The obligation to organise a building and pest inspection is the buyer’s. The associated costs are also shouldered by the buyer. The purpose of organising a building and pest inspection is to help you, the buyer, make a more informed decision prior to closing the sale on a property. So timing is critical.
It’s also important to know that usually a building inspection in Melbourne is different from a pest inspection – although some companies may offer a combined package. If you want both done, you may have to hire two different experts, which would mean organising two different inspections. What’s the difference?
A building inspection only evaluates the property’s overall condition with regards to its structural integrity, maintenance history, safety, and potential risks. The inspector usually looks for issues such as cracks in the walls; faulty wiring; plumbing problems; uneven flooring; rising damp; leaky ceilings; flimsy fixtures; and unnecessary, unapproved, and hazardous additions, to name a few. On the other hand, a pest inspection simply looks for signs of pest activity and infestation.
Fourteen days is the standard period given to buyers to organise and complete their pre-purchase building inspection and to make a final decision about buying the property or withdrawing from the contract. Some are given only 7 days, while others can request for a longer period. If you’ve already decided that you want to invest in a building and pest inspection, the best move would be to look for an inspector before initiating the “Subject to building and pest inspection” condition in your contract.
As soon as the 14-day period begins, your inspector will first have to contact your agent to arrange a time for the inspection. If the property still has occupants, your agent will also have to coordinate with them – his clients – to arrange the schedule of inspection.
A building and pest inspection usually takes less than an hour each; longer if the building is bigger than normal or if the structure is complicated and has areas that are hard to access. Some inspection companies can submit their comprehensive reports on the same day as the inspection; but the standard time is 24 hours after. The seller may also request for a copy of the report. The sooner you receive the report, the more time you’ll have to study it and decide if the property’s condition is acceptable to you, and this might depend on the kinds of repairs that might be needed and who will shoulder the expenses for them; or if you want to terminate the contract.
Depending on how well an older or pre-owned house has been maintained, the issues and risks for future damages that will be detected during a building and pest inspection could be minor and cheap, or they could be severe and costly. It’s also normal for some sellers to not know about some of the problems their property could have. Whether old or brand-new, most houses on the market are spruced up to increase their value and help make them sell more quickly.
When organising a building and pest inspection, be as specific and as broad as you want about the stipulations for the “Subject to building and pest inspection” condition in your contract. The clause should be favorable to you, and also fair to the seller. The results of the inspection can put you in a better position to negotiate a lower price for the property. The stipulations in the clause will need to specify who will shoulder the expenses for repairs, if any are needed, and what kinds of repairs will be covered by whom.
With a proper building and pest inspection, you’ll have more information to help you decide if the investment you’ll be making is worth it. More importantly, you’ll know for sure if the house will provide the comfort and safety your family deserves.
If you would like to request a qualified building inspector to quote or schedule an inspection in Melbourne and Victoria, contact Hire An Inspector.