When it comes to real estate transactions in Ontario, the caveat emptor principle applies. This means that it is the responsibility of the buyer to do their due diligence and make sure they are making an informed decision when buying a property. However, this does not mean that sellers are exempt from liability when it comes to disclosure. In fact, there are certain things that sellers are legally required to disclose to potential buyers.
It is important to note that no home is perfect. As mentioned above, an inspection can reveal the need for major repairs, possible oversights on the part of the builder, or just the general maintenance necessary to keep the property in good condition. The inspector's job is not to tell customers if they should buy the house, but to help them understand the total cost of ownership. The objective of a home inspector is to provide their clients with a deeper knowledge of their potential home, so they can make the right decision as they continue with the home-buying process.
The cost of a home inspection depends on factors such as the size of the home, the qualifications and experience of the inspector, and the location of the property. Investing a couple of hundred dollars in an inspection could save you significant costs in the future or drastically affect the true value of the home you're buying. You can perform a home inspection at any time after the seller has accepted your offer and before the final closing date. However, it is also recommended to carry out a pre-purchase inspection of newly built homes, although the new home guarantee (or “new home guarantee” in Quebec) covers new construction in most Canadian provinces.
The purpose of a home inspection is to identify any potential problems or issues with the home that need to be addressed before the sale is finalized. Usually, a home inspection takes place before closing, so there is time to renegotiate or even terminate the contract if the inspection reveals doubts about the physical structure or basic systems of the new home. A home inspection is an important step in the buying process because it offers security in really knowing everything you need to know about the state of your home before you buy it. If there is a delay of several months between pre-purchase inspection and date of transfer of ownership, you can add a clause requiring a second inspection a few days before property is transferred to you.
The cost of a home inspection depends on square footage, location, type, construction, and age of home or property being evaluated. On average, an inspection of single-family home usually takes 2 to 4 hours to complete, although this depends largely on its size and condition. I have heard several cases where people sued their home inspector in court because of errors found in their report. For now, Ontario does not require formal licensing for home inspectors and almost anyone claiming to be one can do so.
If you're in process of selling your home in Ontario, you might be wondering if you're required to disclose any previous inspection reports to potential buyers. It's always good idea to keep up with inspections even if you end up buying property. Some sellers may undergo an inspection before listing their house and use its full report as an attraction for buyers. However, these inspections may not provide full evaluation of its condition.
In conclusion, it's best for buyers to organize their own inspection when considering purchasing property. A thorough pre-purchase inspection can help buyers make an informed decision and avoid costly surprises down line. It's also important for sellers to disclose any previous inspections they have done on their property.