If you are selling your home, you may have heard of other vendors including clauses in their Sale and Purchase agreement stating they will not entertain any offers that have a Home Inspection clause. Indeed your Realtor may advise you to do this as being in your best interests. We disagree, and encourage you to either have or allow a Home Inspection.
After all, in Ontario, according to the regulations, Realtors are required by regulation to promote and protect the best interests of their clients. You could be told that refusing offers that have a Home Inspection clause may sell your house quicker, or create less problems during the sale process and therefore be in your best interests. This is not necessarily the case.
Choosing to refuse offers that have a Home Inspection clause invariably leads the buyer to consider that you may be hiding something. Indeed if there is a defect with your home and you choose to deny someone the right to inspect, and the defect turns out to be a Patent Defect then if the buyer chooses to sue, the courts will likely come down on the side of the buyer, and you could be thousands out of pocket.
If you chose not to entertain an offer with a home Inspection clause, and the buyer asks if you are aware of any defects and you state no, and a defect is subsequently found the situation is even worse. You could be sued not only for damages, but also for negligent misrepresentation or worse still fraud (which is a criminal act).
Reduce your liability
If you truly believe your home is free of any major defects, it doesn’t hurt to allow the Buyer to engage a Professional home Inspector. The liability of any patent defects then passes to the inspector. As you are unaware of any defects anything the Inspector can’t visibly find, would be considered a latent defect, and again, no liability would be apportioned to you.
If you think you might have some concerns with anything in the home, then we strongly encourage you to have a pre-listing inspection, again using a Professional Home Inspector. The cost against the alternative is minimal, and frequently, a Home Inspector can advise you of ways of repairing a problem inexpensively. This is because they have no vested interest in performing the repairs, unlike a Contractor.
Get the right Inspector
We recommend you select your own Inspector. If you trust you Realtor, then advice as to local inspectors would be worth taking. Ensure the Inspector is a bona-fide member in good standing of a recognised association. You can check the credentials of many inspectors through the Ontario Association of Home Inspectors website at out Inspector Search service. Not only does this service identify the Inspector but gives you current information upon their designations, education and service offerings.