Pre purchase or pre sale building inspections are becoming more frequent. As buyers,   (wishing to ensure they are not buying a “lemon”) employ independent home building inspectors, sellers can be concerned that a fault they were not aware of and which can jeopardise the sale of their home is uncovered.

More often than not buyers commission the building inspector to carry out an inspection and prepare a home inspection report. Sellers however have been known to seek home inspection reports prior to putting their home on the market.

Home Building Inspectors find themselves therefore preparing reports for both sellers and buyers. Buyers, Sellers and Agents all have different agendas; or do they?

I recently was asked by a real estate agent I know “who do you prepare your report for, the buyer, the seller or me?”

So what is the answer – who does a Home Building Inspector work for?

Professional Home Inspection reports are prepared by independent building inspectors qualified to identify and observe on faults and whilst usually commissioned by the buyer, should not be used as a tool by buyers to influence the purchase price. Professional and Reliable Home Inspectors who prepare their reports with integrity will likely be commissioned by the seller when they are looking at their potential new home.

A reliable building inspection report, one prepared in accordance with Australian Standards AS 4939.1, will not only identify faults it will categorize those defects and indicate their level of significance. Such reports will also make recommendations on how defects should be treated and will compare those defects found with other similar homes, including homes of similar construction types and styles, homes built in similar environs and homes of similar age. AS 4939.1 does not prescribe that a report should indicate whether or not a home is suitable for sale and has no provision for identifying the costs of work required to address any faults found.

All homes have defects, even newly built homes. And similar homes (as noted above) have similar defects. Simply speaking, buyers who have concerns with particular types of faults should avoid looking at similar homes.
More often than not the defects found will not impact on the decision of a buyer to purchase because they are looking for assurance that the emotional decision to buy is justified. It provides them knowledge of what they are buying and what they are getting into, including knowledge of and how to manage significant defects.

A reliable inspection report is prepared professionally and with integrity and because it does not take sides will give the seller confidence to also get a building inspection done when they want to offer to purchase a home.

So who does the Home Building Inspector work for?

Maybe it depends on who the buyer is, who the seller is, who the real estate agent is and who the building inspector is.