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Peter Rogozik Property Consulting

The pre-purchase building inspection

A pre-purchase building and pest inspection is essential for all property purchases. I am astounded that many buyers do not obtain a report. With the Melbourne median house price at around $820,000 a report costing just hundreds of dollars should be considered essential.

Over the years I have had some clients grumble about the amount of disclaimers inspection companies place in these reports. The reality is they are instructed to do so by their insurance company.

I like to discuss the findings of the report directly with the building inspector. They are more candid about their findings in a direct discussion.The report rarely leads to buyers not proceeding with the sale.

Apart from identifying defects a building report has other benefits. In a private sale situation the report can act as a bargaining chip. If the property is below average in its condition the buyer can try to negotiate a reduction in the asking price.

From a negotiating strategic perspective the timing of the report is very important. An experienced buyer’s advocate can advise the most appropriate phase of the negotiation to carry out the report.

On occasions a building and pest report can scare a buyer into not proceeding with the sale or factoring in an inflated reduction to their offer price as compensation for perceived building defects and as a result miss out on the property.

Most buyers overestimate the seriousness of building defects. A quality building inspector will explain the implications of defects and avoid a buyer walking away from what could be a great opportunity.

The report is of ongoing use to property owners. It should form the basis of a maintenance plan for their purchased property. The report can alert property owners of what areas of the building require monitoring and maintenance in the future.

Buyers should only engage a building and pest inspector who has professional indemnity insurance, the appropriate qualifications and a track record of carrying out many high quality inspections.

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