Home inspections are one of the most important facets of buying and selling homes, but, unfortunately, they’re often overlooked.
Such has been the case during Toronto’s bidding war frenzy over the last few years, during which prospective buyers forfeited their right to a home inspection for fear of their bid being rejected. According to Alice Soon, marketing manager of national programs at Pillar to Post, there was an uptick in calls from people who’d foregone their right to inspection, and got stuck with thousands of dollars in repairs. She says that’s a mistake that can be easily avoided.
Additionally, whether you’re an end-user in the market for a new home, a seller, or an investor, home inspections are integral to saving money down the road.
Just imagine buying a rental property only to find out the roof need replacing, warns Soon.
“If you’re buying an investment property, when you have a certified home inspector they should be giving you a thorough report of every part of the house, all the major systems,” she said. “A person buying a property as an investment is different than a person buying to live, though that’s important too, because it’s supposed to make you money, not lose money, so you need to know the condition of the home. If you buy something and you don’t get an inspection but find out later replacements need to be done, that eats into your profits.”
For sellers, pre-listing inspections are also important, says Soon. For starters, transparency is a bargaining chip.
“You can get a higher asking price if you get a pre-listing inspection,” said Soon. “The seller can decide if they want to repair it or not, but you’ll avoid problems later. If you’re more transparent, even if you decide not to fix it, you have better negotiating power because the buyer will be comfortable.”
Pillar to Post has inspected over a million homes in the last 20 years, inspecting homes as an impartial third-party. However, everybody from buyers, sellers, and even realtors, reap the benefits.
“We’re there to represent the client’s best interest, and give them honest third-party objective feedback about the house’s condition,” she said. “But from a realtor’s perspective, we’re like part of their team because we help their client.”
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