Traditionally, building and pest inspections in Queensland have been done by the buyer once a contract is entered into with a seller. However, as consumer expectations change and people become increasingly busy though, I expect that the role of obtaining the report will shift to the seller. Recent changes to legislation earlier this year also mean that making a reduction on the contract price isn’t the go to solution for repair compensation either.
What is a building and pest inspection?
A building and pest inspection is a comprehensive inspection undertaken by a qualified professional to report on the current condition of a property. This will include repairs and maintenance, structural concerns as well as pest infestations such as termites. There are limitations of the report though and this will be noted accordingly. If a particular item is outside of the inspectors report, they may make a recommendation to a third party such as council or a structural engineer for further feedback or a ruling. Buyers obtain a building and pest report to make sure they are buying a structurally sound property in good condition. This is to avoid unforeseen and costly repairs initially but also to assist with future resale.
How much do they cost?
Reputable contractors will charge somewhere between $400 – $600+ depending on the size and location of the property.
It may seem an unnecessary upfront cost to a seller but a building and pest completed prior to listing a home for sale can pay dividends down the track. This means that we can tackle any major and minor defects before a contract saving both stress, time and money. In my experience, first home buyers can be put off my properties with issues at building and pest. Banks can also decline a loan if the property doesn’t meet current structural standards. Building and pest issues can quickly dampen the enthusiasm about buying a property. Furthermore, a seller who can present a building and pest report and show copies of receipts of repairs will enhance transparency on sale. It also eliminates the stress under pressure for sellers in a contract situation who may not have the time or funds to complete necessary repairs.
Given that the majority of properties transacted are established, buyers are also asking for electrical inspection reports as part of their due diligence with a property. There is more push back on sellers to provide a clean, safe and compliant property to market before they can effect a sale. If you are considering putting your home on the market, as best practice I would recommend you consider a building and pest upfront. It may also determine whether or not you are ready to sell particularly if there are significant issues such as termite damage or structural defects that need to be remedied prior to sale. Yes there is some risk by the seller in obtaining the report so seek independent legal advice about your options.