How to be sure your home inspector is qualified

Home inspection is an unregulated industry in Canada. You can potentially minimize your buying risk by learning how to tell if your inspector is qualified.

How to be sure your home inspector is qualified

Buying your first home is one of the most important purchases of your life, but it can also be an anxiety-ridden process. To get peace of mind when making your decision, consider having a pre-purchase home inspection conducted.

  • A pre-purchase inspection helps provide you with information about the condition of your potential new home or property to help save you money and prevent you from buying a money pit.

Find your own inspector

If you're working with a realtor, they can typically suggest an inspector for you.

  • What's important to keep in mind is that in some circumstances, this can present a conflict of interest if their commission is based on the final selling price of the house.
  • At the risk of a home inspector working in the interest of your realtor, taking the time to find an unbiased third-party home inspector yourself will go a long way.

How to choose a qualified inspector

Here are few things to consider when deciding who to hire for the job.

  • Can you attend the home inspection? It's always a good idea to be present during the home inspection. If your inspector does not want to allow you to be present, this should raise some flags.
  • Did the inspector come recommended? Word-of-mouth from a trusted source is also a good way to ensure who you are hiring is qualified for the job. The trusted source can vouch for their qualifications based on previous experience with the inspector.
  • Do the inspectors offer guarantees? Some companies or independent home inspectors offer guarantees for their service. If something was missed, improperly evaluated or inaccurately noted, a refund is typically offered.
  • The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation recommends home buyers use a checklist they’ve established, listing areas of a property that should be inspected. Once you’ve received your inspection report, compare it to the checklist to see if anything was missed.
  • Choose an inspector who is certified or has received training by a legitimate independent provincial association. These associations typically operate under the Canadian Association of Home and Property Inspectors (CAHPI), who have established standards of practice, codes of ethics, and a hierarchy of membership categories. Home inspectors are expected to have knowledge of and training in plumbing, heating, electrical, cooling and roofing. (Note that these associations operate differently from province to province.)
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