Clients cool off after a Pre purchase Building Inspection in Ascot Park
Within the Pre purchase Building Inspection industry there is the thinking that if you are upsetting the occasional real estate agent, you must be doing a good job! People go to work, or are in business for many reasons, the least of which is they want to get paid for what they do. Real estate agents are no exception to this, and fair enough too. Therefore, nothing will upset an agent more than losing their commission on a sale that they thought was in the bank, and the only thing that prevented that from happening was… wait for it… the outcome of the building inspection report!
Not all agents are like this, but it is not unusual as a building inspector to receive a phone call of complaint from the odd irate agent. They are more than happy to give you advice about where you are going wrong with your inspection process, or how a builder friend of theirs would not find anything wrong with the property. They may even challenge you about your credentials and ability to carry out such a service. Unfortunately for this agent, what it is… is what it is! We don’t produce, make up or invent the defects that we find. We simply use our skills to identify and report them to the best of our ability with no hidden agenda.
Only ever engage a building inspector who is truly independent from any real estate agent.
Clearly this is an example of two parties having different goals. The agent wants to sell the house for the vendor and get his commission, and we as building inspectors want to inform our clients of the true condition of the property they are buying, and protect them from any unexpected and expensive repair costs at a later date after they have moved in. We are for the buyer all the way, agents are for the sellers, all the way to their bank balance… no offence.
Therefore, it is imperative that you only ever employ a building inspector to report on your potential new home who is without doubt fully independent from any real estate agent, particularly the one selling your property. It doesn’t hurt, and you are certainly entitled to ask your inspector the question as to whether he, or she, is associated with any agency. Only then will you know for sure that you will get a totally unbiased report, one that is not trying to satisfy any other outside influences.
So what was the controversial issue that caused all the fuss?
You be the judge on this one. To the front right corner of this 1970’s brick veneer home was a section of non-loadbearing wall about five foot wide that was keyed into the main building. It wasn’t serving any real structural purpose, but what had happened is that the footing on which it was built had dropped, or failed, causing severe stepped cracking in excess of 20mm to its rear side. That wasn’t so bad, but the real problem was that as this section of walling dropped, it took with it part of the main dwelling causing cracking and extensive gapping between the window reveal and the aluminium window frame. When I say extensive, I mean you could literally put your hand into the wall cavity through the gap that had been created.
It wouldn’t take much of a rainfall event for water penetration to cause all sorts of wet decay damage to wall frame components. Underpinning at a potential cost of $3,000 and upwards was going to be the likely remedy to this situation. It was certainly fixable and not the end of the world, but it was going to come at a cost that our client may not have been able to afford.
The second aspect, apart from all the plumbing issues that I don’t have time to go into in this article, is the 25m of asbestos fencing running down the left and right boundaries of the property. With it breaking up and leaning over in places, what has to be considered here, is that not only is it expensive to remove, but you also have to replace it with new fencing. If you can’t get your two sets of new neighbours onside to go halves, the whole exercise could cost our unsuspecting clients somewhere between $20,000 to $30,000. Ouch! If it wasn’t for the inspector, not the agent, our client would have been none the wiser about these potentially costly problems. As diligent building inspectors we stand by our reports 100%, and believe that in this instance alone, we literally saved our clients thousands of dollars.
Let me leave you with this thought… if you were buying this property, would you want to know about the issues we have just discussed? I believe you would, and as such, reporting on them is only fair and the right thing to do, despite the phone calls we get from disappointed real estate agents that it might provoke.
To assist you in understanding how quality inspection services can protect you from costly mistakes, have a read of my article, What does a good Building Inspector in Adelaide actually do – Part 1?