The Inspection Process: The Big Picture
We understand that many of our clients are going through the home inspection process for the first time. Even for the veteran homebuyer, it is likely that the “rules of the game” have changed since their last inspection. The ProVantage inspection service is among the best you can get, but it is not the cheapest. We want you to maximize the benefit of the inspection financially. Almost always the value of the defects found in the inspection is greater than the cost of the inspection, so we would like to think you can come out at the end with a big financial plus from the investment of your inspection dollars. The best way to do this is with some careful planning and preparation for the inspection.
Based on working with many hundreds of home buyers, here are some pointers for home buyers to maximize their benefit from a REAL home inspection.
Preparation for the Inspection
Legal: We strongly recommend that you shop for a lawyer early. Ideally you will have a lawyer available to you before making any offers to purchase and before doing the home inspection. The inspection may raise legal issues that can only be answered by a lawyer, and you will have very little time to shop for a lawyer after the inspection before waiving the inspection clause.
Legal: Understand who’s paying who. In the Ontario real estate system, the seller is paying ALL involved salespeople through what is called an agency agreement. Both the buying and selling agents are paid from the commission from the seller, and both the selling and buying salespeople are obligated to maximize the benefit for the seller, regardless of other agreements.
Legal: Review and understand the wording of your home inspection conditional clause in the offer to purchase. There are different home inspection conditional clauses used in offers. They are not all equal and may have a large impact on how you can benefit from the results of the inspection. Ask your lawyer to explain the seller’s legal disclosure requirements. Just a couple more reasons to have a lawyer available.
Take stock of your expectations: Take stock of claims that have been made by the seller via the listing document or their salesperson. Were any defects disclosed and discussed? What claims or representations has the buying salesperson made? What are your own expectations based on what you have seen and heard so far? What is included and excluded in the deal? Let the inspector know of any specific concerns you have in advance or during the inspection. The ProVantage inspection typically reveals many defects of varying costs and priorities. Almost always the value of the defects is greater than the cost of the inspection. Be prepared for hearing about all the negatives during the inspection.
Plan the inspection follow up strategy: Decide in advance what actions you will take based on the inspection findings. The best way to do this is by thinking in terms of costs. What are you going to do if the inspection reveals short term spending requirements of $100? $1000?, $5000 and up. What will you do if the inspector recommends follow up by a specialist, such as having the furnace safety checked by a gas technician? There are no set rules on negotiations following an inspection. Every transaction and negotiation is different. Your reaction may be fuelled by what your expectations and knowledge were going in to the inspection. Planning your strategy in advance of the inspection is a good idea because typically there is very little time available after the inspection.
Weather: The inspector will arrive at the inspection fully equipped to work in all types of weather and terrain. Wear suitable clothing and footwear so you can accompany the inspector on the exterior inspection.