If you’re selling a residential property in the ACT, you need to have a residential building inspection report completed before you offer your property for sale. This is by law.
A residential building inspection report is a written account of a property’s condition. It lists building defects or problems (interior and exterior) that need repair.
Residential building reports protect buyers by ensuring they have relevant information about your property before committing to buying it. These reports can also benefit you as a seller because they pinpoint issues that could prevent you from achieving the best price. Knowing about defects in advance means you can choose to fix defaults to maximise the value of your property.
While sellers are legally obliged to provide a residential building inspection report prepared by a company of their choice, buyers are also free to have their own done, if they want independent advice.
In this article, we’ll outline the qualities to consider when choosing a company to prepare your residential building inspection report, and share where to find the best in Canberra.
What makes a great residential building inspection report?
To help remove unexpected surprises or stress relating to the sale of your property you need a company that will prepare a quality residential building inspection report that complies with legislated requirements.
It can be helpful to keep the following in mind when choosing a company to prepare your residential building inspection report.
- Australian Standard. Building inspection reports must be prepared in accordance with the relevant Australian Standard for property inspections of residential buildings. The standard specifies that certain information must be included and the level of detail. Ask the company you choose about this to make sure they comply.
- Experience and credentials. For peace of mind, you’ll want an inspector who provides evidence of their experience and credentials. Ask if they’re licensed, where they were trained and how many reports they’ve prepared. Also ask what insurances they hold and if they belong to a professional body like the Housing Industry Association or Master Builders Association.
- Process and quality. It’s worth asking how long it will take the property inspector to inspect your home and how they go about doing so. This will give you an idea of how thorough the company is. Also ask for examples of reports they’ve prepared so you can see if they’re easy-to-understand and include visual evidence, like photos and drawings.
- Bundle reports. As a seller of residential property in the ACT, you must also have three other reports prepared—timber pest inspection, energy rating assessment and a compliance report. You might be able to save money if you have one company handle all four reports. As if there’s a special ‘bundle’ price.
The best residential building inspection reports in Canberra
RiotACT’s editorial team has combed through 20 years of on-site comments to compile a list of the most recommended businesses according to you.
To be listed in our Best of Canberra series, each business needs to have consistently received positive feedback on RiotACT and Facebook as well as maintaining a minimum average of 4/5 stars on Google.
First Call Property Inspections offers sellers peace of mind with easy-to-read and easy-to-understand residential building inspection reports. Reports are completed and supplied by email the next business day after inspection. A locally owned and operated business, First Call Property Inspections has more than 40 years of experience.
Tim Christie wrote on Google, “From my first call enquiring to receiving the invoice, the team at First Call were friendly, helpful and efficient. I received my report within a day of the inspection …”
Ethical Building and Pest Services is a local, professional family run business providing quality residential building and other inspection services. Owner Mick Ffrench is a qualified builder and pest professional with more than 15 years’ experience. He provides comprehensive and unbiased reports on all inspections.
As Alexander Swan wrote on Google, “I cannot more highly recommend Mick and Rebecca from Ethical Building and Pest Services. Having dealt with a few local inspection companies, Ethical is a clear standout for customer service.”
Canberra Building Inspections conducts building inspections and writes building reports on residential properties in Canberra and NSW. Inspectors are registered builders who check structural integrity, electrical and plumbing. Canberra Building Inspections provides free advice on how to fix some defects uncovered. They also provide referrals.
As Bernadette Coman wrote on Google, “Very professional and friendly, with helpful advice to aid in the selling of my house. Happy to recommend to family and friends.”
Asset Property Inspections is a fully licensed and insured company that handles residential building inspections and reports, in accordance with current Australian Standards. All professional inspectors have more than 25 years of building experience. The company also completes timber and pest inspection reports, compliance reports and energy rating reports.
Steve Lowe wrote on Facebook, “Highly recommended for down-to-earth, friendly service. James is a great guy with an eye for detail, so nothing is missed …”
If you’re looking for more information on compliance and other mandatory pre-sale inspections in Canberra, you might like our articles on the companies that handle the best compliance report inspection companies, best energy efficiency rating inspection companies, and best pest inspection companies. If you’re looking for more information on selling your home, you might like our articles on the best conveyancing lawyers, the best real estate agents and the best property managers our town has to offer.
Your experience with residential building inspection reports in Canberra
Thanks to our commenters who have provided insightful feedback. If you believe we have got it wrong, please let us know.
Have you had experience with any of the residential building inspection companies listed above? If so, share your feedback in the comments below.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does price make a difference when engaging a company to do a residential building inspection report?
Price can. Choosing an unregistered building inspector with the lowest price could affect the quality of your report. Sometimes lower pricing means the inspector spends less time inspecting your home and they might miss something as a result. Lower pricing could also mean the inspector has less experience or not as many credentials.
Aren’t all residential building inspectors the same?
No. Some are registered builders and some aren’t. Some belong to professional industry bodies ad some don’t. Some are highly experienced and have inspected thousands of residential properties. Others are far less experienced.
What all do residential building inspectors look at?
This is a question you should ask the inspector you choose, to make sure you have a common understanding. All building inspection reports must be prepared in accordance with the relevant Australian Standard which specifies that certain information must be included in the report and the level of detail.
How long does it take to get my residential building inspection report?
This varies company by company. However, many companies provide their report the next business day after the inspection.
What if my residential building inspect report reveals defects?
You can use this to your advantage by repairing defects before you put your property on the market, to increase its value and remove obstacles that buyers could use to negotiate a lower price. This can also help speed up a sale.