Choosing a qualified and ethical building inspector is the toughest challenge facing buyers in today’s real estate market, Remember, buying or building your dream home is most likely to be your largest financial investment, therefore confirming the building inspector’s credentials needs to be a priority, the following points should be qualified, considered and assessed before engaging the inspector.
- Fees for a professional building inspector is small in comparison to the cost of buying a property that needs extensive unforeseen costly repairs missed by not having, or receiving a poor inspection, and remember with inspection fees generally speaking, you only get what you pay for!
- Checking a building inspector’s affiliation with a professional association is an important prerequisite in selecting a qualified building inspector. Is the business locally owned or is it a franchise operation from elsewhere? Most franchisees are not qualified.
- Code of Ethics protects consumers from potential conflicts of interest by prohibiting inspectors from promoting any of the repairs to themselves in the homes which they inspect.
- Most consumers are not able to judge the professional qualifications and experience of a building inspector, and can be too easily impressed by a good sales pitch or contrived testimonials.
- A professional inspector’s concern is to educate buyers about selecting a building inspector who has suitable qualifications. Registered builders must successfully complete mandatory accreditation courses which test the applicant’s knowledge of building systems and components, the diagnosis of house and building defects, and in addition good report writing practises are required. Their professional capability is also a concern, inspectors membership to recognised associations and government bodies needs to be the minimum benchmark of performance in the building inspection profession.
- Neither warranties nor insurance policies can take the place of the knowledge and experience gained from such hands-on education, and that’s what makes a truly qualified inspector.
- A qualified building inspector is a “generalist” who from his book learning and field experience gets to know how a home’s many systems and components work together and how they stand the test of time. He will have the expertise to tell the buyer not only on the structural integrity of the property, but whether the electrical service is proper and has the necessary protection devices, he can also tell if it needs to be updated. Other areas he can identify are wet problems and is able to recommend solutions.
- He can explain the importance of roof voids and house ventilation to protect the building’s structure, and, along the way, he’ll provide valuable maintenance advice to help the home buyer preserve and enjoy his or her new home in the years to come.
- Building inspectors are expected to continue their education in order to keep current with new technology and building practices. Building inspectors need to attend educational seminars and courses to be kept informed.
Read our “10 Tips to Choosing an Inspector” and be better prepared.