If a building inspector claims to be popular with real estate agents, or a real estate agent is strongly recommending a particular building inspector to the exclusion of any other inspector, your suspicion may be warranted.

A real estate agent’s primary objective is to sell their vendor’s property at the highest possible price under the most favourable contract conditions.

A building inspector’s primary objective is to provide you, the purchaser, with an independent report detailing the condition of the property prior to the expiration of the contractual cooling off period, or prior to bidding at auction, so that you can make an informed decision about whether you want to proceed with the purchase, and how much you are prepared to pay.

The relationship between real estate agent and building inspector can easily go awry because the building inspection report may jeopardise the sale and/or purchase price of the property.

Unfortunately, cooperative relationships exist between certain “building inspectors” and real estate agents in SA where the “inspector” enjoys a good feed of referral business from the agent because they are willing to provide “favourable” building inspection reports. SBI believes this scenario is quite rare, however.

Then again, many real estate agents are generally dubious of building inspectors because they have had legitimately bad experiences with untrustworthy building inspectors.

Unfortunately, the building inspection industry is South Australia is completely unregulated and anyone can call themselves a building inspector! We’ve heard many horror stories firsthand from both agents and clients about deficient building inspections.

On the other hand, your suspicion may be justified if you find an apparently reputable building inspector through your own independent research and the agent strongly warns you against using them. Sometimes this may be reasonable as the agent may be warning you against a legitimately dodgy building inspector who has somehow slipped through the cracks, however, this may also be because the inspector you have selected is “too thorough” (if there is such a thing!). On occasion, we have been told by our clients that certain agents have advised them against using us, but this only confirms that we are doing our job properly and ethically!

An ethical and qualified building inspector will provide an objective, impartial property inspection report regardless of the personal or financial circumstances of the purchaser and vendor.

When we are engaged to conduct an inspection and we make contact with the agent to schedule the inspection, we have at times met with resistance from the agent when we advise a standard building inspection will take between 1.5 to 2 hours. When the agent responds by suggesting the inspection should take no more than half an hour, we know that they have dealt with – and may even endorse – illegitimate inspectors.

These days most astute buyers will organise a pre-purchase building inspection before committing to a property. Having dealt with hundreds of real estate agents, we can safely say that most are reasonable people who gracefully accept that there may be issues raised in a building inspection report that their client may need to rectify for the sale to proceed. However, some agents (and vendors) can be less gracious and the building inspector, as the bearer of bad news, is an easy target for their wrath and blacklisting.

In our experience, through honest reporting and respectful and effective communication, there is no reason the agent, client and building inspector cannot work together to achieve a mutually beneficial outcome: the successful sale of a property by an informed buyer at the right price.

At the end of the day, real estate agents can and do recommend building inspectors. We at SBI believe that there is not necessarily a conflict of interest when agents refer inspectors as most agents do so with noble intentions, legitimately recommending inspectors that they believe are of high quality and integrity. When agents refer dodgy inspectors with less-than noble motivations, a conflict of interest then arises.
Ultimately, you as the purchaser are responsible for investigating the credibility of a building inspector.

How do I choose a good building inspector when the industry is so unregulated and there are so many dodgy “inspectors” out there?

Easy. Use the following guide … or phone us on 0438 416 461 for a quick chat!

1. Do they hold any building qualifications and what is their building industry experience? Ideally you want to see a Building Work Contractors Licence (Building) and, even better, an unrestricted Building Works Supervisor’s Licence. Run licence numbers through the Consumer and Business Services website to ensure that they are legitimate. Some building inspectors who hold BLD licenses may be purposefully misleading you to believe that they are licensed supervisors, yet are only licensed for a specific trade like landscaping or tiling. At Summerton Building & Inspection we are proud to hold the appropriate licences.

2. Google the inspector. How many Google Reviews do they have? Read what other people have said about them. At Summerton Building & Inspection we proudly enjoy a 5-star Google customer review rating with over 83 independent reviews!

3. Are they insured? All building inspectors should hold current professional indemnity and public liability insurance policies. What credible insurance company would insure a truck driver to conduct building inspections?

4. Don’t fall into the trap of price shopping. Most, if not all, budget “inspections” will be done by someone who is unqualified.
In this scenario, you may as well do the inspection yourself.

