Buying a home requires careful research – lots of it. Research can take many forms – online research, open house inspections, feedback from local real estate agents and other people with good knowledge of the area of most interest to you. Once you have found the house you want there is still more research you should consider.

An apparent bargain may not be one if the home has defects that are hidden or visible but not understood – problems that might cost thousands of dollars to remedy. Had you known about them in advance, you probably would not have purchased the home or wanted to negotiate a much lower price. Similarly, paying top dollar for what appears to be an outstanding home does not guarantee that it is free of any unpleasant surprises.

A pre-purchase inspection carried out by a licensed building inspector with real world building experience could save you anguish and serious money. These inspections can be undertaken within a couple of days and represent valuable safeguard against buying an obvious lemon.

Pre-purchase inspections not only provide an invaluable assessment of the property by a building professional, they can also be part of a buyers’ negotiations strategy.

There are certain situations where pre-purchase inspections can be carried out with the consent of the property vendor.

If the property is being auctioned, the vendor might agree to a prospective purchaser arranging a pre-purchase inspection particularly if you were the first person to express a serious interest in the property soon after listing and indicated you might make a conditional offer prior to the auction, subject to a favorable pre-purchase building inspection report. The prospect of saving on auctioning costs and fewer occasions the home must be kept in pristine condition for open inspections, should appeal.

If you forget to commission a pre-purchase inspection prior to entering into a Contract of Sale on a residential property that is not subject to auction conditions, you still have a three working day cooling-off period in Victoria in which to get an inspection done and decide whether to proceed or withdraw from the contract.

If the property is listed for private sale, there could be greater scope to use a pre-purchase condition report to get and expert inspection to identify visible problem areas and provide an estimate of the remedial cost. Armed with this information, you are in a better position to negotiate a lower price – or to walk away from the sale altogether.

Building Masters’ inspectors are not only licensed building inspectors, they are builders with extensive experience in home renovations. They know what to look for and can advise on remedial options and provide a guide to costs.

For further information, call Building Masters Inspections on 1300 033 332 or visit the website Discuss and agree with them the scope of their inspection, the timing of the inspection and receipt of their report. Building Masters Inspections are good people to talk to and most helpful, too.