Hugh Cairns: Home inspection guarantee’s


Finding a good home inspector will undoubtedly help you make an informed purchase decisions. More importantly a good home inspector will help you understand the condition of the home that you are contemplating buying. Photo: Contributed – (Hugh Cairns)

Hugh Cairns: Home inspection guarantee’s

What is a home inspection?

Well, that’s a great question and the answer varies greatly between inspectors and consumers. One thing we can all agree on is that a home inspections are very important. The best case scenario is that the home inspection will determine that the home is performing as it should. Ironically, there is an additional best case scenario, the one where the home inspector identifies a component that requires further investigation that can save you money or ones that avoid future problems.

The answer that the home inspection and consumer advocacy groups provides is the technical version. A home inspection is a visual inspection of the structure and components of a home to find items that are not performing correctly or items that are unsafe. If a problem or a symptom of a problem is found the home inspector will include a description of the problem in a written report and may recommend further evaluation.

What a home inspection is not –a home inspection does not pass or fail a home. Home inspections do not determine if a home meets zoning or building codes. A home inspection does not answer health concerns or regulations governing insurability.

Home inspection guarantees

Although some companies offer home inspection guarantees, they are more a ploy to secure sales than offer anything of substance. Guarantees simply just don’t apply to home inspections. There isn’t a home inspection contract that I know of that includes a guarantee or a warranty on a home’s condition. If an inspector is offering a guarantee then in my books it is a marketing manoeuvre.

Here is a popular home inspection guarantee…. “If your home inspector misses anything, we’ll buy your home back.” Sounds good? Too good to be true? You bet. Once you start with the fine print you’ll determine that defects not present at the time of inspection are not included. The guarantee lasts only 90 days – hardly enough time for a precondition to deteriorate. Only items that are specified in the Standards of Practice are included. If you pass this narrow criteria you may be able to sell the home to the guarantor for what you paid for the home – while that may sound good – you’ll have to pay up again for all your costs and go through the inconvenience of looking for and buying another home.