Pre-purchase home inspections, a safeguard used by homebuyers to ensure they are aware of any structural issues when purchasing a property, are an essential due diligence measure.
David Mattock Real Estate Principal David Mattock said a buyer, in most cases, would make a pre-purchase inspection a condition of the contract, although a seller could commission it prior to offering the property for sale.
“Pre-purchase building inspections are like insurance,” he said. “They provide peace of mind that everything is okay, or they may save the buyer from significant cost if there are major structural defects.
“Some people think these inspections cover maintenance issues such as leaking taps. This is not the case; the inspections are to alert buyers to major structural issues they were not aware of when they made their offer.”
Visionary Construction Services Director Mark Turich said a pre-purchase inspection and report allowed homebuyers to make an informed decision about the purchase of what, for most people, was their greatest asset.
“It is highly recommended to have a pre-purchase building inspection,” he said.
“The inspector will liaise with the buyer, seller and the real estate agent for an appropriate time to complete the inspection.
“The inspection gives the buyer an understanding regarding the current condition of the building, while the report will also identify any minor or major defects that may become costly to fix in the future.”
Mr Turich said he highly recommended homebuyers called on a registered building practitioner or structural engineer specifically.
Mr Mattock agreed.
“There is a trend of offering discounted inspections by unqualified people, but these reports may not comply with the sales contract and may jeopardise the buyer’s rights should they choose to use an unqualified person,” he said.
“Have a clear understanding of what you want the report to cover, ensure the inspector has the necessary qualifications and be prepared for the inspection to identify minor issues that you the buyer will have to address after settlement – unless you are buying a brand new house.”
Underscoring this point, Mr Turich said it was important to remember every established home was going to have some things that needed fixing.
“All established homes will have some minor defects that can be reported on,” he said.
“It is very important that homebuyers understand this is perfectly normal for any home, and an experienced building inspector will discuss any defects with the homebuyer in detail.”