What’s the point of a pre-listing inspection?

January 2, 2019

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If you want to sell your home, it’s a good idea to get an inspection FIRST to show that you’re serious—and trustworthy. Plus it gives potential buyers a heads-up on any work they might be looking at before they make an offer.

For Pascal Parent, head of the Quebec Association of Building Inspectors (AIBQ), a pre-listing inspection is definitely a smart choice. “It’s a good way for the seller to be proactive and assess the condition of the building. That way there are no nasty surprises like major repairs that need to be done, and you avoid lawsuits,” he says. Considering that a property is usually the biggest investment a person makes in their life, Parent thinks pre-listing inspections should be mandatory, not just done as needed.

After the inspection, sellers can either decide to do any necessary work themselves or simply inform the future buyer what needs to be fixed. Either way, this step can help both parties seal the deal.

How it works

The building inspector’s job is the same whether it’s a pre-listing or pre-purchase inspection. First, the professional visually inspects the accessible parts of the property. Next the inspector draws up a detailed report describing the condition of the premises, including the foundation, roof, exterior siding or other façade elements, plumbing, electrical, HVAC, insulation, and interior fixtures.

However, some things are impossible for an inspector to detect. That’s where outside experts come in, for example for a French drain. Note that a pre-listing inspection does not prevent “buyers from hiring their own inspectors, but it does show that the seller is serious and makes potential buyers feel more confident,” says the Association professionnelle des notaires du Québec.

Check it out: Two years ago the Soumission Inspecteur website was created to help consumers find reliable building inspectors in their region (in French). Users submit a short questionnaire and three inspectors will contact them with a proposal. This free service is a great way to compare multiple offers.

You can also always ask your professional real estate broker to give you a list of trusted building inspectors.


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