A Real Estate Agent has connected the Vendor to a Buyer, the house is suitable and fits the Buyers needs.
The price is right- fits into the budget of Buyer, Vendor is satisfied with the offer on the contract.
Everything is set, just need the Building and Pest Inspection to come back all OK…
The Buyer seeks confidence at this point– a clear unambiguous summary of the condition of the property to take the next step and put pen on paper, seal the deal and move on with this next stage of their life.
Accurate Reporting is Essential
A poorly authored or inaccurate Building Inspection report can crash this deal in an instant. Defects categorized into Minor or Major can scare the Buyer away, and understandably make the property look much worse than it actually is. Even the slightest “defects” can escalate in the mind of the Buyer, and perhaps they did not warrant such a harsh judgement and confidence is lost, they walk away and everybody starts again. Nobody wins here.
However, an honest assessment and report will convey confidence in the decision, even with defects explained in easy to understand terms. Correctly understanding the definitions of Minor and Major defects is paramount when assessing a property, and conveying this message to Buyers is essential to provide the accurate assessment and ultimately, the final verdict.
Defects are categorised in this order:
1. Serious Safety Hazard:
Any item which may constitute an immediate or imminent risk to life, health or property. Occupational, health and safety or any other consequence of these hazards has not been assessed. (Loose handrails, steps, structurally damaged decks, significant mould growth, etc)
2. Major Defect:
A defect of significant magnitude where rectification has to be carried out in order to avoid unsafe conditions, loss of utility or further deterioration of the property. (Cracked concrete stumps, deep corrosion of posts, structural termite damage, etc)
3. Minor Defect:
A defect other than major defect.
4. General Observation Notes:
Visual defects which are not considered to be major, minor or pose any risk to the ongoing condition of the property, and no risk to personal safety. (Plaster defects such as reasonable wear and tear, aesthetic and repairable)
Buyers, Vendors and Agents benefit from accurate reporting, and the Inspector is fulfilling the requirements of AS4349.1-2007 for which they are engaged- To provide an independent professional assessment and report of the condition of the property at the time of inspection to the interested party.
Good and Bad Aspects
In order to understand the overall condition of the property, it is vitally important to include not only the less than positive aspects, but positive aspects including above average inclusions, quality workmanship, good practice installations, recent installations such as hot water units which can be costly replacements.
To read a report which focuses on only the defects will undoubtably crush any confidence and raise more questions than before the inspection. Depending on the Inspector, these questions may never be answered.
An Inspector cannot make a property look good, or better than it is, however a well explained summary will educate the Buyers on any defective aspects with the reasons why, what is required, and what impact can result if no action was taken. Equally important is to educate the Buyer on the positive aspects, which add to the overall picture and balance the scales of the decision.
Presentation and Comprehension of Reports
We all prefer photos to explain a story. We are all busy and don’t have time to read wordy reports full of disclaimers and copy and paste content, we just want to get to the end of the story and make a decision.
Lots of photos of good and bad aspects with captions typed into the report to clearly identify, explain and locate the defects is what provides a comprehensible summary to Buyers. We include just enough tech talk to display how much we know, but not enough to bamboozle you.
Photos of tricky to access areas such as roof voids, roof exteriors and under the house with the cob webs also proves the Inspector has crawled and assessed areas of the property you may never (or want to) go. This is confidence.
To conclude, confidence is achieved by presenting the Buyer with an accurate easy to comprehend summary of the property’s good and bad points. Education leads to an acceptance that some points need work, well that’s all part of buying a pre-owned property.