Building inspection reports are sometimes blamed for buyers withdrawing their interest in a property.

Sometimes it’s justified and other times it’s not. Buyers often walk away for a combination of reasons. However, there are occasions when a building inspector scares off a buyer to benefit themselves.

You see, building inspectors have a common problem: their clients only stay customers until they buy (or sell) a property. This means inspectors need to constantly find new customers and this takes time and money. However, some inspectors have realised that there is an easy way to get two, three or more inspections from each customer.

Buying a House - Parking Inspectors

How? Buyers need to be wary.

These inspectors tend to be very critical of the first property (or two) they inspect, making those properties look very risky. We know of situations where inspectors have said things like “If it was my decision I wouldn’t touch this place” or “This isn’t a good property – but don’t worry, we’ll find you one”. These comments are backed up with a report that has a list of defects as long as your arm.

The buyer thinks the inspector is saving them from buying a lemon but in reality they are being fleeced, and don’t even know it.

How can you avoid this happening?

A building inspection is supposed to compare the inspected property with other ones of a similar age and type. That means the property inspection report needs to be presented in context. For example, most old properties will have similar issues associated with their age, type and construction method. And it doesn’t mean they are all bad properties – you just need to adjust your expectations if you prefer a particular type of property or would like to live in an older area.

Buying a House - Terrace

Unfortunately, most buyers do not have the knowledge or expertise to question what the inspector is telling them. As a result, inspectors can influence their clients without being accountable. And because they are going to lose the client anyway when they buy a property, there isn’t much downside in doing that.

So here is what you can do.

Ask some questions about the report:

  • Are the listed defects mostly minor (non-structural) issues? The inspection is supposed to focus on major safety defects but many reports are filled with minor issues.
  • Are the listed defects common issues with the type of property you are looking at? For example, rising damp is a common issue in terraces. So if you want this type of property, this will be part of what you are buying.
  • Is the report balanced or overly negative?

Want to know more?

Check our sample Building & Pest Report to see what areas should be covered.

See a Sample Report

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You can also download our Buyers Guide for more helpful tips.

Best Regards,
The EYEON Property Inspections Team

At EYEON Property Inspections, we help you buy and sell with more confidence.