To Inspect or Not to Inspect, that is the dilemma, or is it?

I thought I would delve into the area or Offer & Acceptance as this is where YOU as the prospective buyer of a established property have the opportunity to allow yourself the ability to make an informed decision on the property you are making an offer on. Now that is not to say that you haven’t made many informed decisions up until this point and won’t continue to in the future, for example, you will make an informed decision on the bank and type of mortgage you will apply for, as nobody wants to end up paying more than they need to in interest! You will make an informed decision on a settlement agent, mortgage insurance, home insurance…..the list goes on!

But what I am getting at is that these decisions can be made in private and generally in your own time. When you are signing a binding contractual offer to purchase a house often there are questions that come up that you may not have had a chance to think about. In many cases adding the condition of having an independent pre-purchase building & timber pest inspection is one of those items that can come up at the time of signing the offer and prompt the question “I didn’t think about that, I don’t know, (asking the agent) what do you think?”

Many agents will make recommendations for a building and timber pest inspection company, and this is something that is common and something that is above board. The Real Estate Institute of WA generally recommends that 2-3 recommendations are given in order to allow the buyer to make their own decision, however some will only recommend one, which again is fine, by all means take the agents recommendation, but just give them a call first to clarify their independence and other items discussed below, then you’re good to go!.

It is up to YOU the purchaser to firstly make an informed decision and, secondly make your own decision!.


  • When the condition of having Pre-purchase Building and Timber Pest Inspection is up for consideration lets look at what is at stake when purchasing a established home for $X amount (Which these days is anywhere from $450,000.00 upwards).
  • Is the home structurally okay? This is the $450,000.00 + question.
  • Does the house have termite or timber pest activity or previous damage.
  • Is it a wise decision to pass on Building and Timber Pest Inspections.
  • Unless you are a Registered builder AND Licensed Timber Pest Inspector then you cannot confidently answer the first two questions, but the final question is probably the most important one!


When my wife and I were buying the home we are in now, we had an agent that seemed to be making decisions on behalf of the seller and TRYING to make decisions for us! When he stated he would not even write up our offer as the seller would not entertain it we reminded kindly him that he is required to present ALL reasonable offers in writing. He begrudgingly wrote our offer up, not before asking me if my wife could sell some jewelry to be able to up the offer!! Dead set, I know right. The point is he wrote the offer which I stipulated expired in 24 hours if not accepted and it was accepted the next morning (with building and pest inspection conditions of course!) So you have to resist the pressure to do what other people think will “secure” your house and make wise investment decisions, because what you don’t want is to move in and find you have to rectify a structural issue at considerable cost which could have been uncovered for around $450 inc GST.

So when you come across sales person that advises you that your chances of having your offer accepted if it comes without conditions are better, remember to ask yourself the questions, because you MIGHT have a better chance, but you also MIGHT be accepting big problems without the chance of recourse or backing out of the offer, you’d be contractually locked in!



  • So you’ve made your decision and it is to protect yourselves and your investment by getting a Pre-purchase Building Inspection and Pre-purchase Timber Pest Inspection, now you need to find someone with the skills and experience to carry it out.

So what do you look for?

  • Firstly, Qualification and Experience – Is your Building Inspector a: Registered Builder, Structural or Civil Engineer, Building Surveyor or Architect, these people have the ability to confidently carry out the inspection with there learned skills and experience.
  • Is your inspector experienced in Pre-purchase Building Inspections? Being a registered builder is a great start, but there is an Australian Standard for Pre-purchase Residential Building Inspections (AS4349.1) and your inspector must have experience in conducting these inspections and understand the scope.
  • Secondly, Is your Building Inspector also a licensed Timber Pest Inspector? If not, we believe the risk is too high, we at BCI have always coordinated Pre-purchase Timber Pest Inspections by LICENSED and INSURED Timber Pest Inspectors as an added service, but also because we are only the experts on structures and buildings, NOT timber pests and we believe our clients deserve more than unqualified inspections.
  • Thirdly, INSURANCE! Are the Inspectors carrying out your inspection Insured, you do NOT want to be left high and dry if they are not properly insured to carry out the inspections they advertise! Ask these questions of your inspection company and ensure your Real Estate purchase experience is a good one!

If you or someone you know have any queries regarding pre-purchase or any other type of building inspection please feel free to call for our expert opinion anytime!