Getting the right property inspection of any property you are considering purchasing requires an inspector who knows the trade very well – this is not something you can do yourself.
You don’t want any nasty surprises later – a problem with the property inspection can end up reducing or eliminating any profits, and even cause you significant losses.
When it comes to a building and pest inspection on a property – you need to know the right questions to ask to find the right person for the job. So what are the questions to ask potential inspectors to make sure they are going to do the job properly?
Are they licenced?
Most states require property inspectors to be licenced for this role. If your state doesn’t you should check what qualifications and experience they have carefully.
Is your building report in accordance with AS4349.1? Is it the ‘structural’ inspection or the full ‘Appendix B’ inspection?
If it’s a residential inspection, then you require the full ‘Appendix B’ pre-purchase inspection which is in accordance with AS 4349.1. Some companies seem cheaper because they carry out a ‘structural’ inspection. The ‘structural’ inspection is very basic and doesn’t cover everything.
Are their pest reports in accordance with AS4349.3? Or is it the AS3660.2?
There are two Australian Standards of pest inspection. The AS3660.2 is for annual ‘termite only’ inspections. So, for pre-purchase inspections the AS4349.3 inspection is required.
Do they have insurance?
Professional indemnity and public liability insurance are super important to protect both you and them. Should they miss something significant, you would want this insurance to be able to make a claim – without having to try to sue them personally. Public liability covers them in case they hurt themselves while on your property.
Can you see a report they have done before?
There should be a standard form you can see to show the kind of detail you can expect from their property inspection.
Will they answer your questions if you have any?
Being able to talk with the inspector is very important, so you can get their overall view, and ask any questions you feel important, plus anything in the report you are not entirely sure of. You are paying for their experience and insights.
Will they provide photos?
Photos help enormously when it comes to understanding and putting context around a report. You should expect them to provide photos of their findings.
Will they enter the roof and cavities where possible?
This is where you often find issues and insects – so getting these parts looked at properly is important.
What specialised equipment will they use?
A moisture meter is very important for any property inspection. Other equipment can provide more insights – so ask any potential inspector what gear they use and how it helps.
How long will the inspection take onsite?
Factors including the age, type, size and method of construction of the property will impact this.
Is there an inspection agreement that you need to sign?
Read it and be sure you understand what it is about before committing.
When will they provide the complete report?
You should receive the report within 24 hours – just be sure to have organised a time to de-brief so you can talk with them afterwards and be very clear on what it all means, and get their insights.
How much will it cost?
This should be a fixed price – and be relevant to their experience.
Keep in mind you can learn a lot from these professionals – and asking the right questions and understanding their value to you makes using a really good inspector a very easy decision.
We can help point you in the right direction of good professionals for a property inspection before you look to buy.