Never sign a contract before showing it to a competent legal representative working on your behalf, not someone recommended by the real estate agent. There are many clauses used in the industry that may bind you to the contract, regardless of degree of faults found by the building or pest control inspectors
Do not accept reports arranged by the current owner or real estate agent they will more than likely be biased! You may not have any legal recourse against the inspector that has not been hired and paid by you if undisclosed problems are found later. Insurers of building and pest control firms usually demand a disclaimer be put in their report against third parties. Check with your legal advisor
Make sure the Inspector does not disclose any information regarding the inspection with or in front of the agent or current owner, this can lead to arguments also biased opinions from unqualified people. Make sure your Inspector is aware of this, before you employ them.
Do not pay for any building or pest control firm before they carry out an inspection. If they have achieved what they said they would and have confidence and detail in their report, they will not have a problem with this
Do not use unqualified friends or relatives to carry out inspections on your behalf unless they have the appropriate inspection licenses and indemnity insurance. You don’t want to have to take legal action against a relative or friend when something goes wrong
Be aware your lender does not arrange or carry out inspections, they do valuation appraisals only. You must arrange building and pest inspections yourself
Do not allow the real estate agent to dictate who you may or may not use to carry out Inspections on your behalf. Remember the agent has a vested interest in selling you the property, regardless of any problems found
Do not use building or pest control firms recommended by the real estate agent. Collect brochures and cards, ask the agent for a list of their “referrals” that do favorable reports for them to achieve a sale, so you know who not to use. Watch out for Inspectors or company’s that are eager to contact “their friend” the agent and arrange the inspection for you. Anyone that gets referrals from Agents will not be working in your best interest!
Do not allow the Agent, seller or any unqualified person to misinterpret the building or pest control report to suit themselves, they are not qualified and will be biased. Avoid interference from others when making your decision. If in doubt about anything in the report contact your inspector immediately for clarification.
Be aware that having a builders license also being a member of the Master Builders Association and/or Institute of Building Consultants is not sufficient qualifications for an individual to carry out inspections. Your inspector must have the appropriate QBCC licenses to carry out inspections, check before employing anyone
Before they do your inspection ask to see their Queensland Building & Construction Commission license card and check the expiry date, it must have Completed Residential Inspection on it, if inspecting residential properties
It is strongly advisable not to use the same person or firm to carry out both building and pest control inspections. Employ totally separate pest and building inspection firms, not a builder with a pest control licence or one that has only done a basic course, you need inspectors that are SPECIALISED and operated businesses in their particular field with knowledge, background and experience
If the inspector claims they are licensed to do pest and building inspections, ask them how long they have operated a pest control or building business for. Also do a Google search to check their claims.
Ask the building or pest inspector for a copy of their disclaimer-disclosure and scope of the report, so you know exactly what the inspector is and is not going to cover in their report, before employing them
Do not chat with the inspector during the inspection, so you do not break their concentration. Ask questions before they start or at the end. Remember it is an inspection not a social meeting!
Do not employ anyone that does tick box or check point reports which lack detailed information on significant problems.
The report must comply with the Australian Standard AS 4349.1 property inspections Part 1 Residential buildings.
Make sure the Inspector has the appropriate equipment to carry out an inspection. Ladders, torch, moisture meter and camera. Thermal imaging devices are sometimes helpful to back up they should already know, but are not a necessity as they can mislead you into thinking there is nothing wrong, when there is a problem. This can be a costly mistake.
Watch out for inspection services that offer guarantees that limit their liability to a minimum they may not be covered by professional indemnity insurance.
Ask the inspectors what areas they access and cover in their reports, before employing them. Try to be there during the inspection to ensure the inspector accesses all areas they said they would. Especially the roof exterior and roof interior (past the access hole). If the inspector does not want you to be there during the inspection, you don’t want them !
Check if the Inspector takes photos of problems also for proof of areas accessed