Attention all home buyers: before you close any deal, make sure you’ve conducted a home inspection of your soon-to-be new property! You can do it yourself, get help from your real estate agent, or best – use the services of a professional home inspector. I won’t tell you what to do in this blog. But I will tell you why conducting a pre-purchase inspection is so important.
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Dealing in real estate is expensive. You cannot afford to make a mistake. After all, the odds are that it is one of the biggest transactions of your life and the pressure is on! But as a home buyer, you can alleviate some of the pressure that you’re facing by getting a home inspection done.
Don’t think of it as an extra expense. Think of it as a service. If you can’t do that just yet, hold on. Finish this blog and if you still have any questions or need some assistance purchasing a property, book a free call with me or somebody from my team!
There’s a lot that goes on in a home inspection process. I try my best to cover all the essentials – focusing on the process, rules and regulations, cost, condo inspections, and some of the most frequently asked questions that I get as a real estate agent every day!
Home Inspections In Toronto: Process
Who Is Responsible For Conducting A Home Inspection?
In a real estate transaction, it’s going to be the buyer or the buyers’ agent [if you’re working with one and who offers the services] who is responsible for getting a home inspection done. While home buyers can do a home inspection themselves and there’s no rule against it, I do not recommend it. Any error can cost you hundreds of thousands in the future. Play safe and look for help from professional home inspection services. Moreover, look for home inspectors who are members of a professional association for additional security!
While the buyer’s team is usually responsible for a post-offer home inspection, it’s the seller’s team that is responsible for a pre-offer home inspection. Typically employed when the listing strategy consists of an offer night and the goal is multiple firm (no conditions) offers.
How Do Home Inspections In Toronto Work?
Irrespective of whether I am dealing with a brand-new home or an old, renovated property – I advise all my clients to get a home inspection done. Fundamentally speaking, home inspections help you identify any hidden issues within the house that may cost you post-sale. Beyond the financial costs affiliated with these potential repairs, the inspection also ensures that the property is safe.
You can get a home inspection done anytime after the seller has accepted your offer and before the final closing date. Once the seller has accepted your offer, I recommend that you get the inspection done as soon as possible. Give the home inspector enough time to review the property and prepare an inspection report. The other benefit of getting it done quickly is that by doing so you give yourself enough time to get a secondary, follow-up inspection done – should the need arise!
From a seller’s point of view, if you’re listing your property using the services of a real estate agent, your agent might look after the home inspection for you. For example, we conduct home inspections on behalf of all our clients [free of charge] in order to understand what we can do to get the best price for our clients. If you’re looking for a real estate team to help you sell your home in Toronto, book a free call with me or somebody from my team, and together, let’s figure out a way for you to achieve your goals!
Are Home Inspections Mandatory In Toronto?
While it’s not mandatory to get a home inspection, nor be in attendance when one is taking place on a property you’re interested in buying, it is in your best interest to do so. This way, your home inspector can point out any issues or repairs that are needed and give you the opportunity to ask any questions that may arise.
What Rules & Regulations Govern Home Inspections In Toronto?
This is where things can get tricky. As of right now, there’s no formal licensing required for Ontario Home Inspectors, and just about anyone claiming to be a home inspector is able to do so. A home inspection certificate can easily be obtained through online courses but does not guarantee their abilities or real-life training.
The biggest home inspection tip for buyers would be to protect yourself. The best way to do that is to ensure you’re working with a qualified inspector, refer to the Canadian Association of Housing and Property Inspectors or in Ontario specifically, the Ontario Association of Home Inspectors.
It’s worth noting here that there have been efforts to put more regulations in place regarding home inspections in Ontario. In 2017 the Home Inspections Act went to legislation, which would require minimum standards as well as proper education and training for all Ontario home inspectors.
How Long Does A Home Inspection Take In Toronto?
This will depend on the size of the property but on average, a home inspection in Toronto will take you roughly 2-3 hours to complete!
Benefits Of Home Inspections In Toronto
Why Is Getting A Home Inspection Done So Important?
Don’t skip on getting a home inspection done. I’ll tell you why! While home inspections are mostly the buyer’s responsibility, I also break down why it’s advantageous for sellers to get a pre-listing home inspection done. A pre-listing home inspection works exactly the same as any other home inspection – only that it’s done and paid for by the seller prior to listing their property on the market.
Benefits Of Home Inspections For Buyers
An exit route: If you’ve been paying attention, you know that a home inspection is generally done between the offer period and the closing date. Once you submit an offer for a property and the offer is accepted – it’s not very easy to break away from the deal. However, if the home inspector finds certain issues, you now have a ready exit route that you can use – if you do actually want to back out from the purchase!
Identify potential safety hazards: One of the main reasons to get a home inspection done is to ensure the safety of your soon-to-be new home. One of the main jobs of the home inspector is to analyze the unit from a safety and functional point of view looking for potential molds, leaky faucets, exposed circuitry, etc. that can cause safety issues in the short-term and long-term. In case they do identify any major safety hazards, you can cancel your contract or consult the home inspector on the best course of action to take to fix the issue found!
Aid negotiations: Home inspections identify any potential repairs or renovations that need to be done before moving into a property. If your home inspection report finds that you need to spend considerable resources to make the property livable, you can use your home inspection report as a negotiation tool to come up with a more acceptable offer!
Forecast future challenges: A home inspection report highlights everything that’s right and wrong with a property. By getting a glimpse into the unit’s flaws at the outset itself, you put yourself in a better position to deal with future challenges. Home inspectors are very knowledgeable individuals. If you are moving into a property that has some drawbacks, I strongly recommend that you speak to the home inspector and figure out the best way to deal with this problem straight from the source!
