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.
Would you trust a tiler, a plumber, a landscaper, a drywall installer, or even a truck driver or hairdresser to conduct a professional building inspection on your new property? Many people unknowingly do – don’t be one of them!
DO NOT assume that because you see a BLD licence, your building inspector is in fact licensed and qualified.
Considering that the building inspection industry is currently unregulated in South Australia with no licensing requirements whatsoever, and there are unfortunately many unqualified “building inspectors” offering lower cost “building inspections”, buyers requiring pre-purchase-inspections prior to the expiry of the contractual cooling-off period or auction certainly run the gauntlet.
One way that building inspectors claim credibility is by advertising that they have a “builder’s licence” by displaying their BLD number on the homepage of their website, on their business cards or on their work vehicles.
A person must be licensed as a Building Contractor to perform any kind of building work for others in South Australia, thus there is a BLD number for almost every different building trade out there.
The ideal BLD license for building inspectors to hold is an unrestricted BUILDING WORK SUPERVISORS LICENSE which enables them to supervise an entire build and to sign off on the requisite compliances (Regulation 74 / Part A Statement of Compliance etc).
These licenses demonstrate a wide-ranging expertise of building practices and reflect a balanced knowledge requisite in any reputable, qualified building inspector’s repertoire.
Many Adelaide “building inspectors” who promote their BLD numbers, however, are purposefully misleading you, the buyer, by implying that they are licensed builders or building work supervisors when they are in fact nothing of the sort. Some are licensed tilers, plumbers, and even landscapers.
Sure, these licenses grant the holder the claim of expertise in their particular fields, but when viewed in the context of a comprehensive pre-purchase building inspection where every building element must be expertly analysed, do these hobbled licenses really lend any feasible trustworthiness?
Clearly the answer is NO!
Admittedly a BUILDING WORK SUPERVISORS LICENSE is not the be-all and end-all in regards to building inspector qualifications. A rich and diverse building industry experience through various disciplines along with a strong mentorship from other senior inspectors can certainly place an up-and-coming building inspector in very good stead. The purpose of this article is merely to highlight the deceptive nature of certain building inspectors who market their BLD licenses as a form of overarching accreditation even though their license may only be applicable to plumbing etc.
In any case, the unregulated nature of the building inspection industry certainly poses a pending liability for the unknowing consumer. Buying a home is often the most significant financial decision most people will make in their lives, thus it is of the upmost importance for buyers to thoroughly investigate the credentials of prospective building inspectors prior to engaging them. Please click here to read my detailed blog “How do I select the correct building inspector?”.
Before you decide on a building inspector, first verify their BLD “Building License” number by visiting the Consumer and Business Services license check webpage – https://secure.cbs.sa.gov.au/OccLicPubReg/index.php
If you are looking for professional building inspectors please visit www.summertonbuildinginspections.com.au for more information. Also don’t forget to follow us on Google + : building inspectors in Adelaide