Important tips when arranging a home inspection
- When buying a home, you will want to order a home inspection soon after your purchase offer has been accepted. Many of the real estate contracts allow a limited number of days to complete a home inspection (and then to request repairs, or cancel the contract if needed).
- Inspect the inspector. Although the inspector may have been referred to you by the real estate agent or a friend, it is in your interest to investigate the inspector before engaging his or her services, particularly in Saskatchewan as there currently is no overseeing government agency or licencing requirements for Home Inspectors. There is no one background that fully trains an individual for all the different conditions that may exist in a home. Regardless of their technical background or licensing, all home inspectors should be formally trained/certified to perform a home inspection by an organization such as the Canadian Association of Home and Property Inspectors or the National Institute of Building Inspectors (NIBI®), thus insuring their knowledge of the home inspection and home buying process. Most professional inspectors are members of national inspection associations such as CAPHI or NACHI and local real estate associations such as SRAR and CREA. Choose a home inspector who has earned credentials for competence and professionalism. Make sure the inspector you select has access to on-going technical support and offers you post-inspection advice if needed. Confirm the inspector has appropriate insurances such as General Liability and Errors & Ommissions Insurance.
- If the home is vacant, confirm that the seller will have all utilities on during the home inspection. Failure to do so may require a second trip to the home when the utilities are on, and you will incur additional fees. To properly evaluate a home a professional inspector must be able to operate the systems, thus requiring the utilities to be on.
- Ask your realtor to request of the seller, or speak to the seller directly in the case of a private sale, that no occupants be present in the home during the inspection process. This is in your best interest to help prevent distractions for the home inspector and to ensure the inspector has free access to all areas. The absence of occupants also guarantees confidentiality as the inspection report and findings are yours alone, to share with whom you wish.
- Accompany the inspector at the end of the home inspection for a walk through and discussion of the home inspection findings. This is your opportunity to gain knowledge of major systems, appliances and fixtures, learn maintenance tips, better understand the items that will be outlined in the written report, and ask questions of the inspector.
- If your inspector recommends a further evaluation, please have a specialist in that area conduct a more extensive examination PRIOR to closing.
- Be sure you understand all conditions identified in the inspection report and reported defects/and or areas of concern have been resolved to your satisfaction before closing.
- As part of the real estate transaction and prior to close, insist on a final walk-through of the home to verify that repairs have been made and that no new problems have surfaced since the home inspection, particularly in the areas where furnishings and storage may have previously obstructed the defect.