When purchasing a property, a buyer has several important steps to complete before conditions are removed & the transaction becomes a firm deal. One of those steps can be hiring a certified home inspector to inspect the home that you are trying to purchase.
Once an offer is conditionally accepted, the buyer has the choice hire an inspector to get a full report on the homes current condition. Generally this inspection will take place a few days after the offer is accept, but can be booked the next day depending on the flexibility of the sellers and the buyers. It's often more convenient to book the inspection as soon as possible to allow more time to work through any issues that may arise from the inspection. It can be a stressful time for the buyers & sellers if it's left until the last day before conditions are scheduled to be removed.
Our team has all been asked this question. Do I need to do a home inspection? The simple answer is no. It's not a requirement when buying a home. The smart answer is yes; you should do a home inspection. The majority of our clients purchasing a single family home or acreage property will have an inspection done. Are their cases when a buyer elects not to do an inspection; absolutely. It could be a home with multiple offers & a buyer elects to not have any conditions for a better chance of having their offer selected. Or they feel confident in the homes condition & don't feel it's necessary. Again, it's all peace of mind, & the buyer has to make this decision.
This is often more subjective when buying a smaller condo or townhouse style of unit. The common areas are generally all covered by the condo board, so the inspector will review the interior section of the unit. Some clients will still choose to get an inspection on a 900 square foot condo, while other clients feel comfortable with not doing one. It's totally up to the client. At the end of the day it's peace of mind. Our job as realtors is to advise the client on the current property, and let them make the decision to have an inspection completed.
Finding the right inspector to look at your potential home is very important. You are entrusting someone to find potential issues & problems that could deter you from moving forward with probably the biggest purchase of your life. You wouldn't just find a random person out of the phone book to go fix your car, so make sure & do some due diligence to get a certified, reputable, experienced inspector who is recommended from your realtor or other friends who have used this individual. Our team is fortunate to work with some great inspectors, and feel 100 % confident to use them with all our clients.
The cost for a home inspection is typically around 500 dollars for a single family home. All inspectors have different rates, but this is a ball park figure. Condos will be cheaper, while acreage properties will be more expensive as you will also have to get certified inspectors to look at the wells on the property & the septic.
WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT FROM A HOME INSPECTOR?
The home inspector’s role is to tell you the physical condition of the home. The inspector should walk through the home with you and point out any problems. This normally takes close to 3 hours. The inspector must give you a contract before the inspection and a written report after an inspection.
The inspector must not damage the home during the inspection unless the owner agrees in writing to allow an invasive inspection. If the inspector causes damage during the inspection and the seller has not agreed, the inspector must pay for the damage. For example, this means that the inspector usually can’t drill holes to look inside walls, ceilings or behind tiling. An inspector can look for signs that there might be problems with a home and suggest any areas that should be looked at by an expert. For example, mould and wiring behind walls usually cannot be seen directly, but there might be other signals that a trained eye would notice. Before starting the home inspection, the inspector must give you a copy of the signed contract that includes a list of what will and won’t be inspected.
Under Alberta’s Fair Trading Act an inspector must disclose information honestly and openly, and deal with you fairly. The Home Inspection Business Regulation sets out rules for home inspectors and home inspection businesses. All inspectors must have completed a minimum level of education. The regulation also sets out the requirements for home inspection contracts and for the inspection report that the inspector provides to the consumer.
Home inspection businesses must have:
- a licence from the Government of Alberta.
- a bond or other form of security
- errors and omissions insurance.
Typically, a home inspection does not include appraisals or quotes for repairs and does not determine compliance with regulatory requirements. A home inspection is not intended to provide warranties or guarantees about the condition of the house or how well it works.
A home inspector’s job is not to deter you from buying a home, it's to let you know "what" you are buying & what specific areas may need to be fixed or repaired prior to removing the home inspection conditions. Once the buyers are satisfied with the report & have worked though any issues with the seller, the property inspection condition can be removed. Again the key is to find a certified inspector that will provide a professional, honest & thorough report of the areas of the home they are licensed to inspect. For more information on our inspectors, feel free to contact any of our team members.