6 things you need to know before hiring a home inspector.

By Nicola Pelzel, Contributing Editor


1.  Use a licensed home inspector who has references.  It is very important to use a licensed home inspector who has a home inspection certification (which is required since March 31, 2009) and is a member of an association.  Consider using Canadian Association of Home and Property Inspectors BC for a list of qualified home inspectors.

2.  Find out if the home inspector provides detailed written reports with picture documentation.  The report should cover all areas of the home from the roof to the foundation.  The report would outline, in detail, any problems that need to be rectified such as moisture penetration in the walls, mold and even pest infestations.

3.  Schedule the inspection at a time that is convenient for you and your Real Estate Agent to attend.  It is okay to ask questions while the inspector is examining the home and to mention any concerns about the home during the walk through.

4.  Understand which issues are important to address.  Safety issues such as improper electrical wiring and major defects like termite infestation are significant, but esthetics and minor flaws, like a chipped tile, are not.

5.  It is important to remember that a home inspection cannot eliminate all risks but only reduces the chances of a problem being undetected until after the purchase.

6.  Ask if the home inspector is trained to look for oil tanks.  If not, then it is beneficial to hire a company that specializes in oil tank inspections as you'll want to avoid potential high costs relating to oil tank contamination.  This is especially important for houses that were built before the 1970's.

These tips can be beneficial for sellers too because it helps the seller to be aware of what needs to be rectified before putting a home on the market.


Posted November 3, 2014.


Nicola Pelzel is a Real Estate Agent at RE/MAX Westcoast in Richmond, BC.  Her focus is on making the exploration, purchase, and sale of real estate a rewarding experience.