Consider this, for most people property is their most expensive asset. In today’s sophisticated Sydney real estate market, a great deal of time, effort and money goes into selling a home from the presentation stage to the final settlement. Besides spring cleaning and maintenance costs, budgets must cover styling, hiring furniture and advertising expenses.
It is therefore quite common for the seller to consider a pest and building inspection the responsibility and cost of a buyer, “Buyer beware” as they say. I beg to differ.
When was the last time you read a pest and building inspection? These reports are designed to be a brutal assessment of your property by itemising every last fault. Reports include words like:
- “High risk”
- ”Visible evidence of termite damage”
- “Mud tubes & borers were found”
You might not have recently done a pest treatment on your home, averse to the chemicals involved, or you just have not got around to it in the last 20 years. Or maybe you know the skylights leak but you have learnt to live with it and think the buyer will too.
The first the buyer will know of any issues is when they see it in writing, with lots of disclaimers and litigious words to cover the inspector’s backside.
Your home or investment property is now worth a lot of money to you, you have a lot of money on the line.
Now think about the potential buyer of your home. Do you think the buyer is going to buy your property without doing a pest and building inspection? Highly unlikely. More likely what will transpire is, after falling in love with your property, the buyer will order a pest and building inspection. That pest and building inspection, costing between $400 and $600 approx will put in writing all the defects of your property. Without fail, your perfectly lovely home will look less appealing and the buyer will feel less emotional and more practical about what money they might spend on your home or investment property.
Without knowledge of what was in that report it is hard for an agent to counter the criticisms. Some buyers, on receiving an adverse report, go silently away, never to return the agents call. Some try to use the report as leverage to reduce their offer.
What is important to understand as a seller is, that no matter how perfect you think your property is, it will never be perfect in a pest and building inspection. What your agent will do is prepare a buyer for this. What an agent can’t fix so easily is a curveball midway through a marketing campaign. Curveballs can come in the form of a structurally unsound roof/ termite infestation/ drainage issues etc. You achieve the best price in 30 days, there is no time for nasty surprises.
The other scenario is you pay for a pest and building inspection before spending thousands of dollars on marketing. You are made aware of any major defects or issues with the building and you have time to rectify those issues before proceeding.
Alternatively, no house is perfect so if your house comes through relatively unscathed, your agent and yourself have the confidence to proceed to with a marketing and sale campaign to maximise your sale price and the added benefit that your agent can be on the front foot with any buyer criticisms.
So in my opinion, sellers should definitely do pest and building inspections and prior to the commencement of the advertising campaign.