When Should You Get a Home Inspection?
Many people ask when they should get a home inspection. Home inspections can be performed anytime, depending on the situation, as outlined below:
1. Before the home is on the market (Seller’s or Pre-Listing inspection)
- It is becoming more common for sellers to arrange for home inspections before putting their homes on the market.
- This is usually done during a hot seller’s market, when buyers are lining up with offers, and sellers do not want any conditions.
- Sellers may decide to complete the recommended repairs or improvements so that they can provide peace-of-mind to the buyer, and avoid any major offer counter-offer situation due to the condition of the house. Otherwise, there may be negotiations over who will cover the cost of repairs to be completed.
- A buyer also has to decide if they want to trust the seller’s inspection, or arrange for a new home inspection after they make their purchase.
2. During the selling process (Pre-Offer or Pre-Purchase inspection)
- This is the “traditional” time for a home inspection.
- Depending on the market conditions (i.e., a hot buyer’s market), the buyer may ask for a home inspection to take place prior to them putting in an offer, or to take place after they have made an offer, but before being fully and financially committed to purchasing the home.
- The buyer uses the inspection to help them decide on their final purchase decision, sometimes using the noted repairs or improvements to help negotiate a lower purchase price, or to request the seller to complete repairs before a final purchase commitment.
3. After the home is sold
- This is common when the seller’s market is hot, and the buyer could not have an inspection completed during the selling process.
- Many opt to get an inspection done after they purchase the home.
- Some people wait until the previous owner has left, and do the inspection prior to moving in.
- Some get an inspection after they have moved in.
4. New Home Warranty Inspections
- New homes are evaluated according to the Construction Performance Guidelines of the Tarion Warranty Program. This can also provide guidance in working with builders and the warranty program to help get issues resolved quickly and efficiently.
- Homeowners often reach out to home inspectors to assist them when completing the various warranty related forms. These include:
- The Pre-Delivery Inspection (PDI) checklist used before a homeowner moves in.
- The 30 Day form a homeowner can submit during the first 30 days of possession.
- The Year-end form can be submitted during the last 30 days of the first year of possession.
- The Second Year form can be submitted at any time during the second year of possession.
- The Major Structural Defect Form can be submitted any time after the second year of possession but no later than seven years from the date of possession.
5. Any time !!
Many people may have a home inspection completed to check up on the condition of their home for various reasons. In this case, a whole-home or partial inspection may be desired. Examples include:
- Pre-renovation inspection. These have a scope that is defined more by the homeowner, the work planned, and the details of the house. It is a less rigid and partial inspection. By taking stock of the house before starting work, people are able to plan the work better. This will mean fewer unexpected repairs as the job proceeds, and provides the chance of making improvements to related systems as work progresses, increasing the efficiency of the upgrades.
- Maintenance inspection. It is just like the inspection you get before buying a home, except that you do it with no intention of selling the place. Like an annual physical, a maintenance inspection can catch major issues early, and provide reminders of the regular maintenance that should be done on the house.
- Problem-solving inspection. When something does not seem right, and before engaging a specialist, it might be time for an un-biased opinion. These tend to focus on a particular system that seems to be having issues, and any attempted DIY repairs may not be working.
O’Brien Home Inspections
Quality Home Inspections for London, St. Thomas and Middlesex County