Benefits Of Pre-Listing Home Inspections For Sellers
Improve buyer confidence: In my experience, getting a pre-listing home inspection done can really help you sell your home quickly and for top dollar. It helps the buyer in two ways: 1) they don’t have to get a home inspection done themselves and can save that money to spend elsewhere; 2) it communicates that you’re a seller who is transparent and trustworthy in their dealings which improves buyer confidence and pushes them to transact with you.
Opportunities to increase property value: A pre-listing inspection can help you identify and preempt some of the health and safety issues that plague your property. You can fix these issues in advance so that when it comes time to list your property on the market, you don’t need to discount the listing price to accommodate any of the existing issues. You can confidently list your property at market value or even above it depending on the repairs and renovations made!
Peace of mind: Ultimately, the biggest benefit (apart from increasing property value) of getting a pre-listing home inspection done is that you no longer need to be worried about the results of an actual home inspection. You already know what the issues are and you can fix them based on your own timeframe. Furthermore, you’re not bound to fix the issues before closing or any other date – it all depends on your own timeframe. You can use your local contacts to fix things affordably and prepare yourself for sale well in advance!
What Does The Home Inspector Look For?
In Toronto, a home inspector will focus on the following aspects of your property:
• water damage
These are just some of the main areas a home inspector will pay attention to during their inspection. Should an issue arise, your inspector may recommend you get a follow-up inspection done. Double-check with your real estate agent before booking any follow-up inspection.
Home Inspection Checklist
A home inspection checklist is pretty broad and if you go through it in detail – it addresses at least 50 different issues. It’s your home inspector’s duty to check your property for all issues – not just minor ones. A good inspector conducts the inspection with an eye to the future sharing their insight on anything they feel could become troublesome to deal with over time! Typically, the home inspection report will include the cost to fix said items along with the timeline by which you should aim to have these repaired.T
What Typically Fails A Home Inspection?
Many issues may come up during a home inspection. While minor cosmetic defects or repairs may be reflected on the report, these are not likely to fail a home inspection in Toronto. The problems that may typically cause a home inspection to fail are major issues that are expensive to resolve such as problems with the roofing, mold, foundation, and others.
We list some of the severe problems below that commonly fail a home inspection:
If the roofing is old or rundown, then it’s a problem that the homeowner likely needs to fix before the inspection. A severely damaged roof may cause a home inspection in Toronto to fail. The home inspector may also list broken or damaged shingles in their report – look out for these.
If a home has hidden mold, then the inspector will be able to sniff it out. Mold is caused by excess moisture, which in turn may be due to a leak or drainage problem. Since extensive mold infestations are costly to treat, home inspectors always look out for this issue.
Problems such as drainage issues and improper grading may cause a home inspection to fail. Since improper grading typically leads to many issues such as leaky basements, mildew, spongy soil, and others it’s a problem to watch out for, during a home inspection in Toronto. In a worst-case scenario, it may even cause the foundation to shift.
A damaged foundation is definitely a problem that can cause a home inspection to fail and with good reason. If it’s serious, it’s an expensive problem to address. If the house has doors and windows that stick, sloping floors, or horizontal cracks in the exterior foundation, the foundation may be faulty.
Cost Of Home Inspections In Toronto
How Much Does A Home Inspection Cost In Toronto?
The cost of home inspections in Toronto will vary depending on the size of the home. In general, it’s best to budget anywhere from $300 to $500 for a home inspection. In some cases, a seller will already have a home inspection done prior to listing, but as a buyer, you are generally the one who foots the bill.
When you list your home with our full-service team, we will cover the cost of the home inspection and have it completed prior to listing your home for sale. It’s actually one of the first things we do so that we can plan accordingly and make any necessary repairs prior to putting your home on the market.
Cost Of Home Inspections In Toronto By Property Size
Breaking Down Condo Inspections
Do You Need A Home Inspection For A Condo?
If you’re buying a condo in Toronto and want something akin to a home inspection – you should look for the status certificate of the building! A condo status certificate will give you an in-depth overview of a condo building’s management policies, financial statements, the general health of the building as well as any particulars for the individual condo unit.
Home Inspection FAQs
Who Are Some Of The Best Home Inspectors In Toronto?
According to my research, Google My Business Reviews, Yelp, and other review aggregators online, some of the best home inspectors in Toronto are – Solex Group Professional Home Inspection, Clearview Home & Property Inspections & 4Sight Home Inspections! Personally, though we love Pillar to Post and can vouch for their quality.
Are There Any Reasons To Avoid Getting A Home Inspection Done In Toronto?
Unless you’re in a hurry, can’t afford a home inspection, or are in a situation where the seller has received multiple offers, is looking for a quick sale, and is not keen on getting a home inspection done – I do not see any reasons why you should avoid getting a home inspection done.
Who Is Liable For Errors Found In A Home Inspection Report?
Unfortunately, I cannot give you a definitive answer to this question because it depends on a number of factors. Generally, the home inspector who conducts your home inspection is liable for any and all ‘patent’ defects missed out on during the home inspection. However, a home inspector can escape liability by adding an exclusion of liability clause in the home inspection contract. I have heard of multiple cases where people sue the home inspector in court due to errors found in the home inspection report. While it’s relatively easy to take somebody to court, the success rate of such home inspection cases is very low. Before you decide to take any action, I strongly recommend that you consult with a real estate or liability insurance lawyer first!
After your home inspection in Toronto, you should receive a thorough report that outlines all of the issues both pertinent and upcoming, images of important areas, and tips for home maintenance with respect to this specific property. Depending on the outcome of your home inspection, you can discuss with your real estate agent if the value of your offer is still in line with what you’ve learned from the home’s overall health and whether there are any things that can work in your favour for negotiations.