Should You Trust the Vendor’s Inspection?

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When it Comes to Building Inspections, Should You Trust the Vendor’s Inspection?

You’re looking at a Sydney property that’s for sale and you’ve totally fallen in love. You contact the vendor or the real estate agent and you start to go back and forth on price.

The subject of the property inspection comes up.

“Oh don’t worry,” you hear. “We’ve paid for a full inspection and we’re happy to email the report to you.” You look at the report and there are no major issues. And the report seems to come from a reputable Sydney building inspector.

So you skip getting a ‘second opinion’ from another building inspector. You buy the property. You feel great. And then you discover some minor problems…and then some major problems…and then you start to realize that the report was pure fiction and could have been written by a novelist. It’s too late to complain: you’ve ‘signed on the line’ and the property is yours—along with all the major and minor issues that will require tens of thousands of dollars in repairs. You could have avoided the disaster by getting your own building inspection.

Let’s go back to the negotiation stage—just after you realize you’re in the same ‘ball park’ when it comes to price. At this stage, you can introduce the fact that you’re going to hire your own building inspector. If you get some negativity, that’s a red flag. The vendor or real estate agent may tell you that you’re out of the game for that home. Move on. Remember, you can continue to negotiate and even settle on a price and make everything dependent on YOUR building inspection. Whatever the circumstance, it’s important to have a building inspection completed before purchase. In Australia, 9 out of 10 homes have some type of building defect issue.

What Will a Sydney Building Inspection Reveal?

Building inspectors have a checklist they use to evaluate every visually accessible part of a house. The checklist should be based on Australian Standard (AS4349.1 – 2007) which covers building inspections; check to make sure your Sydney building inspector is compliant with the standard. There’s a certain level of ‘been there, done that’ when it comes to the building inspection. For example, the vendor may be aware of some rising damp in the house and has painted the offending wall; a seasoned building inspector carries a damp meter and simply puts the meter up to the wall as part of the ‘routine’ inspection. The building inspection that the vendor supplied may have ‘missed’ the rising damp. So it’s a mistake to trust the vendor’s report.

And when you receive the results from the report you commissioned and there are several issues, you can use the information to your advantage. Let’s say the property needs about $10,000 in repairs. You can negotiate the price down by $10,000 (or more) and you’ll quickly make this back if the property appreciates in value.

When it comes to buying a property, information is gold. But only if you’ve hired the Sydney building inspector and you’ve made sure the inspector is solid and trustworthy.

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