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What's included in a Pre-Purchase Pest Inspection Report?

Written by Ben Saravia,  
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When you decide to make an offered property, you will often hear people say  "congratulations - have you arranged your pest build legals yet?". This is basically them asking if you have had the building and pest inspectors in, as without their thumbs up, you will not be able to proceed with the purchase!  

Your contract will be conditional on pre-purchase pest, building and legal reports. These inspections ensure that there are no hidden defects, pending repairs or structural issues with your new property, and if there are - you can use them to price negotiate or in some circumstances withdraw your offer. In this article, we will take a closer look at both what to expect and how to get the most out of your Pest Inspection. 


What is a Pre-Purchase Pest Inspection? 

This visual inspection is completed by a trade qualified and licensed Pest Inspector who will attend the property and provide an unbiased report as to whether there are pests, pest damage, or future issues that you will need to be aware of. This is more than a case of looking for cockroaches - but involves a professional look for evidence for termites and other pests that can cause severe structural damage.  To find out more about termites and wood borers, click here




Minimum Requirements

Not all Pre-purchase Pest Inspections are the same. Before you book your Pest Inspector, you need to know what is included in the inspection and how do they differ from other providers. At a minimum, all Pre-Purchase Pest Inspections should include the following. 


1. The entire property.

Firstly, your Pest Inspection must cover the entire property. Be clear with the Pest Inspector and let them know the extent of the property and any outbuildings and considerations to ensure that it is completely covered. At a minimum, the report will include all buildings, fixtures, fittings and finishes, the roof exterior, under-floor space, small retaining walls, and surface water drainage.


2. Major and Minor defects 

The report will identify major and minor Pest Related defects as well as current and future maintenance issues to be aware of.


3. Recommendations regarding Costs and Treatments 

A good inspection report will be easy to read, including all of the above considerations and will also address and recommend treatments and the costs of rectifying any issues.

This is a basic overview of what should be included as a minimum. Where Inspections and services differ is the extent and care of the inspection, the expertise of the inspector and the extras or extent of the inspection. Whilst Pest Inspectors are licensed professionals, the report is not guaranteed to find every defect. However, some inspectors will go the extra mile beyond the visual inspection. Here are some points of difference.




Pest Inspections that go beyond the minimum


They allow you to attend the inspection yourself

Some providers will allow you to be present at the inspection so that you can get a first-hand look at any issue and familiarise yourself with your future property. Its a great learning opportunity. 


They include a comprehensive Timber Report 

Termite and wood borers are a huge concern for homeowners (especially in Queensland) so ensure that your inspector has a robust timber report which includes: Condition and type of material of the constitution, Timber pest activity, treatment and costs


They use technology and experience to inspect high risk and hidden parts of the property.

Ensure that you ask the inspector how they address less obvious and hidden high-risk areas like the sub-floor and roof voids and hollow walls.  Technology has come a long way to help inspectors see high-risk areas which were once impossible to reach or even see without causing damage. Some Inspectors utilise thermal imaging devices as well as mould and moisture sensors to detect pest activity and presence where the eyes can see. 


They have specialist knowledge and expertise 

Whilst all inspectors are required to be licenced, it pays to ask a potential inspector what experience they have in the area or with this type of property. For example, if you are buying a classic Queenslander, you will be better served by a company that has a history in this unique type of building.  There is no substitute for experience! 


They have a great after service 

How quickly can they attend the property? What is the turnaround time for the report? What of the above considerations are included and what are extras?


Final thoughts: Cost and Quotes 

At PestBuildLegals, you can easily receive 3 quotes and callbacks from our network of trusted and local providers. And whilst we all want to make a saving (especially considering the costs of homeownership) it really pays to get a great Pest Inspector. Whilst savings can be made be by going for the lowest price, you could end up paying considerably more further down the line. Whatever you decide, the key is to not be afraid to ask them what is their experience? What differentiates them from other providers? Can I attend? What technology do they have? This does not have to be an exhaustive interview, but the answers can tell you if they are the right person for the job! 

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