Professional building inspections

When signing a contract of sale, it is recommended you make one of your conditions subject to a building inspection that is satisfactory to you. As the buyer, you will be responsible for contracting and paying for a suitably qualified building inspector, surveyor or architect to provide a professional building inspection report. The fee for a professional inspection service is small compared with the cost of buying a property that needs extensive unforeseen repairs. A qualified inspector will know what to look for and will see through any cosmetic improvements that cover up faults.

Be wary of any property inspection report offered by the agent or the seller. The independence of a report is only guaranteed if it is obtained specifically by and for the buyer.

The inspector will provide a written report listing:

  • faults in the property 
  • whether they can be repaired 

The report will also highlight any unsafe renovations and/or extensions. The inspector may provide an estimate of rectification costs, if specifically requested.

You may be able to use the report to:

  • negotiate the price and conditions in the contract with the seller 
  • develop a maintenance program if you decide to buy the property.

Use an inspection service with full professional indemnity insurance. This will protect you if the inspection misses a problem that must be fixed. 

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