Prime Edmonton Real Estate - The home inspection is the one of the more unnerving parts of the home buying process. By knowing what and inspector will (and won't) do, what your role is, and what to do with the results, you as a home buyer will be able to calm a lot of those fears.
A Brief Overview
A home inspector is a licensed professional who specializes in just that - home inspections. They should have the proper designations from the province of Alberta and have a fair bit of experience. The home inspection itself is set up by the buyer and is paid for by the buyer. The cost for home inspectins in today's market range anywhere from about $400 to up to $1500, with the average on the low end of that scale. Inspectors can do inspections any day of the week, and proper notice should be given to the home sellers. The sellers should not be present for the home inspection. The inspectors will not only determine any issues that they notice with the property, but the will also provide handy tips as to how to make the home safer, more energy efficient, and more appealing.
What Happens on Inspection Day
There are really 3 parts to the home inspection. The first part of the inspection is where your Realtor will meet the inspector at the home and let him in. The Realtor is required to be present for the inspection, but does very little else in the inspection itself, except to be an enthusiastic onlooker. The inspector will then spend the next 90 minutes to 3 hours (depending on size of home and what the inspector includes in the servcie) while the Realtor waits. It should be noted that the entire list of what an inspector will investigate does vary slightly from company to company, but for the most part all inspectors like at these basic home components: exterior, roof/eavestroughs, windows/doors, mechanical/HVAC system, plumbing, electrical, insulation/attic, and appliances.
The second part of the inspection occurs when the buyer(s) arrive on site, usually with about 30 minutes left within the scheduled time. At this stage the inspector will be done the majority of his work and will go through his findings with the buyers. He will usually walk them around and show them any issues that their examination has found. He can then answer (to the best of his ability) any questions you may have. What a home inspector should NOT do is a) say whether or not the buyers should take the home, or b) give them a price on how much it would cost to fix any major issues that were found withi the inspection. Having said that, it is not uncommon for an inspector to give general prices as to costs. It has been my experience that those estimates are incorrect more often than they are correct.
The third part of the inspection process is that the inspector will send a summary of his results in writing to you. This is usually done electroncally via email the same day or next day, or the report is filled out by hand and given to the buyers at the end of the inspection.
The Buyers Role After the Inspection
After you have received the results of the inspection, you really have 3 options: 1) Lift the condition if you are satisfied, 2) Determine the cost of the repairs needed based from the inspection and amend the sale price, or 3) choose not to lift the condition because of the issues noted in the inspection and terminate the contract. Those are the options. You have until the condition day to make your decision, but if you are choosing to try and amend the price of the home, it would be wise to get professional contractors in to do proper quotes on the work so that you can take them to the seller as justification for your amendment. Getting these quotes often take a few days, and a condition day adjustment may need to take place to give you the time needed to get them done.
The home inspection is the condition that gives most home buyers anxiety - but there is really no need for it. It's as simple as the inspector providing information and you responding with a 'yes' and 'no' or a 'yes - but at this price' answer. Knowing what to expect from the home inspection - and at what cost - will also help you to make a simple choice.