The law doesn’t require that a potential buyer hire a building inspector as the buyer can make the visual examination him or herself. Hiring an expert, however, presumes the seriousness and attentive nature of the inspection. Moreover, the purchaser will be able to sue an inspector should he or she fail to identify an apparent flaw during the inspection. It is important to note that if apparent clues could indicate the presence of a hidden defect, a careful buyer should be diligent and make arrangements for a more detailed inspection by an expert. Without this extra step, it will be difficult to plead that the defect was truly hidden.
For example, if there is an apparent swelling in one of the walls due to humidity during an inspection, and the purchaser does not deal with the issue in greater depth, it will be difficult to establish that the defect was hidden when the reason for the swelling was poor water flow off the roof. The apparent clue of a more serious existing defect should set off alarm bells for an attentive inspector.