Buying or selling property? You have to read this.

Recently the wording has changed in a clause of the Real Estate Institute of Victoria’s contract. This one small word change, though subtle, can have huge ramifications if you work in the business of property. It is likewise important to know if you are thinking of buying or selling your own home.

While the previous contract referred to a ‘building inspector’ undertaking home inspections, the updated copy at two points clearly names a ‘registered building practitioner’.

Registered Building Practitioner versus a Pre-Purchase Building Inspector

What does this mean for real estate agents and people in the market for property? This is a beneficial change in the documentation as building practitioner refers to an individual who is registered and has qualifications for the job. Anyone can call themselves a pre-purchase building inspector. But, if you have your house checked by someone who is not registered, their work may not be as thorough, nor as safe.

Nigel Benn, Director of ZYNC Inspections, explains that the change in the clause “allows for more regulation on who is conducting the inspection. . .there are many unqualified inspectors out there in the industry as there is no formal governing body to manage pre-purchase building inspector licenses”.

If something is found as a result of an inspection by a registered building practitioner, “all money paid must be immediately returned to the purchaser” as outlined in the contract. In the case of an unregistered inspector this will not be possible. To remedy this, you will have to engage a registered building practitioner in any case. Consequently, it is well worth the time, expense and security to hire a registered building practitioner to inspect your property from the outset.

What will registered building practitioners look for?

Nigel, who works in the Macedon Ranges and surrounds, is one of these registered building practitioners. He has four years experience as a pest and pre-purchase building inspector and many more in the industry as a construction supervisor and carpenter. All too often Nigel has been approached to inspect a house that initially was not checked correctly.

We asked Nigel to list the most common problems he has come across as a building practitioner. This primary list is extensive and includes:

  • sinking stumps, whether they need to be packed up or re-stumped
  • timber decay
  • lack of termite protection
  • roofing and gutter issues (such as overflowing gutters, roofs in need of resealing, cracked concrete roof tiles)
  • lack of ventilation to the subfloor (under house) areas
  • plumbing leaks to the subfloor (under house)

What can you expect when you choose a registered building practitioner?

Because unregistered pre-purchase building inspectors are not recognised under the REIV contract, there is no guarantee that they will undertake all the measures necessary to correctly inspect a house for pests and structural defects. As a registered practitioner, Nigel does a thorough inspection of the entire house. This includes checking any nook or cranny that he can physically fit into, whether that be: under the floor, in the roof void and on top of the roof.

Registered building practitioners also ensure that the inspection is conducted and the report returned to the purchaser within the specified time allowed in the contract of sale. Nigel’s reports are returned on the same day as the inspection.

Don’t get caught out

Buying a home is one of the biggest investments a person will make in their lifetime. If you are in the real estate business, make sure your client is aware of this change of wording in the REIV contract. Likewise, if you or someone you know is buying a new home, ensure that a registered building practitioner undertakes the inspection to save the purchaser time, money and hassles.

Think Smart. Think ZYNC

Are you searching for a licensed building practitioner to inspect a property? Nigel Benn, from ZYNC Inspections is approachable, highly qualified and returns his findings on the same day the inspection is conducted. He enjoys assisting people to avoid major costs and surprises in addition to the purchase of a property. Get the right person for the job the first time around. When buying or selling a property, hire a registered building practitioner.