It’s likely that a home will be the biggest purchase you’ll ever make, which is why many consumers opt for a home inspection before they sign on the dotted line. In this blog post, we’re sharing information about the home inspection process – learn what to expect and about your rights.
In British Columbia all home inspectors must be licensed with Consumer Protection BC and are required to follow specific laws.
What happens before the inspection?
When you’re picking a home inspector, do a little research first. You can ask to see their licence or search for their licence on our website. It’s a good idea to ask the home inspector about their qualifications or background, and for a referral or two. You may want to ask family and friends for recommendations and always remember that the lowest quote isn’t always the best choice. Make sure you fully understand what’s going to be included in your home inspection before you sign the contract.
What happens during the inspection?
During the inspection, your home inspector will perform a visual inspection of the home based on the terms and conditions of your agreement. It’s really important to know this means there are certain limitations as to what the home inspector can see and check – a home inspection may reduce risk, but it can’t eliminate it altogether. You can ask to tag along during the inspection, but know there are no legal requirements to have your real estate agent present. The inspection will usually take a couple of hours to complete.
What happens after the inspection?
After the inspection, your home inspector will provide you with a report that lists the potential deficiencies he or she noticed (remember: it’s not a pass or fail test!). Your home inspector will not provide estimates for the fixes and they will not suggest contractors to do the work (it’s a good idea to get three quotes for the repairs from independent businesses). By law, your home inspector isn’t allowed to share your home inspection report with anyone else but you (unless they have your permission to do so, it’s required by law or if there is a serious health or safety risk).
We hope this information was helpful! Got questions? Please leave your question in the comment section below.
What to expect from a home inspection
Top 5 tips if you’re buying a home
The ins and outs of your home inspection report
One thing left to do when you have paid off your mortgage!
4 thoughts on “What happens during a home inspection?”
Furthermore, it is typically in the best interest of the consumer to have the liberty of choice respected from the real estate agents. Beware of real estate agents that guide their clients into the inspection process with an inspector that may have a kinder eye due to the business relationship developed between the parties. This is a day to day concern and it is unfortunate that the BC government, whom is looking out for the best interest of consumers, doesn’t do something about it.
Hi Mark — You’ve brought up a good point, and you’re right that the law states that “a licensee must not have a conflict of interest in relation to a home inspection that results in a material gain to the licensee.” This is why we always recommend consumers do their independent research when it comes to hiring a home inspector — ask friends for referrals or call our office or use our online search tool if you want to find a list of licensed home inspectors in your area. If you believe a home inspector is not obeying BC’s home inspection law, we have a form on our website where you can make a report to our office and we can look into it. Here’s a link: https://www.consumerprotectionbc.ca/images/content/inquiries/HI%20Complaint%20Form%202014.pdf
Thats all fine and dandy, but whatever you think your doing to help isnt working. There are various inspection firms in my area of service that generate customer complaints time after time after time (we hear them), however many of the Realtors strangely keep referring these companies. Hmmmm. If there are 25 inspectors in an area, how do those 3 get on the list and not the others? Hmmm. Obviously not from doing a good job. The Real Estate industry should be over seen by Consumer Protection as well as home inspectors. Realtors referring home inspectors should be outlawed altogether, as its a huge conflict of interest. The government doesn’t seem to want to do anything (real) about it. The media doesn’t want to touch it. When is the government going to wake up? Its the remaining gorilla in the room
Hi Steve, thanks for your comment. If you feel as though you have complaints about home inspector firms in your area, please feel free to reach out to us – we want to hear from you. Our phone number here is 1.888.564.9963. While we do not have authority over real estate agents, the Real Estate Council of BC does and I’m sure they would want to hear from you too. Here is a link to their contact info: https://www.recbc.ca/about/contact.html. If you have any questions about the info I provided, please don’t hesitate to ask. Looking forward to hearing from you! – Amanda