While getting a building inspection done can be a stressful phase in the property buying cycle, being prepared for it can significantly ease one’s fears. Keep in mind that building inspectors don’t fail real estate assets; rather, they will compare the condition of the property with others of similar age and construction.
The inspection can be booked by either the vendor or buyer so a house gets its value assessed before the actual sale. A pre-purchase inspection is typically initiated by the buyer who wants reassurance that the building he plans to invest in doesn’t have major defects and unreported problems. On the other hand, pre-sale property inspections are done by the seller to demonstrate to potential investors that the property is safe and sound.
In some cases, building inspectors do special purpose reports to examine specific elements of a property and this can be requested by either party. Some will even ask for separate pool and pest inspection or combine these with pre-purchase inspection deals.
Does Building Inspection Matter?
What many don’t realise is that building inspections benefit both the buyer and the seller. It will assist both parties in arriving at a fact-based decision whether to renegotiate terms or terminate the contract (in case the property is in a severe state of disrepair).
For the buyer, the inspection gives him or her enough information to go about and make an informed decision. As for the seller, the report will help determine if the property he or she is selling needs immediate repairs so it retains its attractiveness to potential buyers. And when done before the selling date, the inspection can even put the vendor in a good position to increase the profit margin (by way of renovation).
Needless to say, it’s crucial that this property assessment be done every time a building is about to be put on the market.
Preparing to Ace the Building Inspection
Sellers naturally feel fearful at the prospect of bringing a building inspector over to their property. But instead of feeling stressed about the possibility of getting negative feedback in the subsequent report, think about their recommendation as a way to make the estate even more appealing to the discerning taste of serious investors.
As the inspector is about to come over and do the job, methodically prepare your property by doing the following:
1. Ensure Accessibility
Among the most important things a seller can do to prepare for an inspection is to make sure the inspectors get access to every space in the property.
Remove physical barriers like cartons and furniture pieces that can cover entry points to the sub-floor or roof void. For outdoor structures like the garage, unlock them and keep the pets in kennels so the inspector can freely move about as they do the job. With easy access, the building inspector can thoroughly assess the condition of the exterior areas and interior features. Among the things they’ll have on their checklist are the following:
- Flooring/sub-floor space
- Garage (any outbuildings)
- Property exterior (e.g. siding, walls, driveways, walkways, fence, etc.)
- Roof exterior
- Wall condition (e.g. signs of rising damp)
2. Improve Aesthetics
Any buyer would want a property that doesn’t look like it has seen better days. With that in mind, the inspector will gauge at how reassuring the property seems to look from his standpoint.
To get a pass in this regard, the vendor can do simple maintenance tasks aimed at improving the visual appeal of the structure. That includes something as basic as removing clutter and cleaning the home. He or she can also put clothes away and clean out the closets so the inspector gets a good look at the available storage spaces.
Aside from these, here are a few more chores property sellers might want to do to prepare their building for an inspection:
- Mow the lawn
- Clean the garden
- Put away garden equipment, wood piles, and tools
- Check to see if plumbing fixtures are working
- Clean out the garage
- See if doors and windows open and close properly
Other quick tasks in line with sprucing up the property may require you to get a hand from professionals. After all, painting the walls, modifying site drainage patterns, and replacing old bathroom fixtures are tasks you may not be able to competently do all by yourself.
3. Collate Important Documents
Before the inspector comes to check the property, it pays to make sure that all the paperwork associated with the place is ready. You should be able to show proof of the age of the estate and its history of ownership.
Whenever possible, prepare records of major repairs previously done by independent contractors. Such fixes may include termite treatments, roof repairs, and kitchen renovations. If you have enough proof, you may even show warranties and service records for appliances such dishwashers and air conditioning units.
Property sellers and real estate agents are often scared at the thought of showing their portfolio to a building inspector but the truth is that there isn’t really a need to panic. At the end of the day, keep in mind that their objective is to make sure that the property being sold is in a state that wouldn’t compromise anybody’s safety. After all, buyers aren’t just looking for a simple roof over their heads; they’re seeking confidence that their hard-earned money aren’t falling into a property that just doesn’t meet the standards.
By preparing the estate and making sure it meets the requirement set by the building inspection, you increase its chances of getting sold at a favourable price! If that’s what you aim to do with the next property you’re putting on the market, call us and our expertise will help you get just that!