What should you know about pre-purchase home inspections as a buyer?

In the process of buying a house, as in the process of selling a house, the pre-purchase inspection provides additional information on the condition of a property. Clarifying the structural integrity and inspecting the details of the finishes will help you make an informed decision and finalize your purchase agreement.

Since buying a property is an investment that should not be taken lightly, the real estate agents at Courtier Immobilier Lanaudière explain what you need to know about the pre-purchase inspection process in Quebec.

What is the purpose of a pre-purchase home inspection?

The pre-purchase inspection provides additional information on what you need to know before buying a house or when preparing to sell. In short, it is a property inspection organized between prospective buyers and building specialists. The purpose is to provide a complete and detailed inventory of a property before the purchase agreement is drawn up.

Pre-purchase inspection is recommended by real estate brokers but is not an obligation. However, it is strongly encouraged in order to avoid any disappointments down the road.

This inspection is considered a guarantee in the purchase of a house, as it helps create trust between buyers, sellers and their intermediary. Consequently, in provinces such as Quebec, Alberta, Québec or British Columbia, this visit is offered as part of the services of the broker.

When to do the pre-purchase inspection

The time to conduct a pre-purchase inspection depends mostly on the best time to buy a house. In other words, it is subjective and depends on you, the future buyer. However, in most cases, the inspection takes place after the promise to purchase has been made. In fact, the inspection clause is primarily intended to reinforce the decision to purchase the property you have fallen in love with.

You should schedule your inspection once your promise to purchase has been accepted by the seller. This avoids having to cancel the inspection if your offer is not accepted. It is always best to discuss this with your real estate broker.

Why should you inspect a home before buying?

The pre-purchase inspection is part of the home selling process. The document will define the time frame and the deadline for the buyer to accept the conditions. In other words, when a buyer wants to ensure the viability of the property, time is required. This includes:

  • 15 days to set conditions
  • 11 days to perform the inspection
  • 4 days for the buyer to review and be satisfied with the inspection report

The building inspection, whether it is for a new house or a commercial building, makes it possible to verify the viability of the property being sold.

Obtain information on the condition of the property

The inspection is a key element in determining the value of the property you wish to purchase. In fact, looking at the smallest details of the house will allow you to negotiate the price according to the renovations and the general condition of the house. In the end, the inspection will provide you with all the visible and accessible arguments to support or cancel your purchase offer.

Consider renovation work

Most of the time, doing renovations before selling a property is an asset to the sale. However, sometimes owners do not have the means or the time to make the necessary renovations. Therefore, the pre-purchase inspection allows you to compare the market value of the house and the price of potential renovations. Once you have this information, you will be in a better position to determine whether or not the property is really right for you.

Avoid hidden defects

Fortunately, not all property sales are deceptive. However, some owners, in their desire to sell their property as quickly as possible, avoid mentioning certain damages or defects. To avoid finding yourself in this situation, the pre-purchase inspection is a good way to highlight points in the inspection clause that were not raised when the offer to sell was drafted.

Once the transaction is submitted to a notary, it is possible that you will have to deal with hidden defects that the pre-purchase inspection report failed to bring to light. In these cases, your broker will check to see if the legal warranty of ownership and quality applies.

If it applies, the former owner will be held responsible and will have to take care of the work. Otherwise, if the guarantee was not signed by the seller, the new buyer will be responsible for the premises and will have to carry out the work themselves.

How to perform a successful pre-purchase inspection

To make this visit go as smoothly as possible, there are a few things to consider and parties to call.

Choosing the right home inspector

Ideally, you should contact a pre-purchase inspector, who is a building specialist that can provide expertise on the structure of the building and protect the future buyer in the event of any defects. If you want to make the most of their expertise, it is important to choose them carefully.

Make sure that the inspector is a member of an association such as the Association des Inspecteurs en Bâtiments du Québec, that they have liability insurance, that they have a standard of practice and that they write a complete report following their inspection.

Support from a real estate broker

A real estate broker will guide you through all the steps of the purchase of a property, including the pre-purchase inspection. Once you have chosen the right real estate broker, they will be able to give you the benefit of their expertise in buying a property and guide you during the inspection.

Can I refuse an offer to purchase after inspection?

No. The purpose of a pre-purchase inspection is to provide information regarding the structure of the building. Based on the report, you will have the opportunity to decrease the market value of the property, using points that only an inspector will have been able to bring to light.

What is a pre-purchase inspection report

This is the most important document and contains all the inspection clauses written by a pre-purchase inspector. This inspection report gathers all the information highlighted during the visit. It includes:

  • Detailed observations
  • Defects, potential work, various damages
  • Pictures

With a copy of the report in hand, the future buyer will have all the necessary information to finalize, update or reconsider their request according to the information provided. However, it is important that this document be produced and drafted by professionals.

Contact the home inspection experts at Courtier immobilier Lanaudière

Located in the Lanaudière region, the Courtier Immobilier team will guide you in all your plans and steps related to the purchase of your property, including the pre-purchase inspection.

As expert brokers that deal with properties for sale in the Lanaudière region, we will help you find the property of your dreams and listen to your expectations and constraints. Contact us now and make your property purchase dream come true in the Lanaudière region.

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