After conducting thousands of inspections over the past 20 odd years: I often get calls from new and old clients, requesting pre-purchase inspections, even though they have access to a vendors or agents report. Generally; the client’s main concern, is the quality and accuracy of the reports provided and potential omissions in the reports of significant defects, and extreme costs should they surface after the new paint and filler begin to crack becoming evident after a couple of wet and dry seasons.
I have personally carried out numerous pre-purchase inspections, and in comparison, to the vendor’s inspections, could have possibly been a pre-purchase report of a completely different house! With items such as rising damp, severe timber pest damage, unsafe and illegal wiring and structural repairs required, such as underpinning, severely corroded lintels and RSJs (rolled steel joists) and split and unsafe roof framework. Which could possibly result in serious injury or death and most certainly expensive to have rectified (possibly in excess of 100k). This could have been avoided for around $500.00
In 2009 the NSW government stopped licencing for building inspectors, which allowed a flood of newcomers to the industry, resulting in inferior reports, and uninsured inspectors and more than likely an increase in complaints to the department of fair trading. When searching for accredited inspectors, it would be advisable to consult such bodies as the Master Builders Association, who carry out out annual checks on all registered consultants, requesting current insurance and licences (professional indemnity and public liability insurance and current building licences).