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Getting Your Home Inspected

Closing the deal isn't a big step. It's actually nine small steps. Understanding each one will make sure you don't miss a thing.

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  • Who's Involved
    You and a qualified home inspector

  • What Happens
    Assuming that an inspection was one of the conditions of your offer (advisable, especially for first time home buyers), you or your real estate agent will call the inspector as soon as the offer is accepted. (It's a good idea to give your inspector a heads-up when you put the offer in.)

    Over about three hours, the inspector performs a visual inspection of the home's structure and systems, including:

    • Heating and air conditioning
    • Electrical and plumbing systems
    • Roof
    • Foundation
    • Insulation
    • Framing
    • Windows
    • Equipment or areas that are worn and may need replacing

    For a new home, you should bring an inspector when you conduct your pre-completion deficiency inspection. Your lawyer or notary can amend your contract for this.

    Plus, it's almost always advisable – especially as a first-time buyer – to make your contract to purchase conditional on a successful home inspection. This clause allows you to back out of the purchase if the inspection uncovers significant flaws in the home.

    Home inspector doing a visual inspection of the house

  • Finding An Inspector
    Real estate agent speaking with client

    Your real estate agent may be able to refer you to a home inspection agency, or you can check the Canadian Association of Home and Property Inspectors (CAHPI) site.

    You should work with someone who:

    • Belongs to one of the seven CAHPI provincial organizations and follows the association's standards of practice
    • Is an experienced, full-time professional
    • Does not work as a tradesperson or contractor as well
    • Has errors and omissions insurance and general liability insurance

  • Withdrawing Your Offer

    If significant issues are discovered, you may withdraw the offer, request that the seller make the repairs, or renegotiate the price to cover the cost to fix the problem.

    For a typical urban or suburban home, plan to spend between $375 and $500 — it could be one of the smartest investments you'll make.

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