1. Must Have "Subject To Building Inspection Condition"
The first and most important is that you must have the “Subject to building inspection” or ” Subject to building and Pest Inspection ” clause in the contract. This clause enables you to pull out the contract if you are not happy with the condition of the property.
The buyer must be careful as not all the “Subject the building inspection” clause does not give the right to withdraw from the sale. The clause must be carefully worded to give the power to the buyers.
Building inspection should happen before the sale. As a buyer, it is your right to know whether the property is worth investment or not. The buyer should clearly discuss and mention in the written communication about the building inspection to avoid any conflict in later stages.
2. Hire An Independent Building Inspector
Always hire an independent building inspector. Here independent building inspector means that a building inspector without any conflict of interest such as being associated with the real estate agent. Some real estate agents offer free building inspection service through their designated building inspector. As a buyer, you should never go with a realtor’s building inspector.
When you hire a building inspector through the real estate agent, it creates a conflict of interest. Real estate agents want to sell that property by boasting about the property. Whereas the job of the building inspector is to provide you a list of the building issues in the property. There may be some defects in the property that can result in the deal breaker. This may annoy the real estate agent with the inspector who is giving work to the building inspector.
Now to make things favorable to the real estate agent, the building inspector prepares the inspection report in collusion with the real estate agent. We have seen building inspection reports where inspectors have omitted or tone down the serious building defects just to let the deal go through. This lead to the sale of the property but heavy losses for the buyer.
So Building Inspection Council always recommends hiring a building inspector independent of the real estate agent.
3. Must Get Written Report
Always choose a building inspector who provides a written building inspection report. Some building inspectors may offer discounts on verbal reports. Firstly, this is unprofessional on the part of the building inspector. Any competent and professional building inspector will always give you a written building inspection report. Secondly, this is a situation where a little saving will cost you many more times over a long time.
A written building inspection provides you the document which you can refer to later on. Also if you are canceling the contract on the basis of the inspection, then the seller may ask for a copy of the report.
A verbal report cannot be relied upon and exposes the buyer to risks. A building inspector providing the verbal report may unreliable and shallow. So, It is highly recommended that you get a written building inspection report instead of an unreliable verbal report.
As mentioned earlier, a building inspection is a must to protect the buyer from future building defects. But building inspection from an unprofessional and incompetent building inspection is as bad as a no-building inspection. A written building inspection report from the independent building inspector can provide great value over its cost.