An inspection is a popular conditional when writing up a promise to purchase. What exactly is it and why is it important to sellers? When you are ready to submit a promise to purchase (offer on a property), there are three standard conditions. One, is getting your mortgage. Two, is looking at the condo by-laws, minutes, budget and reserve fund, if this is what you are purchasing. And three, a building inspection. There can be many other conditions in a promise to purchase, depending on the property, however, these are the three main ones.

Why an inspection?
A building inspection is important to know exactly what you are buying in terms of structure and health of the building. You want to know what type of repairs are needed to be done immediately and which repairs are for a future date. This way you can accurately budget your costs for the purchase and know what you are getting into.

What does an inspector do?

Usually an inspector charges around $600 and up, depending on the driving distance and size of the structure and equipment used. They arrive with their ladders, flashlights and tools to accurately assess each part of your future home. If they arrive in a suit and a tape recorder, thank them nicely and tell them that you have changed your mind. You want your inspector to get “down and dirty”, so to speak, and to find out all the details about the building. You want them on the roof, up in the attic, in the crawl space, etc.

When you call around for quotes, ask what is involved in the inspection, and how is the report prepared, what it looks like, and how long will it take to get it. Most inspectors will say about 48 hours. The report will usually come in a pdf format with pictures and details, with clickable links for more information.

After the inspection is completed, the inspector will normally give you an on the spot verbal report of their findings. He should let you walk around with him, however you won’t be allowed up on the roof for insurance purposes.

In the promise to purchase the amount of days that you have agreed upon to get the inspection done is written. 7-10 days is standard, however completely negotiable. It is also pre-written in the the mandatory real estate broker promise to purchase inspection clause that you have an extra 4 days to respond if you have concerns. IF you don’t respond, after (7-10 days) +4 days, you have automatically accepted this condition and it is waived. If you have found something to discuss, then act fast, the days run short quickly.

 Renegotiating after the inspection

Normal wear and tear is usually what you’ll expect when you are buying a house. However finding something that significantly reduces the value of the building, you might want to re-think your position and re-negotiate. Your accepted offer price might not reflect the value of the building with this new information.

Be prepared to find a lot of little things here and there. Sometimes that does overwhelm new buyers who’ve never owned a property before.  Some experts say that you may spend up to 1% of the purchase price on repairs for older homes.

Whenever buying a property, popular opinion is this: ALWAYS GET AN INSPECTION. Whether you are buying a new condo or a fixer-upper and tearing most of the house apart, an inspection is always recommended. It’s always a great reference and insurance if something comes up a few years down the road. 

For pre-listing inspections, please visit: Pre-Listing Inspections



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