Many successful property investors deem pest and building inspectors as important members of their team, and as with engaging with any property professional, communication is key to building and maintaining a productive relationship among the parties involved.
BuildingPro founder Andrew Mackie-Smith encourages all buyers to develop the habit of discussing an inspector’s report as soon as possible to determine the best way to address the issues that were found in the property. However, he reminds everyone that it takes asking the right questions to make the most out of their relationship with property inspectors.
“Don't start out with ‘Would you buy it?’ because that's a common question, but it's a really difficult one for an inspector to answer because we're not actually there to give investment advice—we don't know the value of the property and there's a whole range of other factors,” he explained.
Property investors should focus on discussing the major issues found in the property as well as the possible cost of repairs and maintenance, both of which could be indicated on the reports but might be too technical for some people to understand by only reading on paper.
“If they can, some inspectors will help you out with cost estimates on those issues and I find it's sometimes helpful for some people who have difficulty understanding the technicality of a defect, but they can certainly understand money. If they understand something's going to cost them $20 to fix or $2,000 to fix, it's more helpful advice,” he said.
“Get cost estimates where appropriate and try to understand… the major defects and, certainly, safety hazards… especially if the property is going to be tenanted."
His most important advice for property investors looking to succeed in the business of creating wealth: Be critical of the quality of the structure before committing to an investment. After all, buying a property is not only about manufacturing equity but also about providing safe premises for people to rent.
He said: “[Don’t just] read the report and just assume that they've absorbed everything from the report.... I've written reports myself and I've also read plenty of other reports—it's difficult to ascertain the property because there's a lot of information in those reports and there's a lot of disclaimers often, too, so they can be confusing.”
“Speak to the inspector. Make sure you make the time to have a chat and understand it… [because] getting the inspection done is only half the service. Make sure you a) Read it. Actually read the report, and b) Speak to the inspector to clarify any points from that. I think that's really key,” Andrew concluded.
Tune in to Andrew Mackie-Smith’s episode on The Smart Property Investment Show to know more about the science behind pest and building inspections, as well as the top 10 things every investor should check to ensure their new property is the real deal.