Gone are the days of flipping open the Yellow Pages to view a meagre handful of building consultants capable of undertaking your pre-purchase building inspection. These days choosing a building and pest inspector is more like Russian roulette. Use the wrong building or pest inspection company and the consequences could be costly and quite significant.
These days, hundreds of inspectors can be sourced through many avenues such as internet search engines, forums, yellow pages, blogs, referrals from friends, sites such as WOMOW or WOMF where people are able to tell of their experiences. Some avenues however appear to work better than others and some should obviously be avoided, such as the so called unbiased real estate agent’s referral.
Referrals obtained from other people’s previous experiences usually provide a higher rate of success when searching for a satisfactory building or pest inspector. Ask your friends , relatives or colleagues whether they have recently had dealings with a building inspection company and whether they felt the report provided was accurate and informative. If no one you know has recently obtained a building inspection report then the next best source would be searching for internet forums on the topic. These sites are invaluable as people provide honest concise first-hand evaluations of their experiences when dealing with various building and pest inspection companies. Through a forum you will be able to obtain an insight into which companies are professional and trustworthy.
Reading through advertising literature whether it be on the internet or through Yellow Pages may give you some degree of information about a building or pest inspection company. The problem is, how do you know whether the information is accurate, up-to-date and honest. A slick advertising strategy will often prey on your insecurities about purchasing a house in an attempt to extract a fee for a property inspection report. Therefore with regards to all forms of advertising compare various companies, paying particular attention to vague and misleading statements and keep an open mind.
One of the traps many home buyers fall into, whether it be by naivete or laziness is to simply ask the real estate agent who they would recommend to undertake their building and pest inspections. Never use a building or pest inspector that has been recommended by a real estate agent. Many estate agents will recommend building and pest inspectors who provide soft, carefully worded, real estate agent friendly reports so as to not jeopardise their sale. You should always source a building or pest inspection company that is completely independent from the real estate agent and vendor.
Whenever obtaining the services of a building or pest inspector there are some key factors you must always consider.
1. Fully Licensed
The building inspection company you have contracted must be fully licensed with the Building Services Authority and the individual inspector undertaking the inspection must also carry a current license specifically covering them for “ Completed Residential Building Inspection.” Don’t be afraid to ask to view their license on site. It is often a common practice for even a licensed building inspection company to sometimes use unqualified inspection operators on site.
2. Professional Indemnity Insurance
Ensure that the building inspection company and individual building inspector carry adequate professional indemnity insurance to cover you in the event that the inspector was to make a mistake. It is no longer compulsory for all building inspectors to carry professional indemnity insurance. Many inspectors simply obtain an exemption to avoid the insurance premiums. We would advise you to always visually sight the building and pest inspection company’s insurance certificate when on site.
3. Building Inspection Agreement
Ensure that a Building Inspection Agreement document is provided to you prior to the commencement of the building inspection. This document forms part of the Australian Standards for pre-purchase house inspections and is designed to inform you of the limitations and conditions of the building inspection and your rights pertaining to the building inspection process. Presentation of this document is also usually a requirement of the insurance companies protecting both building inspector and client alike. Building inspection companies not providing this document are being deceptive by concealing the limitations of the inspection and also often indicates that the company is uninsured.
4. Separate Building and Pest Inspectors
Two pairs of eyes are better than one. Subsequently the use of one inspector to try and cover both building and pest issues in a jack of all trades approach often leads to faults being missed with potentially serious consequences. The qualifications for a licensed building inspector are completely different from the qualifications required for a licensed pest inspector. Some inspectors claiming to be qualified in both areas only have restricted licenses. Two separate inspectors will provide the best results.
Whilst there are various other factors to consider when obtaining the services of either a building or pest inspector, if you follow the above guidelines at least you are heading in the right direction. When you are trying to find the right building inspector in Brisbane for your next purchase, you may wish to use this checklist when considering your options, prior to engaging a property inspection company.
Action Property Inspections are the trusted name in building inspections, servicing the Brisbane area since 1995. We are committed to providing excellent customer service, value for money, honest, unbiased, thorough inspection and reporting in a professional and timely manner to allow our clients to make informed decisions when purchasing property.