Purchasing property is one of the biggest investments we can make. Those in the position to do so turn to a pre-purchase inspection report, and the services around that, with incredible trust. And that’s why companies in the field need to make sure they provide a report of the highest quality. Not just for their client, but as protection from future liability.
When it comes down to it, your report may be the deciding factor in whether your client goes through with the purchase. If something goes wrong down the track, they’ll turn to you for answers. For that reason, it’s important a solid, thorough report is delivered.
Mistakes of a Pre-Purchase Inspection Report
There are several common mistakes many within the industry make in preparing pre-purchase inspection reports:
The thought your client will not read the report in its entirety is one that often leads to disaster. If you think you can slack off, not be thorough or rush through the report as you are running behind schedule then you’re going to run into trouble. Stop and take the time to complete the report in its entirety. After all, you ask your client to read the report in its entirety.
Not answering a question leaves you liable and open to litigation should something arise. Remember a pre-purchase inspection report includes reporting on all findings including excessive moisture, fungal decay, borers, conducive conditions, etc – not just termites.
Make sure you repeatedly reiterate throughout the report ‘at the time of the inspection.’ This makes clear to the client that if something occurs once inspection is complete, it’s outside your capabilities to report on. Another term to remember is ‘accessible areas’. The assessment of a property including building and site is based solely on visible, unobstructed accessible areas. It’s also important to include phrases such as ‘Subfloor – no report given or implied beneath concrete slab’ and ‘Trees and Stumps – visual inspection to exterior of tree only,’ just to cover yourself.
Obstructions and restrictions
This is something many inspectors are very complacent about when filing a report. However, it’s the one clients need to understand the most. It’s vital to report all obstructions within a property. These include wall voids, fixed cupboards, furniture, common walls, stored goods, hot water systems, water tanks and air conditioners against exterior walls.
Tips for a Best Practice Pre-Purchase Inspection Report
That said, here are some tips to making sure your report is one you can stand by:
Recommendations are essential
Always recommend a termite management system be installed and advise a quote is available upon request. Also, should a termite management system be located at the time of the inspection, it’s essential to advise the client of this. It’s also vital the client understands you do not assure another firms work and that they must obtain and refer to original documentation for further details.
It’s important when writing your report to remember that your client is often not experienced in the field of pest management. So, you must minimise the amount of technical jargon without compromising on correct and accurate reporting and recommendations.
Ensure your report is laid out in an easy to read and visually pleasing manner. This allows your client the best opportunity to understand each section. It’s always important to offer your client help in understanding the findings.Take time to remember these tips when writing a report and consider your client throughout the entire process. With correct wording and an easy to read, visually appealing layout, it’s easy to please your client and avoid landing in hot water down the track.
GUEST BLOG: This pre-purchase inspection article is a guest blog written by Kristy Dawson, Contracts Manager at Rapid Solutions client Mr Pesty. Mr Pesty is a company located in Kingsgrove, Sydney NSW. Its services cover a broad range of pest management activities, including:
- General pest treatments
- Termite inspections and treatments
- Commercial HACCP compliant management programs
- Pre-construction termite systems