Home Inspection Checklist: What (Really) Needs Fixed?

8 common house selling mistakes

The Greater Toronto Area housing market has begun to cool. Because of this, sellers usually need to put more of an effort into selling their homes. However, slightly lower prices also mean you don’t want to put too much money into a house you’re selling. If you’re preparing to sell your home, you may have already made upgrades to make your home more desirable to buyers. But, you may also need to complete a home inspection. But once your inspector hands you the home inspection checklist, how do you know what you really need to fix? Are all repairs mandatory or are they optional? Let’s take a look at what you need to know about home inspections and the related repairs in Canada.

What Does a Home Inspection Include?

In Canada, home inspections are not mandatory when selling a home. However, it’s common for buyers to complete a home inspection and require it to be satisfactory before they purchase the home. If your potential buyer wants a home inspection, it will usually happen after they make an offer, but before you close. Alternatively, some sellers actually choose to get an inspection. A completed inspection report may help bring in potential buyers. Either way, an inspection provides an objective and independent analysis of the state of your home. It can be used to determine if there are any fixes you need to make. Most home inspections take about one to three hours, depending on the size and location of your property. The inspector will complete a detailed walkthrough of the interior and exterior of your home. Oftentimes, they take photos and detailed notes for their report.

What’s Included

A home inspection is non-invasive and visual. This means while they look at many aspects of your home, there are parts that they don’t. Most aspects are related to the structure, safety, and integrity of the home. Some key parts include:
  • Structure (including foundation, walls, and roof)
  • Site (including driveway, fence, deck, and lot)
  • Windows and insulation
  • Plumbing, water heaters, fixtures
  • Heating and cooling system
  • Electrical systems
  • Interior finishes (including floors, cabinets, and trim)
  • Fire and life safety systems
Some inspectors use the CSA A770 home inspection standards as their procedures. This is a voluntary set of standards created by a non-profit group that was created to give home buyers and sellers standards in their home inspection.

What’s Not Included

There are also a few specific things a home inspection usually doesn’t cover. In general, these are usually aspects that aren’t directly related to safety, structural or mechanical integrity, function, or local standards. This means your home inspection won’t look at:
  • Separate structures (including pools, hot tubs, and sheds)
  • Cosmetic fixtures
  • Fireplaces
  • Water quality
  • Building code adherence

What Needs to Be Fixed?

Home inspection reports don’t give you a “pass/fail” rating. This means there are not necessarily things that need to be fixed in order to sell your home. They also don’t make repair recommendations or estimates of these repairs. You’ll need to review the report with your real estate agent to determine what you need to fix. Sometimes lenders make requirements in order to allow their mortgage to be used on a certain house. If this is the case, you’ll most likely be required to fix:
  • Foundation cracks
  • Roof leaks
  • Inoperable or faulty HVAC, electrical, or plumbing systems
Depending on the housing market, you may be encouraged, though not required to fix other items. In these cases, you may want to make sure any major ticket items are fixed, as well as ones that buyers would find detractive if they are not repaired. Your real estate agent will be able to help you create a checklist for home inspection repairs that focuses on what repairs are most necessary. If a buyer is the one requesting a home inspection, they may make the purchase contingent on certain repairs. If so, they will give you a list of the repairs they want you to fix before the sale goes through. Alternatively, buyers can ask for a decrease in the sale price. This can help them cover the cost of the repairs.

Where to Find Home Service Providers

If you complete an inspection, you’ll need to find a few different Toronto home services. You can use Souqh to make it easier to connect with providers and manage your relationship with them. The first provider you’ll need is an inspector. In Canada, there is not much regulation on home inspectors. Ontario is in the process of making licensing mandatory, while Alberta and British Columbia already require licenses. Because of this, you should be very careful in choosing a home inspector. Start by getting recommendations from friends or your real estate agent. Additionally, you can make sure your potential inspectors are registered with the Canadian Association of Home and Property Inspectors (CAHPI) group. Start by using Souqh's marketplace to find home inspectors that you are interested in. You can then call to connect with them. If you do need to make repairs to your home, you’ll need to hire home improvement contractors. Souqh can make it easy to narrow down your options here too. This includes handymen, plumbers, builders, window and door professionals, and more.

Make Your Home Inspection Checklist

Creating your home inspection checklist will allow you to take care of what you need to without spending too much extra money. Make sure to choose a trusted home inspector and complete the repairs that will help you sell your home. Get started with Souqh today to make managing your home journey easier than ever.

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