Part of the reason I started this blog was to inform others of mistakes past clients have made and educate my readers. In this week's blog, we deal with another potential issue in purchasing a resale property. As a result of high demand and low supply for resale residential real estate, the GTA housing market has come to understand multiple offer situations as commonplace. Often in a multiple offer situation, the Sellers encourage a potential buyer to submit an offer without conditions, what is otherwise known as a "clean offer". For the buyer, this means that all the normal steps that would be taken to investigate the property itself are dispensed with and no inspection of the property ever takes place. Of course, this is risky and dangerous as the buyer has no idea what problems await her after closing.
Sometimes, a shrewd listing agent will have an inspection report prepared and made available for a potential buyer to review prior to submitting an offer. Sounds pretty good, right? What if the inspector doesn't report all the problems in the report?
Using an inspection report prepared by the Seller's inspector is not a safe substitute for obtaining your own inspection report. For starters, you don't know if the inspector retained by the Seller is actually well qualified to prepare the report itself. More importantly, often these inspection reports have a disclaimer that it can not be relied upon by anyone other than the person who paid for it. If there are mistakes or errors in the report, it will be difficult to successfully sue the inspector since you never retained them.
If you do rely on an inspection report prepared for the Seller, you do so at your own risk.