Cover Ups and Deceit – Melbourne Home Buyers Beware

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Cover Ups and Deceit – Melbourne Home Buyers Beware

If you’re currently in the market to purchase a home, you’ll no doubt find this story quite interesting, and potentially a little alarming.

The Background

We recently had a situation where we conducted two separate Building and Pest Inspections on the same property.

After completing the inspection on the first occasion, the prospective buyer opted not to proceed with completing the contract of sale as their budget wouldn’t stretch far enough to rectify the defects highlighted in the report.

Approximately eight weeks later, we had a booking from a separate party to inspect the same property. Eight weeks is just enough time to warrant an additional inspection as the condition of the property could have changed.

This is where things became interesting…

The Inspection

We arranged access with the agent  and the time and day for the inspection was scheduled. The property in question was vacant on the first inspection and just happened to be the same way on the second inspection.

Late on the night before the inspection, the potential purchaser received a phone call from the real estate agent encouraging them to cancel the inspection and emphasised that Inspect East were not qualified for the inspection and encouraged them to cancel. The real estate agent also (falsely) informed our client that the previous prospective buyer had only pulled out of the sale because their finance fell through, and not because of the condition of the property. Conveniently, the real estate agent had a suitably qualified inspector lined up that could take our place.

We were very interested to know what their definition of suitably qualified was, since we’re a Licensed Builder in the unlimited category. We are also trained and fully insured by the leading national training provider and insurer for Building and Pest Inspections; Rapid Solutions. On top of that, we’ve conducted thousands of inspections, and remain independent with a commitment to providing the best service possible to our clients.

Given the dubious nature of the real estate agents request, our client wisely stood firm and we proceeded with the inspection.  You can check out the full report we delivered below, in summary though the report highlights that not only were the same defects still evident, but measures had been taken to conceal defects that had been previously identified.

It was apparent that the agent and vendor had managed to get their hands on a previous inspection report (we only disclose findings to our clients), and taken steps to cover up the outlined issues..

Once our client had read the fact based report and were able to see the numerous defects that had been covered up by the vendor, they unsurprisingly pulled out of the contract.  

What happened next should convince any would be buyer to never buy a property without obtaining the appropriate inspection reports.  

The Angry Vendor

Following our client pulling out of the purchase, the vendor became very abusive and made all manor of threats and accusations in an attempt to say that the property in question was sound, had been presented with no issues, and that the purchaser had no right to retract from the purchase of the property.

You can see the sample report here… We’ve removed the address of the property for legal reasons.

After the dust had settled on the vendors tantrum throwing, they indicated they were willing to enter into negotiations to reduce the purchase price of the property to accommodate the rectification of the apparent defects.

Despite the changing of tune of the vendor, and eventual acknowledgement of the defects, our client was still rightfully appalled at discovering the vendor and agent had been aware of the issues prior while trying to sell them the property, and no longer had the desire to proceed with the purchase.

While it’s certainly not our goal to prevent the purchase of properties from proceeding, we were very happy to provide our client with the correct information which enabled them to make an informed decision on such a large investment.

Note from the author: We weren’t certain whether we should post this story, however we thought it in the best interest of prospective buyers to be aware of the potential dangers in the process. We would also like to note that most of the real estate agents and vendors we deal with are credible, however there are unfortunately exceptions, hence the importance of the following recommendation:

Always get an independent inspection, conducted by a qualified inspector who is NOT affiliated with the real estate agent or vendor, as generally the inspector will inspect with the agents needs in mind and not the purchaser.

 

By | 2018-08-23T06:41:47+00:00 August 21st, 2018|Buying Properties|