home, whether accessible or hidden.
Who is responsible for what during and after the inspection process?
For Buyers: Inspections should reassure you that your new home is safe, functional and not going to become a “money pit”.
- Be vigilant and do your homework by reviewing the Sellers Declaration with your broker.
- Ask any pertinent questions about the home prior to the inspection.
- Get ready to block out at least 2 to 3 hours on inspection day, depending on size of home.
- Take your time and review any concerns with inspector during the inspection. The report will seem more negative in written form then the facts presented during the inspection.
The Buyer’s Broker: Attending inspections is a must, and good brokers will be right by your side during the process.
- They should have a good basic knowledge by knowing what is important in the big picture, yet not pretend to know the job of the inspector.
- If you’re getting a very fair price on the home, your broker will likely advise you not to bother the Seller for small repairs.
- If the inspection reveals major or serious flaws in the home, your broker can advise you on how to proceed.
The Seller: Inspections are part of the process, and if you can be present during the inspection to answer any questions, things may go smoother than you think.
- You can choose to have a PRE-SALE inspection before selling
- Make certain necessary repairs prior to selling
- Offer the home at a reasonable price taking into consideration imminent repairs needed (roof, windows etc..)
The Sellers Broker: May also be present at the inspection report, as the eyes and ears for the sellers.
- Is very familiar with the property and can handle questions that come up
- Will need to be ready to manage any unknowns or surprises that may arise.
- Although this broker represents the Seller, their main purpose is to collaborate with all parties for a smooth transaction
The Inspector: A good inspector will provide explanations and point out things that need to be addressed and will not be an alarmist and will remain impartial.
- In Quebec, your realtor can recommend a list of licensed inspectors who qualify with certain criteria.
- Many sellers and their brokers are now requesting that the choice of the building inspector be mutually agreed upon.
- Their main purpose is to inspect the home and provide you with real time knowledge, as well as a detailed report afterwards.
- Beware of inspectors who have a reputation for “finding everything”, they tend to be overzealous and overinflate issues.
It’s important to note, that having a family member with “construction experience”, or a friend who is a contractor be present during inspections, may be well intended but could lead to unnecessary negative consequences, as these individuals are not licensed property inspectors. Without a report, it will be hard to negotiate or get any expert quotes needed.
Most inspections go smoothly, but some can also be the beginning of tough negotiations ahead. Surround yourself with the best people is the best way to go!
Eleni Akrivos is a Montreal real estate expert who is passionate about educating and inspiring everyone to succeed in real estate! She holds a Chartered real estate broker license and is President of North East Realties agency in Montreal. As a lecturer in the Residential Real Estate Program at College Lasalle, Co-Host of “The Real Estate Show” on CJAD AM800 radio and contributor to the MTL Times newspaper, Eleni shares her stories of real estate success to help as many people as she can!