Inspection – a Must Do

Buyer Beware

When buying property the principle of caveat emptor applies. Buyers need to satisfy themselves as to the condition of the property they wish to acquire. The only exception is the requirement that sellers disclose material latent defects of which they are aware.


Latent defect:

A hidden or concealed defect that would not be discovered during the course of a reasonable inspection.

Patent Defect:

A defect which is plainly visible or which can be discovered during the course of a reasonable inspection.

In B.C. a seller has a duty to disclose material latent defects, but not defects that are patent.

A recommended practice for Realtors® is to advise you to conduct an inspection to discover patent defects. Before you sign, be certain that this condition is part of your offer to purchase. The inspection by a qualified person gives you the opportunity to find defects not observable during casual viewing.

You Lose

Here’s a judges decision against a buyer seeking remediation who chose not to conduct an inspection prior to purchase.

The BC Court of Appeal dismisses appeal

    A purchaser who has no knowledge of house construction may not recognize that he or she has observed evidence of defects or deficiencies. In that case, the purchaser’s obligation is to make reasonable inquiries of someone who is capable of providing the necessary information and answers. A purchaser who does not see defects that are obvious, visible, and readily observable, or does not understand the implications of what he or she sees, cannot impose the responsibility and liability on the vendor to bring those things to his or her attention. (Cardwell v. Perthen, 2007)

Protect yourself

Engage a qualified professionals to inspect and advise you on the condition of the property.

About Larry Yatkowsky

Larry is a recognized real estate expert. A veteran professional, his experienced counsel leads Vancouverites in his west side community to place their trust in a man passionate about his work. Uncompromising ethics bring a balanced approach to realizing your real estate dreams.

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*Disclaimer: Statistics Courtesy REBGV. While believed to be accurate they are not guaranteed.
**Numbers provided may vary as they are dynamically posted by the REBGV.

Reader Comments:

Ines Says:
January 19th, 2008 at 9:48 pm

Hi Larry – there are obvious similarities in the way we handle real estate transactions here in the states starting with inspections.

One of my pet peeves is that in some states, home inspectors are not regulated and may not find the important defects of a home. I have written many articles about it to educate the consumer and make them aware that even inspectors miss things.

January 20th, 2008 at 11:49 am

Hi Ines

Re: not regulated.
I’m checking into it but at this moment I think you can take the test on the web, I’m not even sure if you have to pay, and become a fully qualified home inspector.

This was on my to-do post list. thanks for moving it up a couple of levels. 🙂

Ines Says:
January 20th, 2008 at 4:07 pm

I think I pushed a button, didn’t I Larry? I’m glad I’m not the only one that is worried about what these home inspectors stand for and what kind of service they provide.

January 20th, 2008 at 4:43 pm

Well you certainly reminded me of some history that is worthy of repeating. Thanks for that. 🙂

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