Two questions we hear all too often: “Aren’t Building Inspection Reports all pretty much the same” and “shouldn’t I just get the inspector offering the lowest price?”
The answer to both questions is definitely not! Some building inspectors are true professionals and a home buyer’s best friend. These inspectors will protect you from making an expensive mistake by uncovering hidden building faults and they can also provide a costing of the repair work the property requires as part of the report, which can help you negotiate a lower purchase price. Many inexperienced so-called inspectors do not have these skills and produce reports which are close to useless.
Here are the ‘must have’s’ when choosing a Building Inspector:
- Check they have all the right Registered Building Practitioner qualifications
- Make sure they have extensive practical experience (there is no such thing as a good young inspector)
- Ask if they are qualified in costing building repairs and can provide the repair costs of the reported building defects
- Request an example of their report and check if it is written in clear, unambiguous language with a large number of photos and make sure that it’s easy to understand
- Make sure the bulk of this example report deals specifically with the property and is not otherwise full of standardised clauses and legal disclaimer wording
- Ask if the inspector will meet with you after the inspection for a private discussion about the property
Then search for other equally qualified inspectors and get some quotes. Be aware that architects often charge high fees and inexperienced inspectors charge low fees; the right professional inspector will charge a fee somewhere in the middle.
Some golden Rules:
- Do not choose an unregistered Building Inspector with a low price as their report will most likely be a waste of time and money.
- Always choose a Registered Builder when you want Building Condition advice and choose an Architect when you want design advice.
- Watch out for dodgy advertising claims like the so-called Inspection Guarantee “we will fix it if we miss it” – these claims are most often bogus and may not be worth the paper they’re written on.
You can always ask the Building Commission if you are not sure – 1300 815 127
Thanks for reading and happy house hunting,