In the process of purchasing a home, it’s often the building inspection that can make or break any ongoing deals between the property vendor and buyer. After all, a buyer may have the choice to walk away or re-negotiate terms if the inspection report finds pest infestation, major roof damage, and the likes. It’s worth noting, however, that the buyer’s options will depend on the building and pest clause stipulated in the property purchase contract.

Regardless of the findings included in the subsequent building inspection report, the entire thing can be nerve-racking to both the seller and the buyer. Although building and pest inspections aren’t a pass-or-fail test, they can reveal potential issues that may reopen negotiations between the vendor and investor and prolong the sale process.

This is why vendors will decide to get building inspections done before potential buyers come and visit the house. It’ll give them ample time to sort out and remedy any major problems that a building inspector finds.


Independent Building Inspections

If the property vendor already paid a building inspector to assess the house, you may wonder whether a buyer has to get another report done or not. Would it not be more practical for the buyer to use any existing reports for his or her perusal? If not, does this mean that every potential home buyer should pay for their own individual building inspection report? How long is a building and pest inspection report valid for?

As these questions arise, it’s important to remember the purpose of getting independent inspections done in the first place. As excited as you are at the prospect of owning a house, you certainly would want to settle for nothing but the best and most suitable option on the market. Rushing the purchase will only jeopardise this ideal scenario and you wouldn’t want paying for a house that is just a disappointment from the get-go.


How Building Inspections Work

Generally, home inspections are requested after a buyer makes an offer on a house and right before closing the property sale. He or she will require the services of a building inspector so a thorough assessment can be done for the property in question, which typically results in the discovery of significant property/pest damage or potential safety hazards.

Although their services aren’t always a requirement for real estate purchases, it is a wise move on the part of the home buyer as the building and pest inspection report helps determine if the structure in question is in good condition and will help him or her decide if the estate is a smart investment.

Indeed, building and pest inspectors are experts in finding water damage, structural problems, roof issues, moulds, electric hazards, plumbing/HVAC concerns, termite infestation etc. And if pest inspection is offered alongside the building inspection, the designated pest inspector can provide clues of past or present infestations, too. All this information will serve well in gauging whether a particular house is worth buying or not.

While minor issues can be omitted in the subsequent building inspection report, the property assessment report will highlight major problems. If any were uncovered in the process, home buyers can certainly use this information to either negotiate for price reduction or repairs or use it as grounds to call off the property sale.


Validity Period of Building Inspection Reports

It’s typical for either vendors or buyers to ask about how long a building and pest inspection is valid for. While this mostly depends on the terms and conditions of a company, the truth is that inspection reports aren’t valid forever. As a matter of fact, such reports are written in the past tense because any one of their findings can change after the building inspector is done assessing the property.

For example, a massive storm could roll through the vicinity the night after a building inspection has just been performed. If the natural calamity wreaked havoc on the property in question and caused substantial structural damage or roof leakage, then the recent building inspection report could be rendered inaccurate. That or a termite colony just found its way to the property right after the recently done inspection.

In certain cases, two different property inspectors can look at the same house and come to varied, completely different conclusions. One may report of a potential termite infestation while the other inspector will deem any signs as inconclusive or insufficient. Even if several interested buyers get the same building inspector to evaluate the same house, he or she is generally expected to assess the place from top to bottom as if he or she has never been at the property prior to the current inspection.


Should Property Vendors Bother Getting Building Inspections

It isn’t a requirement but the seller can still have the prerogative to get this property assessment done for a house he or she has put up on the market. Although pre-purchase building inspections are geared toward home buyers, it is still wise for sellers to commission an inspection report. Why, you ask? That’s because this report gives a good idea of a house’s actual condition, giving them enough time to sort out and repair any major structural concerns that can potentially discourage buyers from purchasing the property.

Although it may be a scary idea, especially when your goal is to sell off the property quickly, commissioning a building and pest inspection before buyers request for their own independent inspections to be done will exhibit your transparency as a seller. The inspection report will stand as proof that you can be trusted as a vendor, which should increase the confidence of buyers in doing business with you. And if you’ve gone ahead and fixed major property defects, you can close the negotiations and property sale faster.


What Building Inspection Reports Include

Besides providing a summary of the overall state of a house (in consideration of its property type and age) and indicating any major faults found in it, the building inspection report covers other crucial information. For one, it should report the significant problems that may need immediate fixing alongside the scope of the entire building and pest inspection. 

Speaking of scope, the inspector should not miss reporting on the following areas for example: laundry/bathroom, toilet, retaining walls, garage, garden sheds, carports, water drainage, steps, driveways, attachments, paths, fencing, etc. If there are other areas or specific items you want to be inspected, you’ll have to inform the building inspector.

It’s worth noting, however, that minor defects may not be included in the report. Even if you’ve observed signs of cracking and weathering on some parts, there is a good chance that they’d be considered as simply cosmetic damage along with general deterioration and damage to finishes. For the most part, you’ll have to ask for a ‘special purpose’ report if you want the building inspector to include minor imperfections and defects in the report.


Multiple Building Inspections Offer Peace of Mind

As nerve-racking as getting this property assessment done be and you want it only done once, once may not be enough. Building inspections are crucial for making smart buying decisions and you want the inspector to always be on top of whatever is going on in the house you’re looking at.

Sure, it may seem like an overkill to get multiple inspections done on one property but you have to be certain that nothing has gone wrong from the time one inspector checked the place to the next guy. This is why you want building inspections to be up to date as much as possible.


Buywise, Your Partner in Your Home Buying Success

No matter how many times you get building inspections done for one property, what really matters is that the information you get about the house you’re planning to buy is recent and accurate. But to get that kind of result, you will have to engage a professional building inspection company. And if you’re searching for one that has the qualifications and experience to give you full confidence that you’d get a comprehensive look at a property, look no further than Buywise.

Having done 60,000 building & pest inspections for thousands of houses across Melbourne, we’ve built a solid reputation as the city’s leading independent building and pest inspection company! Being in business for 16 years and our build & pest inspectors accumulating almost 50 years of combined experience tells you that we’re experts at what we do. We’re also licensed and are registered builders so we know what to look for as we assess the house you wish to purchase. We’re equipped and deliver comprehensive reports quickly and accurately every time.


Call us today to get started with the property inspection report you require for an upcoming house price negotiation.