Inspection myths

by REP13 Oct 2017
With markets cooling down in key areas across Canada, it may be an ideal time to reconsider a home inspection as a critical part of the real estate transaction process. However, there are still misconceptions surrounding what a home inspection may or may not include. Below are the top myths that can help buyers and sellers understand what a home inspection actually entails.

1. Having a licence ensures a good home inspection.
Unfortunately, this is not the case. Not all provinces require licences to be a home inspector and many of the standards vary widely. Make sure to verify other components of an inspector’s credentials, including past clients, years of experience and customer reviews.

2. You may use a home inspection to identify problems that might be used as a tool to renegotiate the purchase price.
This is not the primary objective of a home inspection. The inspector’s professional service is one of unbiased, third-party education. They want to arm buyers and sellers with a good understanding of the physical condition of the home so they can make the best decision for themselves at that time.

3. A home inspection tells you what your home is worth.
That is the intended purpose of an appraisal, not an inspection. An inspector will also not make any recommendations about whether or not to buy or sell the home – that is solely up to the client. Inspectors don’t make any comments about the feasibility of the home’s value or whether or not it should be purchased.

4. All home inspection certifications and professional education are created equal.
This is untrue. Some programs actually offer certification online, without the requirement to ever step foot inside a house and produce a real-time inspection. The best certification offers both in-class and hands-on training, as well as examination requirements. When choosing your home inspector, you want your clients to verify their background, previous work experience, as well as the reputation of the certificating organization.

5. Home inspections are not needed for newly built homes or condominiums.
This can be a costly misconception. Newly built homes or condos are just as much in a need of an inspection as an older home. No home is perfectly built, and it’s best to have an inspector pinpoint potential issues or future repairs. Most inspectors can also give inspections during each construction phase of the property or at various stages of development.

6. Home inspections are solely used on the buyer’s sides.
Although most inspections are performed for potential buyers, there are many advantages associated with a pre-listing inspection. These include: knowing about major issues before the house goes up for sale, increased negotiating power and garnering the best sale price. Also, it is recommended that a home be inspected every 10 years, regardless of whether a sale is taking place.

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