Consumer Guide to Property Inspections

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This FAQ outlines a buyer’s rights regarding property inspections, the risks of waiving a property inspection and what a seller can expect.

Does a seller have to let me have a property inspection if I want one?

No. A seller does not have to accept an offer with a property inspection subject clause in it. If a seller rejects or counters your offer by removing the property inspection clause, you should speak with your real estate professional to understand the risks of moving forward with the purchase.

I have an accepted offer on my home and the buyer wants to back out because of the property inspection. Do I have a right to see the property inspection report?

Unless the contract provides that you are entitled to a copy of the buyer’s property inspection report, you are not automatically entitled to it. If you have concerns that the buyer is providing an illegitimate reason for not following through with the terms of the contract, speak to your real estate professional and seek legal advice.

I am selling my home and was told it was a good idea to have a pre-list property inspection. Should I?

A pre-listing property inspection can help identify issues you may want to rectify in your home before listing it making a sale go more smoothly. Likewise, a pre-listing inspection may uncover defects that must be disclosed to a buyer if you do not wish to repair them and could affect an offer price on the property.

Speak with your real estate professional about the potential pros and cons of having a pre-listing property inspection.

As a seller, can I require a buyer to use a property inspector of my choosing?

No. A buyer has the right to use any inspector they like unless the contract stipulates that you may choose them. A prudent buyer’s real estate professional would strongly discourage a buyer from accepting such a clause, however, as it is not in the buyer’s interest to do that.

I am putting in an offer on a property that has other offers on it being submitted as well. Should I waive a property inspection to have a subject-free offer?

This is a personal decision that should be made once you understand the risks. Not having a property inspection means you may find there are several deficiencies that you will need to pay for if you want them repaired. You may be unaware of problems with the property until you take possession because defects that are readily discoverable during a property inspection do not have to be disclosed.

While submitting a subject-free offer to a seller may make your offer more appealing to them, and increase your chances of securing the property, the potential risks may outweigh the benefits.

Please read the Material Latent Defects Consumer Guide for more information.