This is often one of the first question home buyers and sellers ask me. You have spent a lot of time searching for a home that is just right for you, but how much time will you spend searching for the right home inspector? Do you really want the inspector with the cheapest fee to inspect one of the most expensive purchases you will ever make? What are the inspector’s qualifications? Do they have the proper certification?
Physical size alone is a big factor in home inspection cost. Compare a condo at 1200 SqFt to a single family house at 3000 SqFt. Naturally it is going to take a home inspector less time to inspect the condo and more time to inspect the single house.
Older homes have the potential of hiding more, especially if there hasn’t been any updates in several years. Newer homes, however, have been built using more current building code requirements. So the chances of running across outdated building materials is much less likely on a 10 year old house. Some inspection reports could take less than an hour to complete, while others might take several hours.
Some inspectors may produce a hand written report with checkboxes, while others deliver an electronic version with pictures incorporated throughout. Hand written reports are fine as long as they're organized and legible. But in my opinion, nothing compares to an electronic version using a report writing software package. Ottawa Area Home Inspections produces amazing electronic reports using Horizon Inspection Software. If you would like to see an example of what type of report you will get, check out this sample report.
Let’s put things into perspective. You are planning on upgrading and decide to sell your house for $450,000. Most real estate agents charge 4% to 5% to sell it for you. So that commission rate would translate into $18,000 to $22,500. While that may seem like a lot, the amount of work they do for you is really quite incredible.
So now your house is as good as sold and you come across a new house to buy. The sale price is negotiated to $500,000. Let’s say the cost of a home inspection is $500, that would work out to be 0.1% of the cost of the house. Even paying $1000 for a home inspector would be a bargain, and yet most are around half of that amount or less. If you are willing to pay up to $22,500 for an Ottawa real estate agent to sell your house, what is the value of knowing exactly what you are buying?