Buying a Home: How to Avoid the Pitfalls
I. Real Estate Agents
Real estate agents are very motivated to sell properties, and sometimes this motivation can outweigh their concern for you, the customer. Many agents brush over inspections, assuming that you can find one for yourself, or even direct you to a company/person that has helped them close in the past.
It is important to remember that your agent gets paid when they make a sale and so the professional relationships they have forged are designed to give them the best chances at doing exactly that, no matter what position it leaves you in. Be suspect of biased recommendations as you may come out far better by finding independent consultants on your own.
Keep in mind that not all inspection companies meet the Building Service Authority’s licensing requirements. Any candidate for licensing must declare an annual income of at least three hundred thousand dollars, and even if they do, may also be exempt from Professional Indemnity Insurance.
If you happen to accidentally choose an institution that lacks insurance it can cost you if the building or pest inspector misses something substantial during their visit. To avoid this potential home buying hazard, make sure to always ask if a company is insured when you are in the process of getting a quote. Also remember that these entities are legally obliged to notify you if they do not carry Professional Indemnity Insurance, which means it’s more than alright to ask for documented proof.
III. Condition Reports Do Not Guarantee Your Property
Getting an appraisal does not mean your property is covered. An appraisal is meant to aid in the buying process by giving you an accurate and current accounting of the state of the property you are considering.
A company must carry Professional Indemnity Insurance to provide any kind of guarantee on their appraisal, licensed or not. That is not to say that you should never use a company that does not carry insurance that protects you, but it does mean that you should at least be certain of the professionalism with which such a company operates before considering it.
It is crucial to choose qualified professionals to aid you in each stage of the home buying process. Do not let anyone railroad you. Instead, take the time to carefully consider each decision to be made, do your research, and make sure you are completely comfortable with your choices before making them.