Buying a property without building inspection is like playing Russian roulette and on the stake is your life’s investment. A building inspection is a difference between secure property investment and disastrous investment. But inspection done by a dodgy inspector is as good as no inspection and there are a lot of dodgy inspectors out there. So buyers seek advice to hire competent and professional building inspectors.

During the process of purchasing the property, buyers do get a lot of advice from different sources and most of these sources have conflicting interests. Building Inspection Council has observed that many of these recommendations push you towards dodgy building inspectors. Here are 5 ways to avoid dodgy building inspectors:


1. Avoid Recommendations From The Real Estate Agent

When you hire a building inspector recommended by the real estate agent, your report is almost prepared as per the instruction from the agent and not as the actual condition of the property. Let’s consider a scenario where a real estate agent is selling you a house. You are happy to buy that house but want to have a building inspection first. The real estate agent recommends a building inspection at a discounted price and you hire this inspector.

Now real estate agent really wants to make this sale and all he needs is little help from the inspector. The building inspector regularly gets work from the real estate agent. The references from the agent are his bread and butter. So he obliges the agent and prepares the report to push the sale. A little back-scratching always works and the buyer’s interest comes last in this case.

Always hire an independent building inspector to get a fair and genuine building inspection.

2. Avoid Recommendations From The Mortgage Broker

Similar to the above point, recommendations from the mortgage broker are in conflict of interest. The mortgage broker wants the property sale to get through so he can sell his loan and make his cut. Whereas an honest building inspection report may come in the way.

Building inspectors get regular work through these mortgage brokers. Inspector would not like to be the reason for the cancellation of this sale. A little call from the mortgage broker can influence the content of your building inspection report in favor of getting the sale through and help the mortgage broker makes his money.

An independent building inspection will ensure that you get from the inspector what he is hired for.

3. Avoid Quotes That Are Too Cheap

Be wary of building inspectors that are too cheap. The average price for quality building inspection fall between $400 to $600 (For detailed information about price range, click here).

The difference between the quality building inspection and cheap building inspection is max $100-$150. This is nothing as compared to the total investment you have made. Only seasoned building inspectors are competent to identify all the building defects on the property. It takes experience and learning of many years to be a competent building inspector. Many companies are producing building inspectors through a weekend course. This course may be useful for a property buyer but definitely cannot train anyone to be a professional inspector. Inspection done by such an inspector may save you $100 to $200 dollars but leave your property with serious risk of undetected building defects.

Hire a qualified and licensed building inspection with experience to avoid the risk of undetected building issues.

4. Avoid Recommendation From The Solicitor

Solicitor is another professional who may recommend you a building inspector. This is another situation with conflict of interest scenario – solicitor wants your business and building inspection may come in the way. Similar to the previous situation, the building inspector recommended by the solicitors gets a lot of work through the solicitor and the inspector would not like to lose that. Building Inspection Council has seen building inspectors approaching the solicitor or other professionals.

It is better to steer away from the building inspector recommended by a solicitor and hire an independent one.

5. Avoid Commercial Quote Companies:

Another source to avoid is commercial quote companies and there are 2 reasons for that. Building Inspection Council has observed that commercial quote companies have no or lousy verification process. Companies want as many building inspectors listed on their website as possible and more inspectors mean more money. 

It is said that if you are getting some product or service free then you are the product. In this business model, you are getting quotes for free so you are the product. Quote companies sell this product to building inspectors who in this case is a customer (paying part of the model). Commercial quote companies are sellers who are here to make maximum profit. Inspection companies pay between $26 to $105 for each customer reference(lead).  As it is said that ‘who pays the piper call the tune’. Same way in this situation, the building inspector gets to call the shot.

Quote companies sell the customer references (leads) to the highest bidder or as many inspectors as possible irrespective of their experience. Quality of the building inspector or interest of property buyers is the last preference for these quote companies.

Building Inspection Council has experienced that genuine quality building inspectors get most of their work through the reference and hardly pay commission to these companies for work.

We are not saying that all the building inspectors are involved in unprofessional practices but for a property buyer, it is almost impossible to differentiate between the genuine and crooked one. Most of us buy only 1 or 2 properties in our lifetime. This by no means is enough experience to identify a quality building inspector.

What is the best way to find a good building inspector?

The best way to find a competent building inspector is to conduct your own research. Ask the people you know and trust instead of people with conflict of interest. Take the advice are from the friends and family who have a good and bad experience with their own property.

At Building Inspection Council we verify the building inspectors on every aspect before they quote you. The best part of being a not-for-profit organization is that we do not have to compromise for profit. You get honest and unbiased advice. 97.9% of users have recommended us to their family and friends. For free quotes, Please Click here