It’s no secret that real estate agents and building Inspectors do not always see eye to eye.
Understandably, the agent needs to make a sale and the inspector needs to protect the property purchaser. Without both parties respecting each other’s intentions and outcomes, it can be a recipe for disaster with a potential conflict of interest.
Real estate agents need to comprehend the role of the pre-purchase inspector, which is to ensure that any potential defects in a home are reported and either rectified or negotiated in reducing the price of the dwelling. Not only is this morally the right thing to do, it also helps to guard the agent’s reputation.
Too often, agents become involved in conversations between the purchaser and the pre-purchase inspector because finding fault with the property could jeopardise the sale. When a property has defects, fix them. That way you will sell your home with a clear conscience.
Naturally, the vendor has a vested interest in a favourable report so it doesn’t prevent the sale or reduce the price. If the vendor organises their own inspection and the report comes with defects, there’s no requirement for them to improve their property based on report results. Therefore it is critical that anyone purchasing a property engages their own building inspector to inspect the property independently, and I would guard against relying on any reports that come with the property. In recent news the median house price in Sydney and Melbourne has reached around $1 million mark, making it even more critical to get the home inspected thoroughly for peace of mind.
There are times when agents prefer to ignore certain defects or faults in a home, i.e. when mould, asbestos and/or termites are discovered on a property for sale. The right thing to do is to remove the property from the listing out of respect for the next unsuspecting buyer. After all, it may delay a sale but it can also help keep the agent’s goodwill and reputation.
Often real estate agents disconnect themselves from property inspectors who do the right thing by the purchaser by reporting appropriately, and this does not serve anybody. In reality, the vendor also needs to be aware of defaults in their property so there are no nasty surprises when it comes to selling.
One word of advice for pre-purchase inspectors I give is to not become an advocate for agents simply because they may provide you with work. You are better off to build your business based on your integrity and professionalism and the work will come to you. Likewise for real estate agents, when recommending a building inspector to a client, make sure the inspector has a good track record, at least five years' experience, and is insured. Failing to do this could find agent coming under scrutiny from buyers who may suspect the agent does not have their best interest at heart.