To get a building and pest inspection or not? 13/08/12

When buying property one of the most common conditions that buyers place on a contact of sale is the “subject to building and pest inspection”. This clause will allow the purchaser to pull out of the contract if the they are not satisfied with the structural integrity of the building or if the building is infested and / or has been infested by pests in the past.

I believe that the services offered by building and pest inspectors are a wise move for investors and homebuyers to look into when purchasing property, but can often be the difference between securing the property and missing out when it comes to the sale. Particularly in the case of a private sale.

Many buyers in the market place often prefer buying property through the “private sale” method. The reason for this is because there is less pressure than that of standing in a crowd of people on auction day and bidding against others. Another reason is because there is far more flexibility in terms of the contract of sale with a private sale. Although this may seem beneficial and be a less pressured way of buying property, many buyers end up missing out on the “home of their dreams” due to having too many clauses on the contract, and one of those is generally a building and pest inspection.

To give you an example; If there were 3 people putting offers in on a particular property and contract “A” was for $350,000 unconditional contract with 10% deposit paid on acceptance, contract “B” was for $352,000 with a “subject to finance” clause for 7 days, and contract “C” was for $355,000 subject to finance for 7 days and subject to a building and pest inspection. Although contract “C” was of a higher dollar amount than both of the other offers, a lot of the time the Vendor (seller) will often opt for contract “A” as it is an unconditional sale and they know that nothing can go wrong with the sale of their home.

Having said that, I don’t mean to say that you should not carry our building / pest inspections, nor would i suggest you do not do your due diligence in regards to setting up your finance. What I would suggest how ever, is that if you are looking to purchase a property and you are unsure as to the structural integrity of the property, have a building / pest inspection carried out on the property prior to documenting any offers. That way, you can be sure of the property prior to any commitments, in turn making your offer stronger should you decide to proceed with a contract after receiving the report and removing the clause.


Sam Rapke

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