One of the two most common conditions that you find in any offer to purchase a home is the Home Inspection Condition which usually says something along the lines of
“This offer is conditional on the inspection of the subject property by a home inspector at the Buyer’s own expense, and the obtaining of a report satisfactory to the Buyer in the Buyer’s sole and absolute discretion”
This condition is included to protect the buyer and basically says that the buyer is going to bring along an expert who is going to take a good, hard look at the property and identify as many issues with it as possible. The buyer can then decide whether he wants to buy the house or not, based on the information. There is also the potential to re negotiate a new price based on the home inspection but attempting that gives the seller the option to back out of the deal too. Pretty basic stuff, anyone who has bought or sold a home, or watched ‘Buy me’ is aware of the existence and role of the home inspector. What everyone may not know is that, unlike us realtors who have to study and pass three courses and be registered prior to being able to trade in real estate, home inspectors do not require any registration or indeed any training whatsoever. Anyone who wants to can get up one morning and decide to set themselves up as a home inspector. Scary eh?
So what can you do to ensure that the ‘expert’ you employ truly is an expert. Happily there are organisations both at the National and Provincial level that can help. In Ontario the Ontario Association of Home Inspectors (OAHI) provides a system of accreditation which is obtained through courses and exams. The OAHI has the exclusive right to define qualification requirements, regulate its members and grant the designation “Registered Home Inspector” and “RHI” to qualified practitioners in the Province of Ontario.
Visit their website for more information at: