Don’t Assume Your Building and Pest Inspection Reports Are Right
A building and pest inspection is a vital part of buying a home – but don’t assume just because you have a building and pest report that it is accurate. Recently a report done for my client John missed termite damage. When I picked up the issue, which would cost $1000 to fix, I leveraged it to negotiate $10,000 off the previously agreed sale price. (in case of long term damage). Discover what happened here.
Not All Building and Pest Inspections Are Accurate
It’s common practice to get a building and pest inspection, but not all inspection reports are accurate. A report by a combined building and pest inspector for my client John was wrong. As his buyer’s agent John gave me the report to review. When I read the report it commented on termite mud in the roof cavity – but did not explain, or explore, the situation further.
The termite mud comment prompted me to do a physical inspection myself and to encourage John to engage a dedicated termite contractor. When the termite specialist did his inspection he found the mud was not termite workings, but black ant works – he also found severe termite damage that had been completely missed in the first inspection.
The cost to fix the termite damage was $1,000 – but I used the issue to negotiate $10,000 back in favour of my buyer – in case of long term damage.
If I had not done further investigations, read the report and picked up the issue the situation could have been completely missed. As well as saving money on the purchase price, it will also saved money in the long term in case further termite damage had occurred.
Make Sure Your Building and Pest Inspector Thoroughly Inspects Your Dream Property
One of the big issues I find is that some building and pest inspectors do not thoroughly inspect the places they’ve been engaged to look at.
I’ve had two experiences where the building inspector has either not investigated a roof cavity or has not bothered to access a subfloor due to cardboard boxes, stating he was “not a removalist”. Once I moved the boxes he did the check. If I’d not been on site at the time this would not have happened.
In other situations:
- the inspector did not test the air-conditioning – it needed to be replaced at a cost of $2000
- an incompetent assessment of a roof guttering cost the owner $5000 after a storm.
So you need to make sure your building inspector is physically fit enough and diligent enough to do a thorough job. You need to make sure they have crawled into spaces under the house and in the roof cavity too. A quick tick and flick job could cost you thousands of dollars.
Make Sure You Can Understand the Building and Pest Inspection Report
It’s also vital you can understand your building and pest report. Many reports are full of disclaimers and confusing language which means you cannot rely on the report.
This is a big concern when you are making a purchase on a home that, for most of us, represents our most significant capital asset. You also don’t want to walk away from a perfectly good home due to an unreliable report.
A Thorough Buyers Agent Will Do Thorough Physical Inspections Too
One of the things I pride myself on is doing thorough physical inspections before I ask my clients to engage a formal building and pest inspector.
As a buyers agent, I do thorough inspections for my clients – I roll my sleeves up, crawl into spaces in roofs and under houses to check for structural, termite and other damage. I use a moisture meter to check for any rising damp in and around my client’s potential new property.
This saves my clients’ time as I only ever show them properties that are worthwhile buying.
It also saves at least $600 per inspection – as they only spend money getting reports for a property I recommend is worth buying.
Often these inspections also result in other savings which could amount to thousands of dollars depending on the specific situation.
This is all part of my service and there is no extra cost – but the peace of mind I have seen it give my clients is enormous. They know when they engage me I am saving them money on EVERY step of the purchase process. I’m not there just to negotiate the contract or auction – I am checking for cost savings in every single step of the way – from initial research through to final contract negotiation.
Tips for Managing Your Building and Pest Inspections
So next time you are considering a building and pest inspection my tips are:
- Do get a building and pest inspection – it’s a vital part of the buying process that shouldn’t be overlooked
- Get a separate building inspector and pest inspector – this ensures they are a specialist
- Get testimonials/references for the person you look to engage
- Read each report thoroughly – or get help from someone who can understand the terminology
- Check your inspector is physically fit enough to gain access to subfloors and roof spaces
- Be aware of disclaimers in the reports – many reports have disclaimers that are vaguely worded and can be misleading
- Be aware building inspectors cannot comment on electrical matters unless they are a licensed electrician.
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