For more information on selecting a qualified building inspector, please read our Blogs “Anyone Can Call Themselves A Building Inspector!!!” and “How Do I Select the Correct Building Inspector?

If you are looking for a qualified building inspections please visit www.summertonbuildinginspections.com.au for more details. Also don’t forget to follow us on Google + for building inspections Adelaide news.

Property settlement is the legal transfer of property ownership from vendor to purchaser.  The settlement process is handled by either a conveyancer or a solicitor. Settlement periods range from 30 to 90 days and are nominated by the vendor.

When settlement is effected, ownership of the property passes to the purchaser, and the purchaser pays the balance of the agreed purchase price to the vendor. The vendor must hand over the property in the same condition as it was when it was sold and the contract was signed so the purchaser has the right to arrange another inspection during the week prior to settlement. The purchaser’s bank will expect building and contents insurance to have been arranged prior to settlement, which will take effect from the date the contract is signed.

During the period leading up to settlement the conveyancer should provide the purchaser with a plan of the land as well as a copy of the Certificate of Title.  It is the purchaser’s responsibility to ensure the boundary measurements correlate with those on the Certificate of Title.

If there is any doubt, a Surveyor should be engaged by the purchaser before settlement takes place. The purchaser’s conveyancer will provide a list of documents required for settlement.  The purchaser should ensure these documents are available and correct to avoid costly delays in settling. The purchaser is responsible for paying land transfer duty (stamp duty) at settlement.  The Title to the property will not be released to the purchaser until the duty is paid.

Once settlement is effected, both parties will be contacted by their respective conveyancers / solicitors and the handover of keys will be actioned.

Just remember, a pre-purchase building inspection should be conducted before or immediately after an offer is accepted prior to the expiry of the cooling-off period in order to ensure that there are no major defects that could result in an undesirable loss of utility or significant outgoing costs post-purchase. Pre-purchase building inspections are also of vital importance in identifying any potential safety hazards that may exist with the property. More detail at here.

Contact SBI for a quote or to schedule a booking.

Find a conveyancer at www.aicsa.com.au

For more details about our building inspections services please visit www.summertonbuildinginspections.com.au.

Also don’t forget to follow our Google Plus updates about our building inspections company.


When building a home or investment property through a licensed builder, you are heavily reliant on the building supervisor in regards to build quality and compliance. It is the role of the building supervisor to ensure that your home or investment property is being constructed accurately as per your plans and specifications, as well as to monitor the standard of work being conducted by the labourers. The building supervisor must make certain that the correct materials are being used and building quality / compliance is being achieved throughout the construction process as per the relevant codes and Australian standards.

The construction process is a complicated one with many moving parts and there are many opportunities for mistakes to occur undetected, and unfortunately with many building companies the building supervisors are often unlicensed and are given too many homes to supervise adequately, thus quality is often compromised. Many of the larger building companies will not even assign a site supervisor to a home until it is at the framing stage, thus the entire footings construction is left in the hands of the footing contractors. Though engineering companies who design the footings state in their agreements with the builders that they must  first inspect the trenches and trench fit-out prior to the concrete pour, in my experience this often does not occur and many major defects can and do go undetected, leaving a jeopardised footing system that will potentially fail in the future.

By utilising SBI progress inspections at critical stages of the building process, you are not only gaining an objective expert opinion that will increase your chance of achieving quality, but you are also keeping the builder in check by ensuring that the home / investment property is being built accurately and compliantly according to the plans, specifications, engineering, council requirements, and the relevant Building Codes and Australian Standards.

Our expert inspector will conduct thorough staged progress inspections of your property to ensure that quality is being achieved and to make certain that the dwelling is being constructed in accordance with the NCC / BCA and the relevant Australian Standards / manufacturers specifications. SBI will provide you same-day with a comprehensive written report replete with coloured images via e-mail capturing all of the major and minor defects observed. Our expert inspector will also contact you by phone following the completion of the inspection to discuss the findings and provide you with specific advice, or if you would prefer, will meet you onsite for a face-to-face chat post-inspection.

Progress building inspections should take place at the following construction stages:

Don’t forget to check out our building inspections services at www.summertonbuildinginspections.com.au

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