With real estate markets in several major markets – Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa and Victoria to name just a few – projected to have strong years in 2020, more and more buyers in these communities will be turning to pre-construction opportunities.
A crucial component of buying newly built properties is the pre-delivery inspection. But in a hot market filled with inexperienced first-time buyers, the importance of a PDI can sometimes get lost. It’s an agent’s job to ensure their pre-construction clients understand just how necessary they are.
“They’re extremely important,” says Ryan Coyle of Connect Asset Management. “Everyone has a right to a pre-delivery inspection, and everyone should definitely accept that right.”
Buyers are not legally required to attend a PDI; Coyle feels agents shouldn’t pressure their clients into taking part in one, particularly if they don’t know what to look for. He insists, however, that agents should be prepared to take on the responsibility of a PDI in their clients’ stead.
“It’s definitely a good idea to have [the realtor] attend, or to attend with [the buyer], so they can go through everything with a fine-tooth comb,” he says. “It comes down to the experience of the realtor. I’ve done dozens of these for my clients, as well as myself, so I know what to look for. I would rather go by myself.”
Because a pre-delivery inspection is a buyer’s first opportunity to view a new property, it should be conducted thoroughly. Coyle’s strategy is to do a room-by-room floor-to-ceiling check-up that ensures:
- There are no inconsistencies or blemishes on the floors, walls and ceilings
- That the electrical outlets are operational and that the light switches and lights are in working order
- That all doors, handles and railings have been installed or mounted securely
- That the water pressure and temperature is acceptable in the kitchen and bathrooms
Coyle says the most common deficiencies often involve markings left over by different crews of tradespeople. “There’s just a lot of traffic in and out.”
Even with an experienced realtor in their corner, some clients opt to do their PDIs themselves. In a case like that, a realtor trying to provide the smoothest transaction possible can only protest so much.
“Sometimes they want to do it and don’t want me there,” says Coyle. “I don’t necessarily advise that, but it happens all the time,” says Coyle.