Recent summers have taught our population that home inspections are of the utmost importance (thanks, Canada Day floods). Nobody wants to be caught unaware of their home’s weaknesses during a prairie flash flood or other storm. Your home inspection gives you the “nitty-gritty” safety and structural details so you know all about the investment you’ll be making. Not sure of the process, or what to expect? We’ve been there. That’s why we’ve compiled our best tips in a checklist for you.


Make Sure the Contingency is in the Contract

Signing a contract

Ensure that there’s a home inspection contingency, a.k.a. a “Due Diligence” contingency in the sales contract. This outlines that a professional home inspection will take place at a specified time on the house in question. Often, this time is placed one to two weeks after the date you’ve signed the contract, allowing you time to find a great inspector.


Hire the Right Inspector

Photo of a home inspector.

A good inspector is one that has a combination of education and experience. Certification, after all, is there for a reason! Tempered with experience, your inspector will have a deep understanding of the region, soil, pests and home builders.


Attend the Appointment

Home inspector and homeowner

If it’s going to be your home, you should attend this appointment. While you’re there, the inspector can tell you exactly how bad things are or aren’t; an impression that doesn’t always come through clearly through a report. Check out the standard report in the related links section of this blog post to become familiar with problem areas yourself. Some inspectors go above and beyond, or report things differently, but there’s no harm in learning what the basics are.


Do Your Homework

A man squinting to read the fine print.

Read your report! If your home inspector has noted any problems they will precede them with severity. These are usually written as:


- Material defect: An issue that might pose a potential safety hazard or have a considerable impact on the home’s value.


- Major defect: A system or component that isn’t working and needs replacement or repair.


-Minor defect: A small problem that can be fixed by a contractor or the homeowner.


-Cosmetic defect: A superficial flaw that doesn’t impact safety or functionality.


More inspections

Agent holding a home.

If the home inspector makes note of any potential pest damage, suspicious stains or smells, you might need to make appointments for additional concerns.



Image of woman thinking.

Once all the results are in, this is when you decide if the home is right. If you have issues, are they too costly to repair? Too hazardous? Out of your league? Push your move in date farther away? As long as you’re still within your contingency period, you’ve still got options:

 - Continue as planned, with the same price and terms you initially agreed upon.

- Renegotiate the price with the seller or ask for credits toward your closing costs which cover damage repairs.

- Ask the seller if they can make certain repairs.

- Cancel your purchase contract outright and back out of the deal if it’s not the house for you.



Paper evaluation

If the seller makes repairs, contact your Century 21 agent to schedule a walk-through of the home to make sure the repairs are going well so your closing is on track. If they were major repairs, call your inspector back. They are worth the cost when it comes to safety and you / your family.


Close that Deal

Photo of home and house keys

Once everything has been taken care of, you can move forward with the rest of the paperwork and get those keys!

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