When you purchase a home, the Commission strongly recommends that you have a home inspection done. In fact, the Agreement of Purchase and Sale includes a standard clause with respect to home inspections. This is one of the most common conditions in an offer to purchase a property. When real estate markets are extremely active and you really want a particular home, skipping the home inspection and not placing this kind of condition in an offer can be tempting. Before you make the decision, consider the benefits of a home inspection.
If there is a Property Disclosure Statement (PDS), you may receive a copy and have a general sense of comfort about the history of the property. However, you should keep in mind that the person selling the home may not be aware of property defects and that the information provided in the PDS is based only on their personal knowledge.
Similarly, the licensee representing you in the transaction may have the experience to identify visually obvious defects, but underlying problems can exist.
A qualified and experienced home inspector will examine the major systems in the home such as:
- Heating/air conditioning
- Septic systems*
Many home inspection companies encourage you to attend the inspection and ask the inspector questions during the process and about the results of the inspection. The decision is yours to make, but you will be better informed and able to assess whether or not you want to invest in any upgrades or repairs that might be needed.
The Commission does not regulate home inspectors.
When selecting a home inspector, always confirm that the inspector carries Errors and Omissions insurance.
*SEPTIC SYSTEM INSPECTIONS
The Commission recommends that home buyers have a septic system inspected prior to finalizing a sale on a property. This condition may also be requested by your financial institution. A time of sale inspection may help protect you against future unexpected costs. The inspection process might involve pumping the tank and examining the leaching bed for any signs of problems. A septic system inspection may be conducted by a licensed septic system installer, a licensed sewage hauler or a professional engineer.