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    HOW TO SPOT A DODGY BUILDING AND PEST INSPECTOR AND HIRE THE BEST IN BRISBANE

    Updated 2022

    Disclosure: Andrew Mackintosh is the sole building inspector at Action Property Inspections.  He’s a qualified builder and has been performing pre-purchase inspections since the 1990s.  He is fully certified in the building trade and the Property Inspection industry.  He has, at times, acted as a spokesperson for the industry and an advocate for Brisbane property buyers.  He is well known in the Brisbane industry for his reputation for fastidious and legally binding property inspections.  This information has been updated for 2022 as the real estate industry has changed dramatically and buyers are reporting new and problematic advice given by agencies.

    HOW TO AVOID A HUGE FINANCIAL MISTAKE

    Great title for an article, right? Who wants bad advice? Unfortunately, the internet is full of incorrect information. If you’re trying to find the best building and pest inspector in Brisbane – be very wary of whose advice you take!

    We’ve been in the industry for over 28 years and we’re amongst Brisbane’s most reputable building inspectors. In fact, we’ve got hundreds of five-star reviews because we work very, very hard to provide Brisbane’s best building inspections. Our reputation means we aren’t loved by real estate agents because we’re completely impartial. We don’t compromise. As the Brisbane property market changes, that impartiality is the single most important factor in a pre-purchase building inspection.

    THE MOST COMMONLY ASKED QUESTION AND THE WORST POSSIBLE RESPONSES!

    “Hi, I am looking to buy a property in Brisbane and was just wondering if there are any recommendations for building and pest inspectors. I have searched online and have found many in the Brisbane area. Are they all the same or are there better recommendations available? Thank you! – Sarah”

    This is the most common question we’ve come across in online communities. Here are some of the worst answers we see in response to questions like these.

    •  “I recommend you call an agent local to the property and ask them for recommendations.”
    •  “I recommend ABC Property Inspections.” – recommendation from a real estate agent.
    • “I would highly recommend 123 Inspections” – recommendation from a mortgage broker. 
    • “I got a great quote for a combined building and pest inspection from ABC Inspections. Such a bargain.”
    • “Try and go through your solicitor as they may get special discounts with companies.”
    • “If you really want the property, you might have to just skip the inspection.” – advice in an Australian real estate forum in 2022.
    • “My husband is a tradie, so he did ours. If you’ve got a friend in the building trade, you could save some money.”

    Now, let’s look at why each of these answers are probably NOT the best advice you’ll ever receive about building and pest inspections.

    1. TAKING RECOMMENDATIONS FROM A REAL ESTATE AGENT

    Why is this BAD advice?

    So, let’s share a hypothetical. A real estate agent is selling you a house. You’re interested in buying that house but want to have a building and pest inspection carried out first. The real estate agent recommends a building and pest inspector for you to use. You agree and book them in. The real estate agent really needs to make the sale. He calls the building and pest inspector and says, “Hey mate, we want an honest inspection on this house but if there were, say, problems getting into the manhole, that would be a huge help to us.”

    A little ‘back scratching’ between agents and inspectors means more work for the inspectors, and more sales for the agent. When it comes to selling property, the seller pays the agent and, naturally, the agent is always on the seller’s side.

    How Action Property Inspections protects you

    We’re not just fiercely independent, we’re… well, known as being a pain in the backside for dodgy real estate agents. With good reason. Our building reports have reopened house price negotiations, our testimony has been used in court cases against dodgy sellers, and we’ve personally pursued disreputable real estate agents in the courts. In fact, we’ve exposed realtors who’ve threatened and attempted to control buyers who insist on an independent inspection.

    Find out more about these cases here.

    The best advice is choosing a building inspector that the seller’s agent definitely does not recommend. If the seller’s agent is hiding something, they’ll discourage you from using a reputable company. They may even be quite aggressive about it. That’s a BIG RED FLAG. Always remember that the seller’s agent is there representing the seller (and their agency’s commission) and is not on your side. Don’t let them make crucial decisions for you.

    Has this happened to you? Get in touch for a confidential discussion.

    2. TAKING RECOMMENDATIONS FROM A MORTGAGE BROKER

    Why is this bad advice?

    Let’s share another hypothetical.

