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FAQ: Should I get a building and pest inspection?

Getting an independent building and pest inspection report could save you from buying a lemon (= a financial disaster!).

Every property is different. Older homes may have hidden issues with crumbling foundations, termite infestation and asbestos. Newer homes can have waterproofing problems and flammable cladding.

Investing in a building and pest inspection report could save you a fortune, if the report identifies major structural defects at the property that make it unwise to continue with your purchase. And if the issues are less serious, you may be able to use the report’s findings to negotiate down the purchase price.

If you buy subject to a building and pest inspection in a private sale, try to get the special condition broadly worded, so there’s enough wriggle room to terminate the contract if the inspection picks up any issues, regardless of their seriousness. If possible, avoid the word major before defect and live before pest infestation. However, in a strong vendor's market, it can be difficult to successfully deviate from the standard special condition wording.

Remember that when you purchase at an auction or under auction rules, the contract is not subject to anything, so you would need to arrange your building and pest inspection to occur before auction day. That way, you'll be forearmed and forewarned!

Note: the above is general information and should not be considered as legal advice.

Buying Property