Home Inspection Review is a MUST for an Agent
Some Agents don’t like to get involved with home inspectors. Some Agents prefer that no inspections be undertaken. Some Agents don’t review the lengthy reports, and some Agents don’t review the summaries with their clients.
The objection seems to arise from the position that “it’s not my business…. it’s not my expertise”. A recent case would suggest that would be a foolhardy approach.
In Powell v. Lojko and Kirby et al., 2017 ONSC 2867, Mr. Justice Lederer placed liability upon a real estate agent who:
1) Failed to review a summary of the Inspection Report with the Buyer,
2) Failed to ask for a full copy of the Inspection Report,
3) Failed to explain to the Buyer the risks of proceeding without a Home Inspection,
4) Failed to be alert to the potential risks and failed to recognize apparent risks in the building.
5) Failed to caution the Buyer upon reliance on a third party summary report, without privity of contract.
This is an interesting case. The role of the home inspector and the home inspection report are serious matters for consideration in any real estate transaction.
What is the Agent to do?
It is important to note that in this particular case the Buyer never saw the full Report until it was too late. The Agent had included a provision for an inspection, but that was “struck out”. Maybe that should have been a “red flag” rather than ignored in the interests of getting the deal done.
While the summary noted the skylight leak which was placed in the Offer and which the Seller agreed to repair, it never identified the $150,000.00 mould problem in the basement.
In addition , there were two indicators of potential problems: a dormer and a flat roof. So, if the Agent is going to “go ahead” without an inspection, then the Agent will have to “step up their own game” when it comes to observations. If you don’t know buildings, then be sure to get an inspection.
Brian Madigan LL.B., Broker