    You approach a mortgage broker because you’d like to take out a loan for a house. You find a house you love but you’d like to have a building and pest inspection carried out first. Your mortgage broker recommends a building and pest inspector who you decide to use. Your mortgage broker calls the inspector and says, “Hey mate, you are booked in to do an inspection for my client tomorrow. Of course, an honest inspection is essential but if there were, say, some termite damage in the wall cavity that you couldn’t accurately see, that’d be a huge help.”

    The day of the inspection, you receive a good building and pest inspection report. You decide to buy the house. The mortgage broker sells a loan and gets his cut. But where does that leave you when you realise the report was more designed to help the broker receive his commissions as opposed to giving you an accurate report?

    How Action Property Inspections protects you

    We are an independent building inspector working for YOU – not the agent, mortgage broker or seller. Even though it “feels” like your mortgage broker is on your side, they’re really paid by the lending institutions. Sometimes, getting you finance is tough. So, they work extra hard to ensure you get approved. That feels very much like they’re on your side. A trusted ally in the pursuit of a home. While a good mortgage broker will search to the ends of the earth for a financier who suits your needs, they’re not doing it for love…they’re doing it for commission. Independent means independent. Don’t hire a building inspector aligned with any of the players in the process.

    We’ve stayed completely independent for over 30 years. It’s cost us a LOT in potential referrals. A lot. Property inspectors build their client base through referrals – we chose to go with referrals from delighted customers, not the industry.

    3. COMBINE BUILDING AND PEST INSPECTIONS BECAUSE IT’S CHEAPER

    Why is this bad advice?

    On paper, this might be true. But don’t be fooled! Getting one person to do both your building and pest inspection is not going to save you money in the long term. Not only are building inspections and pest inspections two completely different skillsets, it’s highly likely that one set of eyes will not pick up the level of detail that two separate perspectives can detect.

    The cheapest option is not always the best option. Be prepared to pay a little extra to have two separate inspections. The inspections can still be conducted at the same time but carried out by two different inspectors – one expert in building inspections, one expert in pest inspections. An extra couple of hundred dollars spent at the beginning could save thousands in repairs when faults turn up down the track.

    How Action Property Inspections protects you

    After three decades doing ruthlessly thorough building inspections, we can tell you without hesitation that there are property faults that can only be spotted by a qualified builder. Andrew, our ONLY inspector, is a fully qualified builder, and a fully certified and reputable inspector. If it can go wrong in a house, he’s seen it before. Learn more about Andrew’s qualifications here.

    At Action Property Inspections, we recommend having separate building and pest inspections. We work with a number of reputable Brisbane pest inspectors and can arrange the inspection on your behalf to save you time and money.

    CLICK HERE TO BOOK A BUILDING INSPECTION!

    4. TAKING RECOMMENDATIONS FROM A SOLICITOR FOR SPECIAL DISCOUNTS

    Why is this bad advice?

    Your solicitor is on your side – and that’s great. Your solicitor is also very busy. They’re focused on ensuring that the legalities of the property sale are all sorted. They’re not hanging about vetting the job that the inspector does. In fact, a recommendation from a solicitor probably goes no further than “other clients used this place and the guy showed up on time and the sale went through.” Not really an expert recommendation. If you get a discount when you mention XYZ Conveyancing, there’s every chance that the inspector is on a sweet deal, getting referrals from the firm. If it’s a whopper conveyancer, they may have built their whole business on those referrals. They might be busy. They might be doing dozens of referrals a week from a big firm. So, their team of inspectors consider this another “XYZ Conveyancer” job and simply “run through the motions.” Or perhaps they’re eager to please. And pleasing may well mean helping the sale go through.

    How Action Property Inspections protects you

    Independent. Thorough. Prompt. Reliable. While we’ve built a business on these promises, all building inspectors can say these things, we prefer to prove it. Don’t take our word for it. Read the words of our customers on Google, Oneflare, WOM, and Product Review. We’ve never needed to compromise because we built our business on customer recommendations.

    5. SKIPPING THE PROPERTY INSPECTION TO HAVE YOUR BID ACCEPTED

    Why is this REALLY, REALLY bad advice?

