building inspection protocol
Ask the Inspector

Building Inspection Protocol

The day of trepidation has finally arrived. It’s time for your building and pest inspection, but what is the building inspection protocol? Action Property Inspections would always strongly advise turning up for the inspection. Whilst it is not always possible due to work commitments, it is beneficial if you can attend. If you are onsite the inspector can literally take you around and physically show you any issues or areas of concern. If you are unable to attend the inspection, we always call you that evening and run through the details of the report in depth. You will also receive a detailed report with usually approximately 100 photos clearly outlining all the issues.

When onsite

Over the years I have seen many building inspectors who spend more time chatting to agents and vendors rather than inspecting the house. One inspection company I witnessed actually had his client tag along behind him whilst he ran through issues as he found them and then provided the client with what was called a report overview. Not an actual compliant detailed report. You should remember your building inspection is not a social gathering. Ideally, after the initial meet and greet your inspector should be focused on inspecting and not diplomacy with the agent or vendors. As the client, it is far more beneficial that you let your building and pest inspectors do what you are paying them to do without distraction. Whilst they are inspecting the property you can be re-evaluating your prospective purchase. This also gives you the opportunity to take those all important measurements you’ve been concerned about, such as will my four wheel drive fit into the garage or do we need to modify our kitchen to fit the fridge etc.

Entering the house

Most agents and vendors have no concern with you entering the house and having a look around whilst your building inspection is being undertaken, in fact, it is commonplace. Some vendors or tenants can however be difficult and prevent this from occurring although this is very rare. Unless you have permission from the vendor or tenants I would refrain from taking photographs within the house. Tenants in particular can get very annoyed if you’re photographing their possessions. Utilise this additional inspection time wisely to re-evaluate and reinspect the whole property yourself. Purchasing a house is a big decision and a big investment. The more you get to check it out before you sign your life away the better.

The onsite run through

When it comes time for the inspector to run through the details of your inspection some clients prefer to have the agent listening in whilst others prefer to hear the report findings in strict confidence. Really it makes no difference. A legitimate building inspector should convey the results of the building inspection ethically and without bias regardless of who is listening. The building inspector needs to clearly explain the true condition of the house without exaggerating or watering down the findings. I should however point out that it is the building inspector who actually determines who listens in on the results of the building inspection. Over the years we have come across some unethical real estate agents that we will not allow to listen in on the results of the building inspection results due to their antics during the run through process.


Hopefully your house is great and there is no need to carry out rectification works or to renegotiate. However if you want to proceed with the purchase of a property that does have some issues there is always the option to renegotiate. In most instances the renegotiation is undertaken via your solicitor as opposed to directly approaching the vendor or the agent. This decision is ultimately up to you.

Lastly, when you first hear the results of your building inspection both good or bad don’t make your decision then and there. Wait until you receive the report and only after digesting the results of the report make an informed decision. Now you know the building inspection protocol, good luck with your house hunting in Brisbane and I hope to see you during a building inspection in the near future.


About Andrew Mackintosh

Andrew Mackintosh has been answering home inspection questions in the greater Brisbane area since 1995. He has personally carried out over 20,000 building inspections and is a licensed builder and licensed building inspector, Member of Queensland Master Builders Association & Institute of Building Consultants. Being the business owner and the inspector, Andrew is passionate about providing clients with excellent customer service, value for money, honest, unbiased, thorough inspection and reporting in a professional and timely manner to allow clients to make informed decisions when purchasing property.

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