Making sense of your building and pest inspection

So you’ve purchased a property? Fantastic!!

Hopefully, you’ve organised a Building and Pest inspection?

You are getting a building and pest inspection, right???

At Property Zest we strongly recommend having a Building and Pest inspection on your property before going unconditional, which usually means after you’ve signed the contract and before the end of the designated building and pest condition timeframe on the contract OR in the case of a property going to auction, pre-auction.

Why get a building and pest inspection?

There are many benefits of having a building and pest inspection, but of course, the big one is the help you to identify any issues with the property before you commit to buying it.  Issues that may be identified at the inspection include major structural issues and pest infestations or damage, right through to minor maintenance issues and potential risks.  This can help you stop you from buying a property that may cause you much stress and financial outlays or it may help you to renegotiate on your purchase price to compensate for some of the issues found.

And trust me, it doesn’t matter how old your property is or how new your property is or how expensive your property is – there will be issues identified!

Who should you use for the building and pest inspection?

Firstly, you should make sure your building and pest inspector is licensed with the Queensland Building & Construction Commission (QBCC) and holds current Professional Indemnity and Public Liability insurance.

Secondly, where possible, I’d recommend using someone who has been recommended to you by a trusted source.  At Property Zest, we provide recommendations to our clients for building and pest inspectors that we have used over a number of years.  We have strong relationships with several inspectors who we know do a good job for our clients.

What is involved?

The inspection usually lasts around 1 – 1.5 hours. The inspector visually inspects all aspects of the outside of the property, including the fencing, garden areas, external cladding of the house, roof and gutters, decks, patios, sheds etc.  On the inside of the property  the inspector visually inspects all aspects of the inside including all rooms and the roof space.  The inspector usually ‘taps out’ the property which helps to identify areas that have been affected by termite activity and many inspections also use thermal imaging camera to look for areas of heat and moisture.

The inspector prepares a written report, usually with pictures, which must comply (provided you have used a licenced inspector) with current Australian standard for building and pest inspection.

What doesn’t the building and pest inspection cover?

A building and pest inspection does not cover plumbing, electrical or details inspections of any particular special areas – it’s a general overview.  Specialist areas such as plumbing and electrical, or any detailed inspections of specific structures may require other professionals.

Should you attend?

Yes.  Either you or your buyers agent should attend.  Reading a large and wordy report of issues can be frightening but in most cases, many of the issues are relatively minor.  Having been onsite to view the issues first hand you can get a better grasp of what is a significant issue, versus what is a minor issue.  Also, having seen issues ‘in the flesh’ is helpful if you are going to be arranging tradespeople to fix the issues, so that you can adequately explain the items.

What do you do once you have the report?

There are three courses of action following the building and pest inspection:

  1. Accept the issues without further action and satisfy the building and pest condition
  2. Where serious issues have been identified or a large number of costly issues have been identified you can elect to terminate the Contract
  3. Negotiate with the seller to provide compensation for the issues identified

For the most part, we tend to go with item 3, unless of course a large issue is identified that would be a ‘showstopper’, such as major structural issues or termite infestation.

This part of the buying process can be frightening for new buyers and your buyers agent will be able to help you to navigate the building and pest stage of your purchase.

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