Can I Request a Re-Inspection After a Canadian Home Inspection?

When you're out with a property inspector, you can point out any dry areas and ask questions about what will solve the problem. A home inspection report will detail all the issues related to a home, both big and small. Most real estate agents will advise their clients to prioritize the most important issues, rather than presenting the seller with a long list of repair requests. A chip in a window pane may not be ideal, but it's insignificant compared to things like malfunctioning appliances or leaking pipes.

When a homebuyer asks a seller to fix something after an inspection, how are the repairs verified? Do they need to be checked? I recently wrote on my blog about a broken chimney repair that I found during a new inspection, raising the question: do I need to re-inspect? If major problems arise, you can ask the seller to fix them before you move in. You may want to request another inspection before closing or see proof (like receipts) that the professionals did the job. For instance, there may be a contingency that states that if a major issue is identified in the home inspection (such as a serious mold problem or crumbling foundation), the buyer won't have to proceed. If the home inspection report finds problems in those areas, it's up to the seller to fix them. It's always best to schedule a home inspection as early as possible during the sales process, so there's enough time to negotiate and handle the requested repairs.

The Canadian Association of Home and Property Inspectors (CAHPI) has rules and codes for its members, so choosing an inspector who is part of CAHPI can provide more security. If the home inspector has doubts about the roof or foundation integrity, he may also want to do a specialized inspection to check the condition of the roof or how serious any foundational problems are in order to determine what type of repairs it will need. Especially for older homes, a home inspection can uncover deeper issues or costly renovations. Some of the most serious issues you should pay attention to in your home inspection report include:

  • Structural damage
  • Mold
  • Pest infestations
  • Electrical problems
  • Plumbing issues
It's also recommended to inspect newly built homes before purchase, although most Canadian provinces have new home warranties (or “new home guarantees” in Quebec) that cover new construction. When you agreed to buy the house, you weren't aware of these issues, so you may be able to cancel the contract if you have any contingencies related to inspecting the house. So what does all this mean when it comes to who pays for repairs after a home inspection? It all comes down to bargaining power.

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