Whether you’re a first-time buyer or you’re looking to upgrade, a home inspection is a crucial part of doing your due diligence in a real estate purchase. Buying a home is the most expensive thing that many people will commit to, and having the assurance that you’re investing in something without having to worry about a nasty surprise when it’s too late is essential.

How to Plan for a Home Inspection

First, you’ll need to select the right home inspector, and it’s best to get this dealt with before you start looking for a home. In Alberta, Home Inspectors are certified by the Alberta Association of Certified Home Inspectors, and that’s a great place to start.

Be aware that no home inspector is an expert in all things. You’ll want to select someone with broad, general knowledge. Ask them what they inspect, and also ask if there’s anything they don’t check, because you may need to follow up with a specialist later. Either way, make sure you attend the inspection in-person so you have the chance to be a second set of eyes and can settle any nagging questions on the day.

You may also want to have a lawyer on-hand in the earlier stages to help work out an agreement that protects you throughout the sale, even if unexpected complications arise during an inspection that require you walk away.

What to Ask About

A home inspector will do a comprehensive examination of the house and its appliances. The big things, like air conditioning, electric wiring, and the furnace, are all fairly obvious, but you should take a careful look around yourself. You may want to ask if there are specific risks to be aware of if the home was foreclosed, and while a new home is not a guarantee that everything’s in order, you’ll want to take particular care with older homes.

If you see two-prong electrical outlets in older homes for instance, it could be a sign of aging wiring that needs work. Mold is also a concern for any home, but the longer it’s been around, the longer mold’s had a chance to gain a foothold. Look for stains, dark spots, and any sign of water damage from leaks or flooding. If you’re unsure of anything, ask the inspector.

It’s also a good idea to check about asbestos. It may not necessarily need to be removed immediately, but a home inspector should be able to offer guidance.

One useful thing you can do is ask how bad a problem really is. A home inspector may be able to advise you if something will need immediate attention, if it’ll likely be okay for a couple of years, or even if it’s a DIY-friendly quick fix. All of these factors can figure into the final offer on the property.

The inspector will draw up a written report, but it’s helpful to ask at the end of the inspection for one more pass through to absorb the issues and have a mental reference to compare the report to.

Closing the deal with all the information

The expense of a few hundred dollars is worth the chance to have an expert examine the property to ensure it meets code and has no glaring issues. If it does have issues and you’re still interested in the purchase, these can become negotiating tactics to get the cost of repair compensated for in the sale.

The best way to get the most out of a home inspection report and make those negotiations is by having a qualified real estate lawyer on your side. These experts can help navigate you throughout the whole process of a real estate purchase: reach out to Juriscorp to get started today.