The do's and don'ts of finding the right Building Inspector

Buying a home or property is an exciting but often complicated process! At PestBuildLegals, we strongly believe that the key to a successful purchase is to engage the best team of professionals from the start. From a property conveyancer, a mortgage broker to a pest inspector, it is always worth doing your research. After all, you have done the hard yards just finding ‘the dream property’, now you must invest a little more time putting together “the dream team”.

The Building Inspector

Once your offer has been accepted, the contract of sale will depend on several pre-purchase inspections and reports. A building inspector will conduct an independent visual assessment of the property and document any defects that he or she might find. These could be both major defects that could influence your decision to proceed with the purchase, or minor defects that can often be remedied before you settle. In this article, we take a closer look at how to go about finding the right building inspector for you and your property.

The do’s and do not’s’

Do not: Accept the real estate agent’s recommendations

Real estate agents have a vast array of contacts that they can call upon. But always remember, the agent works for the seller, i.e., the person selling the house that you are going to buy. It is in the agent’s best interests that the sale goes through with as few hiccups as possible. As such, it may not be the best idea to go with their recommended builder. Instead, always opt for independence. By finding your own builder, you are guaranteeing that they only represent you and your best interests.

Do not: Forget to ensure that they are qualified!

The first crucial step in your search is to ensure that your building inspector has all the required qualifications and certifications to allow them to deliver pre-purchase building inspections. In Queensland, the regulatory body that oversees and regulates building inspectors is called the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (the QBCC).

The QBCC states that all inspectors must hold a current ‘Completed Residential Building Inspector Licence’ to operate legally. As such, it is vital that you see evidence of this.

Do: Ensure that they are insured.

Just like your pest Inspector, your building inspector should also have up-to-date professional indemnity insurance. This is insurance that protects you from loss or harm that could result if they make a mistake; for example, by missing a major defect found later in your home!

Do: Ask for and compare Home Inspection Reports

Whist there are minimum standards that inspectors will look for, some builders go into greater depth than others. Ask prospective building inspectors for a sample report detailing exactly what their inspection will and will not cover and what level of detail it goes into. You can compare different inspectors based on the difference and extent their report covers. Remember, the more in-depth and thorough the report, the more informed you are as a buyer.

Do: Consider their training and experience

Whilst the building and construction industry is highly regulated, personal experience and training will vary from one builder to the next. It is therefore important to ask the builder how long they have been working within the industry and how many building inspections they conduct a month. Like any profession, experience is invaluable. The ten-year veteran will likely have inspected hundreds of more properties than a new builder. Experience is particularly important when you are buying older or more complicated properties or builds.

Do: Ask more questions!

To really understand if you are getting good value, it is important to make sure you have the right questions ready when you call up a building inspector. We have covered some of the major ones, but you should feel free to ask what does the total price include? How soon after the inspection will I receive the report? Can I attend the inspection with you?

Final thoughts

Don’t: Forget to check reviews!

Always ‘google’ a business and see what others are saying about them. Not every business has perfect reviews, especially if they have been in operation for a long time, but often you can see a trend of happy customers (or not). Do not leave it to chance! Make sure you inspect the inspectors!

Written by Ben Saravia,  

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