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Why a Pre-Purchase Inspection Matters

Posted by Sherry Rioux on July 20, 2007

I always strongly recommend to my buyer clients that they conduct a final inspection of their new property on the day set for closing the deal before their lawyer completes the registration.  This usually involves a quick walk through to make sure that the structure is in essentially the same condition as when they made their offer and that the included chattels are left behind.  We also want to make sure there has been no damage and that the mechanicals are working and no garbage left behind.  In 95% of cases, everything is just fine but sometimes…

A few years ago, I had a situation where my clients and I arrived to do a final inspection only to find the sellers comfortably watching TV.  Nothing had been packed and something was baking in the oven.  It turns out that the sellers confused the moving date by a full week!

On another closing day inspection, we arrived one winter day to find that the house, vacated two weeks earlier by the Sellers, had a foot of water in the basement caused by a burst pipe.  This was no small issue!

Another time, I arrived for a final inspection with my first time home buyers in tow to find the Sellers “just cleaning up.”  To them, that meant throwing about ten years of old newspapers down into the basement.  It meant loading the garage up with garbage, old boxes, BBQ’s, mattresses and other junk that wouldn’t find a buyer at a give-away yard sale.  When I say filled the garage up, I mean filled from wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling.  When I spoke to the Seller about removing the garbage, he decided to take an unprovoked swing at my buyer!

In the end, thankfully we were able to resolve all of these situations to the satisfaction of my clients but had they not done an inspection first, there would likely have been no or limited recourse.  Always, always, do a final inspection before closing or, beware of what surprises you may find.

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