Renegotiate with your building and pest report

Home buyers are not only encouraged to pay for a professional building and pest inspection report, but also to consider negotiating with it.

With recent claims of a third of properties being unsafe, and Archicentre also seeing around 30% of properties with a major flaw (see infographic below), some of these properties may still present an opportunity.

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Director of Consumer Affairs Victoria, Claire Noone, urged buyers to undertake a pest and building inspection as in some cases major faults may be indicated. This may include issues with the sub-floor and roof structures, or termite damage.

 Some properties will be worth avoiding altogether.

“If you’re highly motivated to buy a property, getting a professional building or pest inspection can be one of the final stages in researching the home before you buy,” Noone said.

“The fee for a professional inspection service can be small when compared with the cost of buying a property that needs extensive, unforeseen repairs," she said.

“You may also be able to use the report to negotiate the price and conditions in the contract.”

Investors and home buyers wishing to use a building and pest inspection for potential negotiation should include relevant clauses in their contract to allow it to be conditional for this inspection to take place.

A building inspection typically lists any faults, whether these can be repaired, and the potential cost. 

“Buyers negotiating a private sale can make the inspection report a condition of the contract,” Noone said.

“However, if you’re buying at auction you will need to consider whether you get an inspection beforehand – as you cannot make the contract subject to conditions, and you don’t get a cooling-off period to change your mind."

Full professional indemnity insurance is crucial for the inspection service you choose to use, ensure that they have this cover.

If your building and pest inspection has you confused, it might also be worth reading observer Jo Chivers' guide to reading between the lines.

Jennifer Duke

Jennifer Duke

Jennifer Duke was a property writer at Property Observer

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