Building inspections are as essential part of purchasing property in Australia. They can help you navigate whether the property you’re purchasing is ready to go, needs a bit of work, or potentially needs a LOT of work to be safe to live in. Whether you’re investing in residential or commercial property, are part of a body corporate, or are a property owner or building contractor, the chances are you’ll need to get a building inspection done at some point.
So if you’re looking for some tips on getting a building inspection in Australia, here are our top 4 from our experts on what to do, or what not to do!
1. Make sure your purchase conditional on a report
First and foremost, any property inspection should be done before a sale goes through. After all, you want to make sure that the property you are buying is worth the investment and won’t have any hidden costs down the track.
The timing of a building inspection can differ depending on the method or sale as well as your own situation.
If you’re purchasing through a private sale, or offering an expression of interest, any verbal or written offer you make should be conditional on having a building inspection done. This means that you can save the building inspection until after you have secured the property, while still giving you the right to withdraw from the sale without a financial penalty should any hazards be identified. You should also consult your local conveyancer for any local state-based settlement requirements.
If you’re looking at purchasing through an auction, your inspection should be done as early as you can before the auction. This means you’ll be more informed when it comes to your bids and your budget limit. The downside of this is that, if you aren’t the successful bidder, you may be getting a building inspection for a property you won’t eventually own. If this is the case, contact your local Jim’s Building Inspector to see what other options you have in terms of getting a discount on current or future inspections.
Regardless of the inspection price, making sure you know what you’re getting into will ultimately save you money in the long run.
2. See whether your agent offers inspections as an additional service
Many real estate agents offer building inspections as part of their service, which is a great add-on when you’re looking for an initial agent. Getting this done in a package with your estate agent can save you money while also giving you more added benefits. It reduces the probability that a sale will be derailed by previously undiscovered defects, reduces the lag time in private sales, and helps reduce the hassle of organizing multiple inspections prior to auctions where there may be multiple bidders.
Plus, just because it’s added into other costs doesn’t mean you’re not getting a professional service. For instance, Jim’s Building Inspections has pre-existing arrangements with many agents to help make this process easier for buyers down the track.
3. Don’t rely on a verbal report
Some less professional providers may offer discounts on building inspections by giving you a verbal report only. This is one of those situations where trying to save money could end up costing you more in the long run.
At the end of the day, verbal reports can’t be relied on and expose you, the buyer, to significant risk. Added to this, providers who are willing to cut the cost by not providing you with a written report (which is much easier to refer back to), may also be less reliable and diligent overall.
So, make sure that if you’re looking to save a few dollars on your inspection, you’re still getting it done as professionally as you can.
4. Check to see if the property has had a recent inspection done
Existing online report sales and vendor reporting have become increasing popular around Australia, particularly since the COVID-19 pandemic.
Potential home buyers can purchase these reports online and download them to review at their convenience. As the report is marketed to more than one prospective buyer, they are still fully independent and insured while still being available to purchase at a discounted price.
Agents in particular love this style of reporting. It means their clients get a building inspection at a reduced price and every report is fully insured with professional indemnity insurance that each purchaser can rely on. It also reduces the lag time for private sales when the buyer wants a building inspection and reduces the number of people going through the property, which is why it has become such a popular service during the unprecedented times of COVID. These reports have also proven very helpful for properties going to auction, as the report can be purchased and downloaded prior without worrying about whether you’ll have time to commission an inspection.
A few things to ask yourself when purchasing an existing building inspection are:
H3: How recent does a report have to be before a new one should be completed?
Most inspections are conducted during the sales campaign so they are recent to the current sale timeline. For instance, our reports remain available for three months from the date of inspection so you know it’s going to be recent with the current owners. Any longer than this, we recommend a re-inspection so that we can make sure the report is comprehensive and current.
How do I buy a report online?
We offer them right here! You can search at Jim’s Building Inspections to see if a recent report has been done on the property you’re looking to purchase. Most real estate agents are aware of reports being done (and in NSW they are required by law to advise a prospective purchaser if it has), and will advise you of this in advance.
How can I pay for the report and how will I receive it?
Most online systems, including ourselves, accept credit card payments. For more security opt for a site like Jim’s that is a secure SSL Certified site, so you can purchase with more confidence. Your report will then be emailed to the email address you nominate during the purchase, so make sure you check for typos! And don’t forget to check your junk/spam folder if you can’t see it in your inbox.
What if I have more questions after reading the report?
Each report should have contact details for whoever conducted the initial inspection. At Jim’s, the franchisee who completed the inspection and report have their details on page 3 of every report, so you can call or email them directly to discuss the inspection or the report contents.
Looking to get a building inspection done in Australia? Contact our experts at Jim’s Building Inspections today to get a free quote or check out our existing inspection reports for sale.