I am looking at buying a Home and my Realtor says I don’t need an inspection as the home has been pre-inspected. Is this true?
If the home owner told you everything was OK with the home and you didn’t need to have it inspected, would you believe them?
Does the pre-listing inspection report say that the Inspector will warrant everything they saw at that inspection is as it it is now?
If the answer to both of those questions are NO, then you have just been made aware that the process of purchasing a Home places the legal doctrine of “Caveat Emptor” or “Buyer beware” on you.
You, as a buyer, are responsible for ascertaining, to the best of your ability, what the condition of the property is before you buy it. This means either you need to know how to identify defects in a property or to engage the services of a Professional Home Inspector to inspect the property FOR YOU.
The Inspection should be performed in compliance with an industry recognised standard for Residential Homes such as the Canadian Standards Association CAN/CSA A770-16 Home Inspection Standard. You should be given an inspection agreement that outlines this and the services the Inspector will supply and be given time to read it and sign it BEFORE the inspection.
Remember, a prelisting inspection was not performed for you, nor did you sign any agreement with the inspector to ensure they were responsible for the information in the inspection with regard to how you might use it.
Most prelisting inspections performed today are limited scope engagements that look at certain items of the home and only for certain conditions. You’ll see them all of the internet, 5-point, 4-point, 7-point and walkthroughs. None of these inspections performed for a seller are worth the paper they are written on with respect to a buyer like yourself.
You could ask the inspector who performed the prelisting inspection to reinspect the home for you, with a new agreement and to the higher standards, but then, why wouldn’t you just use an inspector of your choice. It least it ensures you’ve performed your own due diligence.
Your Realtor should know this. Ask your Realtor to put it in writing that they told you a Home Inspection was not needed.
The answer will likely be as resounding a “NO!” as is likely the answers to the first two questions at the top of my answer.
And if, as I suspect your Realtor does say “NO!” then I would seriously consider if their advice was worth taking at all, let alone about something so important as a Home Inspection.