Should I Use the Building Inspector Which My Real Estate Agents Refers?

The process of buying a home in NZ is not as easy as it appears, so if you are in the market to buy a property, you might like to read this!

If you like a particular home and get your offer accepted, should you hire a building inspection company which the real estate agent recommends?

Well… if you ask the client that I did a building moisture inspection for yesterday, then he’ll tell you a big NO! Here’s what happened…

To start with, let me say that the good real estate agents will always suggest getting a building and moisture inspection anyway, for your sake and their reputation.  But, if they go on and give you the name of an building consultant to do the inspection, then be careful. Most inspectors will do the right thing either way… but like in any industry, there’s the odd ‘loose cannon’ who simply needs to make a dollar fast. That’s not who you want to hire.

My client purchased a monolithic cladding townhouse, and the inspector ‘verbally’ told the client that there was no need for a moisture test on the home because the paintwork was in good condition. Are you kidding me! Any building inspection company in NZ should know that these types of buildings could be leaky buildings. In my opinion, the building inspector is asking for trouble telling people no moisture test in needed with plaster homes.

Even if the paintwork looks good (He also failed to see a very large crack in the cladding), you can still have window joinery failures which lets water down into the wall and onto the timber. And guess what? That’s exactly what happened in this case.

Due to the fact the builder/building inspector ‘verbally’ said not to worry about it, then the buyer has no real come back because  it’s not in writing… and second to that, the new home owner was beginning to wonder if the inspector and real estate agent were working in together, because the buyer wasn’t there through any of this process… it was all  ‘organised’ through the agent.

The end result was that I found moisture IN THE UNTREATED TIMBER under one of the windows, and it extended right down the timber stud to the bottom plate. Although this area was isolated and it shouldn’t cost much to fix, it’s still something you need to know prior to purchasing.

Always choose an inspector who offers a non-biased opinion… be it a structural building inspection, or an infrared thermal imaging test.