    This new advice is possibly the worst advice ever offered. Here’s the scenario:

    You’re up against numerous other buyers for a property. The current housing shortage means that competition is steep. In the interest of closing the sale quickly, the agent says only “unconditional offers” will be accepted. Your finance is pre-approved. You could simply sign on the dotted line and this property is all yours – as long as you don’t hold things up with a building and pest inspection.

    This is quite literally the worst advice we’ve ever seen and sadly, this is happening right now, right here in Brisbane. Are you really going to spend THAT MUCH MONEY without knowing if the property is a lemon? In the words of our Zoomer daughter – WE. CANNOT. EVEN.

    How Action Property Inspections protects you

    No matter how tight the market, no matter how fast the sales are moving, you have the legal right to engage a building inspector of your choice during the building inspection period. Do not sign that right away without speaking to your lawyer first. To deny you that right is unlawful. BUT you MUST speak to your lawyer as there are exceptions to the rules, especially around auctions. Action Property Inspections assists buyers in this tumultuous market by providing same day reporting. Andrew will visit the property, do a full inspection (provided access is granted), analyse any red flags and send you a full, thorough, detailed report on the same day. Book your building inspection as early as possible to ensure that we can support you through this process.

    6. Getting a Mate to Do the Inspection

    Why is this bad advice?

    Back to the hypotheticals… last one, we promise.

    You get a dear family friend, a qualified builder, to do your building inspection for you. He gets up in the ceiling, takes a look in the crawlspace. He picks up a few little things, but overall, he’s pretty happy with the home you plan to buy. You go right ahead and invest every penny you have (and a whole lot of pennies the bank agreed to lend you) in that home.

    First day in, and boy it’s hot. Brisbane summers are going to be horrendous. The air con bill is going to ruin you and you’ve got quite the mortgage to maintain. Turns out, in this case the house isn’t up to code. There is no roof sarking or thermal roof blanket. Your mate didn’t know, that’s the roofer’s job. He’s not on site for that.

    You have to foot the bill to have a roof blanket installed. They have to take off the solar panels. Then they have to take off the roof sheeting. Your new home will be encased in scaffolding for several days – if not weeks – while they disassemble and reassemble it. It’s going to cost more than your car (which you’re still paying off, too).

    You saved a few hundred bucks on the inspection, but that little saving is going to cost you tens of thousands of dollars, and quite possibly, a friendship. Even if the friendship survives, it will never be the same. That’s a big cost for a little saving.

    Being a builder doesn’t make you a building inspector. Nor does being a handyman. Or… a plumber. While a good building inspector will be trade qualified (and so many are not, it’s not a pre-requisite for this industry), there is an additional qualification to detect and legally report building faults. While a builder may be able to see some red flags, they lack the specialist equipment and industry knowledge to pick up on subtler (or legally difficult) problems.

    How Action Property Inspections protects you

    Qualified builder. Qualified Building Inspector. Thirty or so years on the job. Nothing but five-star reviews. Multiple awards for excelling in the business. That’s how we protect you. Our building reports stand up in court, all the time. In this case, Andrew’s report would not only include pictorial evidence of the problem, but he’d help you to get the information you need to walk away from the deal OR renegotiate the purchase price to cover the costs of bringing the property up to code. All building inspectors seem the same, until they don’t.

    SO HOW DO YOU GET GOOD ADVICE ON THE BEST BUILDING AND PEST INSPECTOR IN BRISBANE?

    The smartest way to approach your research into the best building and pest inspectors in Brisbane is to do your own research by asking people you know. The best recommendations are always from your friends and family who have successfully purchased a fault-free property. Purchasing a property is a massive investment. Research every professional you engage to advocate for you in this financial decision. Your building and pest inspection report protects you from financial devastation. Make sure it’s accurate. Make sure you have all the information you need to make this massive financial decision.

    At Action Property Inspections, we are forthright in our findings and offer unbiased Full Defect Reports. 82% of our work stems from referrals from happy clients, not real estate agents, mortgage brokers or solicitors!

    ACTION PROPERTY INSPECTIONS IS THE BEST BUILDING AND PEST INSPECTOR IN BRISBANE. FIND OUT FOR YOURSELF. GET A CALL BACK BY COB TODAY.

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      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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