Whether you are buying or selling a property, when you employ a Home Inspector to work for you, you expect them to do the best possible job.
A Home Inspection is often seen differently by the home buyer or the home seller.
To the home buyer, the Home Inspection is seen as a sort of insurance policy that an expert has been called in to ensure there is nothing wrong with the home that is being looked at as a future purchase.
To the home seller, it is looked at as an opportunity for the home buyer to find fault with the home so that the price is reduced.
Both of these beliefs are mistakes.
The purpose of the Home Buyers inspection is to try to identify anything that will visibly lead to a belief that something is currently wrong with the property that will accelerate a problem down the road, or that is a health or safety issue at the time of the inspection.
Home buyers are wrong because a home inspection is not an insurance that promises nothing will go wrong with the property in the future. The chances are, it will.
A house, somewhat unbelievably, is almost like a living organism. It needs to breathe, in the Inspection industry we call this ventilation, it needs to be fed and washed and cared for. It will age. All of these together will mean that over time, exposed to unfavourable conditions and neglected it will age quicker than it should.
It is precisely this reason that the Home Sellers are wrong. The home inspection is not there to get them to reduce their price, or to even “kill a deal”, it is there precisely to identify the issues that are presented by premature ageing.
Unlike a human, premature ageing in a property can be stopped and even reversed with the proper maintenance and timely repairs. Like your car, regular maintenance can put-off or avoid completely major repairs or even total loss further down the line.
If home sellers were to have a home inspection BEFORE the property was put on the market, they could ensure that the work was completed prior to the listing, ensuring that they could ask top dollar for their property.
A pre-sale home inspection offers something else far more important, peace of mind for the Seller, and the Sellers Realtor, that they have made full disclosure of any defect that does exist, or have gone to whatever lengths needed to eradicate that defect. The cost of a lawsuit after a sale can be just as devastating, more so than losing a few days before listing and a few hundred dollars on fixing a problem or lowering an asking price slightly. A pre-sale inspection often speeds up the sale process as it allows the purchaser to employ the same inspector in a “walk-through” inspection at a nominal cost. This removes any notion of conflict of interest as the Inspector is then contractually bound to both the Home Buyer and Home Seller and is liable to both to do the best possible job.