It’s an unfortunate truth: the Melbourne building inspection industry is rife with under qualified inspection agencies with little to no experience — or a wealth of experience in the wrong areas — who are solely interested in how quickly they can get you to part with your money.

It gives the rest of us a bad name, and to be frank, it really pisses us off. Because of this, we thought we might write an article that outlines exactly what should be covered in a complete property inspection report.

First things First:

Not all Building Inspections are the same, so in the event you are searching for a low-cost inspector, you may be ignoring some vital facts:

The Government do not regulate the Building Inspection Industry, so many “inspectors” are inexperienced and may produce reports of little use to you (ie. those using the “Pre-Purchase” internet template or preparing the inadequate reports required by the Australian Standard).

The Australian Standard for Building Reports may sound impressive and official, but it merely provides for the provision of insufficient information. As such it’s not a good idea to settle for a report which uses the Australian Standard as a selling point.

An inaccurate and/or incomplete report often causes home buyers to misunderstand the condition of a property or miss out on an opportunity to re-negotiate the purchase price.

This situation creates a grave issue for property buyers – so please consider that not all Building Inspections are the same and not all reports are useful – whether the fee is high or low.

Property Inspection Report: The Whole Truth

At the end of the day, you should be handed a full report written in plain English which covers all elements of a thorough building inspection including:

– Building structural investigation

– Hidden defect exposure

– Overall condition of the property inc. Plumbing, Sewer, Drains

– Electrical Safety and Asbestos status

– Photos and a clear description of each defect

– Defect repair costs – immediate and long term

– Pest Inspection for Termites and Timber Borer

A complete property inspection report should also …

A comprehensive building and pest report should provide you with much more information than a limited “Pre-Purchase” Report. Many inspection reports are evasive, non-committal and of little use, so it is advisable not to book an inspection until you have reviewed an example of the inspectors’ report.

For example, our reports are the result of over 30 years’ experience inspecting, building and renovating properties – so we provide you with a full picture of the property which is significantly more useful information than offered by most other inspectors.

A quality building and property report should be conducted by a qualified registered builder, ex-builder or renovator – a senior man who has seen it all.

Knowing the big defects as well as the little ones is of the highest importance. The properties that appear well presented are often heavily disguised for selling purposes. There are houses that will stand up to a renovation and ones that simply that won’t. A good property inspector knows which properties are a disaster and which are entirely fixable.

Information is Power

It’s important you’re armed with quality information before you commit yourself. Some of our clients have saved themselves from buying a lemon based on the information we’ve given them and some have even negotiated much better buying prices because of our ‘repair costed’ building reports. It’s this simple – why should you pay top dollar when the property might need a lot of expensive work?

Time is of the Essence

Time is money and sometimes a missed opportunity is caused by a slow reaction.  You should be able to expect your property inspector to examine the property and hand you a report within 24 hours. It’s simply not acceptable to have wait for days to know if you should make an offer or bid at auction.

A Professional Eye

Nothing should escape a decent property inspectors’ eye for detail. A good building inspection report should provide you with a termite and asbestos inspection plus also include an estimated cost of repairs.

An invitation to join your building inspector at the examination

Having a report is not enough, you need to understand everything contained within it and how serious the defects are. If you want to meet with the inspector in person to gain a better understanding of the building’s condition, its future costs and to empower your negotiating position, that shouldn’t be a problem with your inspector unless they are in a hurry or have something to hide.

Building Repair Costs – Good Information plus a GREAT NEGOTIATING STRATEGY

You might find it useful as part of your pre-auction or private sale purchasing strategy to use our ‘repair costed’ report as a decision making and/or price negotiating tool – as it will highlight the cost of the building repairs required. Using this report a potential buyer can often set and/or successfully negotiate a lower purchase price, even after their offer might have been initially accepted, or in some circumstances even in auction conditions (ask us how).

Renovation and repair advice

This information can maximise the value of the property. So you have an understanding of the renovations opportunities, where to spend money, and where to save.

The final truth

Not all inspection reports are created equal. Taking the time to find a quality building inspector can save you thousands, potentially tens of thousands of dollars down the line.

At Building Masters Inspections, we take great pride in our work because we are of an age where we take the time to be thorough. We believe in building long term repeat relationships and we know that occurs because we do a good job.

Speak soon, Mike