When it comes to protecting yourself in one of the most significant financial investments you can make, agent independence is of paramount importance. To minimise your risk, it is imperative that your building inspector and your conveyancer are completely independent from the real estate agent.
In a buoyant real estate market, there is always the looming threat of higher prices which can place pressure on potential home buyers. Many of my clients, particularly first-time buyers feel that if they don’t jump in now and secure a property, they may again be forced out of the market by higher prices. Conversely, in a depressed real estate market, you may see real estate agents desperate to make any sale at any cost. In any market where there is added pressure on the potential home buyer to quickly secure a property, we can see real estate agents placing undue pressure on home buyers to use the real estate agents preferred building inspectors or conveyancers.
As a building inspector within the Brisbane area, I am always amazed when I hear about home buyers that use a building inspector or conveyancer recommended by the real estate agent.
It is in the estate agents interests to ensure that the building report is a glowing review of the house, devoid of any concerns that may prompt a renegotiation in price or termination of the contract. I have undertaken many re-inspections for clients who unfortunately used the real estate agents recommended building inspector, only to discover that many significant faults were never mentioned or were glazed over, leaving the new home owner with a lengthy court battle or extensive costly repairs.
I’ve also had many clients tell me that their conveyancer was of no assistance with regards to renegotiating the price of the house to cover the costs of faults discovered with a building report. This is usually where the conveyancer is working indirectly with the estate agent trying to ensure that the maximum sale price of the house is achieved without a price renegotiation in the hope of receiving further referrals from the agent.
The keyword here is INDEPENDENCE. Do your homework. Check forums and reviews, ask colleagues, family and friends for referrals to quality building inspectors and conveyancers. A little bit of time on the computer ensuring agent independence may save you a lot of stress and many thousands of dollars. You may wish to use a tool such as this FREE checklist to assist you to choose an independent building inspector.