Everything you need to know about the pre-sale inspection
Before moving to the new house of your dreams, you will need to sell your current home. In order to set a fair sale price, which should allow you to sell your home within a reasonable time, it is necessary to know the condition and the corrections to be made. This is the goal of a pre-sale inspection. So, without further ado, here's everything you need to know about it.
Why do a pre-sale inspection?
As you probably already know, any buyer will take care to have a pre-purchase inspection of the house he desires before making a final decision. During this inspection, the building inspector responsible for combing through all the components of your house will identify the defects to be corrected as well as major problems such as the presence of pyrite, vermiculite or cracks in your foundations.
In the event of the discovery of several, even minimal, problems, it is possible that buyers will withdraw. Indeed, it should be borne in mind that many potential buyers are looking for a turnkey home. How to avoid making them go away? The answer is very simple: have a pre-sale inspection carried out.
1. Get acquainted with the work to be done before the buyers do
The pre-sale inspection allows you to find out what renovation work needs to be done before the property is put up for sale. You can then take the bull by the horns and carry out the work or, if necessary, have it done by professionals. This will give you the opportunity to present buyers with a house in better condition and that is more likely to please them.
2. Avoid having to lower your selling price too much
Remember that if a house is presented in the best possible light, potential buyers will have fewer arguments to lower the selling price. In fact, a house in poor condition can open the door to tough negotiations, as buyers may try to reduce the sale price by more than the actual cost of the work
In addition, keep in mind that becoming aware of the items that need to be corrected following the pre-purchase inspection will only postpone the inevitable and delay the sale of your home, which is clearly not to your advantage.
It is possible that, for various reasons you do not want to carry out the work or make the necessary corrections. In that case, you will have to reduce your selling price. While this is not strictly good news, you can at least get your price down to a level that is appropriate for the condition of the house and not unreasonably low.
3. Demonstrate your good faith
Carrying out a pre-sale inspection clearly demonstrates your good faith and willingness to sell a house in good condition. Too often we forget that a trusting relationship between the buyer and the seller is an important element in this process. An owner who is able to prove their transparency and honesty will be able to win the buyer’s trust is a step in the right direction to get them to purchase the property.
What is inspected during the pre-sale inspection?
During the pre-sale inspection, a large number of items will be passed through a fine-tooth comb. These are as follows:
- The insulation;
- Ventilation and condition of devices;
- The presence moisture and / or mould;
- The state of the structure and foundation;
- The grounds;
- The roof and all its components (flashing, soffits and chimney);
- Electricity (presence of a panel meeting the current standards);
- The central air conditioner;
- Plumbing (watertightness of the installation and choice of a suitable material);
- The external condition of the house;
- The interior (finish, floor, wall condition and others).
Please note that the inspector responsible for evaluating your home may also be able to perform a thermographic inspection. To be able to do so, however, the inspector will need to have specialized training in thermography. This service uses a camera to check for water or air infiltration. This is obviously very important!
The criteria for choosing a building inspector
To ensure that the inspection runs smoothly and that the findings are relevant, it is important to choose your inspector with care. In order to make a wise choice, we strongly advise you hire an inspector who is a member of one of the three professional associations :
- L'Association des Inspecteurs en Bâtiments du Québec (AIBQ) ;
- La Corporation des Inspecteurs Vérificateurs en Qualité de la Propriété (CIVQP) ;
- The International Association of Certified Real Estate Inspectors of Quebec (AIIICQ).
Please note that the National Association of Building Inspectors and Experts (ANIEB) is now an integral part of the International Association of Certified Real Estate Inspectors of Quebec (AIIICQ). Please be aware that real estate inspection in Quebec is not regulated by any standard of practice. Nevertheless, membership in one of these three associations will ensure that the work of the inspector will comply with the standards in force in the building and construction industry.
Do not hesitate to take a look at our article How to find a good building inspector in order to learn more about choosing an inspector for your pre-sale inspection.
In addition to being a member of one of these three associations, other criteria can (and should) also guide you in choosing your inspector. Here is a brief overview :
- The possession of errors and omissions insurance;
- Favorable recommendations from people you know (if possible);
- A clean record in legal proceedings;
- The ability to provide the references from former customers;
- The degree of experience;
- Compliance with a deadline of 48 hours before handing over the inspection report;
- Should not be recommended by your broker (this is a conflict of interest).
If the idea of choosing an inspector who belongs to an association, who is recommended by your friends and family, and who has a solid background in the field of property inspection seems logical enough, why is it so necessary to choose a professional with errors and omissions insurance?
First of all, you should know that this type of insurance is an advantage for both the inspector and the client. Indeed, in the event of a lawsuit, the inspector will not personally have to assume the related costs or the compensation payments. On the other hand, it allows clients to be compensated in case of omissions, faults or negligence. This is why we strongly advise you to do business with an inspector who has this protection, even though it is not yet required by law.
Would you like to get an overview of the costs of hiring a building inspector? Check out our article How much do the services of a building inspector cost?
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