Pre Purchase Building and Pest Inspections

Building and pest inspections allow you to make an informed decision quickly and inspire confidence in your purchase, and conversely, a renegotiation of terms or a complete change of heart. It’s a big life event to buy a home and making the move to your new castle should be smooth and without disappointment. 

Pre Purchase Building and Pest Inspections

Australia is known for its climate and often extreme weather, the perfect conditions to contribute to a range of weartear and pest issues. If you are planning on buying and moving into a homean important step during purchase is to obtain a building and pest inspection to ensure you are not buying into any unexpected nasty surprises, that will cost you more later. 

To help you make the best move, we have created a thorough guide to what is involved in a building and pest inspection before you even think about what costs might be involved to move into your new home.


Booking both of the inspections with one company can be advantageous, one person may perform both or, there may be more than one inspection by a qualified person for each. Whatever the dynamic, one company will usually arrange for the inspections to happen together and provide a report for both at the same time. You can have a singular point of contact and, if you opt to attend the inspection in person, you only need to arrange time to access the property once. There may also be cost saving benefits.

Conversely, if you choose to arrange with separate companies for each inspection, you have the peace of mind that the inspector evaluating the property will be an absolute expert in each of their prospective specialities.

Inspection reports need to be done fast and provided quickly, especially in the real estate world, where time delays can be opportunities missed. Some companies offer a 24-hour turnaround from inspection to report.

An average inspection should take around 90 minutes.

Buying in Brisbane, Sydney or Melbourne, you may be looking at moving to a property with a pool, so you may also want to consider engaging with a pool safety inspector to make sure it complies with pool safety regulations in each state. In addition, if you have any specific concerns about the electrical/electronic circuitry or the plumbing, you may wish to engage with an inspector who is qualified in these areas, as they are not inspected in detail during a general building inspection.

It’s recommended the prior to purchase you have extra inspections in addition to building and pest, such as a surveyor’s report and a pre-settlement inspection.

As the team at The Home Inspection Hub Melbourne state, "We will always use suitably-qualified inspectors, and will be happy to provide details of their qualifications. Don’t risk your investment by using operators without the right experience for the job."



Whichever Brisbane, Sydney or Melbourne business you ultimately decide on, they should have demonstrated experience in building/pest inspections with certification to legally inspect dwellings in the city council where the property is listed.

Knowledge of the local area you want to move to, such as thelayout, history and the environment, is of benefit.Especially if there are known issues with particular developments close by, infrastructure challenges or if there are historical defects with neighbours’ homes. In the case of pests, you may be looking to move into an area where there are known to be fire ants, insects, or vermin that are invasive and damaging to structures. If the inspection service is on top of their game in the local Brisbane, Syndey or Melbourneareas that they service, having this knowledge up their sleeve will ensure they know exactly what to look for.


If you are purchasing a hometo move to in Brisbane, Sydney or Melbourne, you will need Building Inspection and Property Report (or aPre-Purchase Building Inspectionif it is a newly built dwelling). It should be a condition of your contract to be provided with one of these reports to your satisfaction. This is a visual appraisal of the properties’ condition and may identify existing defects or concerns of the secondary or finishing work of the property, but it does not serve as a warranty against future problems or defects that may eventuate.This type of inspection is performed in accordance with Australian Standard 4349.1.

The report will also outline any areas that were not accessible at the time of inspection. The licenced building inspector may photograph defects and areas of concern. The report will also describe the property in detail and the materials of construction.Although it is a rigorous inspection, it is not all encompassing.Its purpose is to inform you of any significant defects or building requirements where you need to pay for professional building maintenance.


At the arranged time, a licenced building inspector will access the property and perform a thorough assessment of all accessible areas such as:

  • interior.
  • exterior.
  • roof space and chimneys.
  • under-floor space.
  • exterior of the roof (according to health and safety regulations).
  • garage, carports, and sheds.
  • any separate laundry or toilet structures.
  • small retaining walls that are not structural.
  • stairs, fencing, paths, and driveways.

A pre-purchase property inspection cost anywhere between $400 and $1600.

A qualified building inspector, surveyor or architect can assess aspects of the property to ensure:

  • the plumbing is intact;
  • doors and windows can open and shut;
  • roofing, gutters and downpipes are not loose, or damaged;
  • in-roof and under-floor crawl spaces are sound;
  • there are no rising damp issues;
  • there are no drainage issues pertaining to surface water around the property;
  • asbestos;
  • termites and termite damage.
  • unsafe past renovations;

If there are any defects or repair needs identified, you can use this report as leverage in a renegotiation to a lower purchase price to compensate for the work to be done, or negate the contract completely.

The team from Action Inspections Brisbane also highlight, "Building and pest inspections are two very different specialized fields. You would not have your termite treatment carried out by a builder and you would not have your pest inspector build your house, so don’t have your inspections carried out by inspectors that are not specialists in their field."



Timber Pest Inspection is a visual assessment of accessible parts of the property to identify the presence of active termites and/or termite damage. The inspector should also identify possible areas that are vulnerable to termite attack and can determine if there is a pest management plan in place. This inspection is performed in accordance with Australian Standard 4349.3.

Termites do not like the open air or sunlight, so their colonies are generally underground, out of site or inside wood and can be difficult to detect if you do not know what to look for. A professional pest and termite inspector will know all the common areas to be alert for termite damage, such as inside roof cavities or under floors.


Purchasing a property is one of the most complex things you may ever do, and it is your right as the purchaser to ensure that everything is as it should be when you agree to sign a contract on a property. Getting a pre-purchase building and pest inspection can not only help you negotiate on the price, it can help you avoid aninvestment disaster. When you move in you are entitle to feel confident that your electrical and plumbing won’t fail you, there are no major building defects and that you don’t have any unwanted pests squatting in the ceiling or the pantry!

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