If you are planning to sell your home in the near future you should be aware that a satisfactory home inspection is usually a condition of the sale. A passing home inspection is a reassurance to potential buyers that they’re making a good investment, whereas a failing inspection will most likely end in a dealing falling through. The home inspection industry in Ontario is unregulated.
Home sales can hinge on the home inspections: potential buyers are dependent on the result to make the final decision on whether or not to purchase the home. They sometimes can feel a false sense of security of investing in a home inspection. This is usually because potential homeowners often assume that the person performing the home inspection is a qualified professional, which isn’t always the case. Currently in Ontario there is no requirement that home inspectors be licensed or registered. They can voluntarily join associations like the Ontario Association of Home Inspectors (OAHI) or the Canadian Association of Home & Property Inspectors (CAHPI) but isn’t mandatory. This means the result of a home sale or purchase is dependent on a report from someone who is qualified—and without due diligence, consumers have no guarantee.
How can you be sure that your home inspector is reputable: it’s important to do the necessary research to determine if the home inspector you have hired is reliable and qualified. In order to find this out it is a good idea to make sure your inspector is a member of OAHI or CAHPI. You can visit their respective websites to search for a member inspector in your area. You can also visit the Home Inspection Network online for information about local home inspectors. Another valuable step is to ask some key questions before your home inspection. Start of by asking the inspector how long they’ve been in the business and what are there qualifications. Also ask them how long the inspection will take and how much it will cost. If an inspector says it won’t take long, be suspicious. A thorough home inspection depends on the size of your home and should last between one and a half to three hours.
Don’t be afraid to shadow your home inspector: during your home inspection, shadow the home inspector and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Ask the inspector to explain points that they have commented on in their report, and don’t be afraid to point out anything you may be hesitant about. Make sure that you confirm that you will receive a full report with pictures, what will be included in the report, and how long it will take to receive it. Many resale properties are subject to a home inspection. The standard of Ontario’s Real Estate Association (OREA) agreement of purchase and sale includes a clause outlining that the potential buyer has the opportunity to inspect the property. While it’s not a requirement in the purchase of a home, the clause is there to let potential buyers know that they have the right to ask for a home inspection. It’s important for potential home-buyers to take the time to find a truly qualified and experienced professional. Resources such as OAHI and the Home Inspection Network can be helpful, and knowing what questions to ask your home inspector beforehand should help ensure that no unexpected surprises await when new homeowners move into a new property.
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