How A Building And Pest Inspection Can Help You Re-Negotiate The Purchase Price On A Home

Have you arranged a building and pest inspection for your potential new home? Learn why it is important and how it can give you the power to negotiate here.

By John Christian – July 11, 2022
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When purchasing a house or investment property, you may choose to have a competent building and pest inspection performed. These are highly recommended because they can not only keep you from purchasing problematic real estate but can also save you money. If you have an excellent conveyancer, they may be able to use the findings of your building and pest report to negotiate significant savings. How? Because a building and pest report can delve into the property’s “unknowns,” and when there is doubt, there is room for negotiation.

Can You Negotiate After A Building And Pest Inspection?

A Building and Pest Inspection report can provide much more than simple peace of mind. An inspection can also be your route to big savings. The harsh reality of real estate is that homes frequently acquire issues as they age. The difficulty for first-time buyers is that not all flaws are obvious. Mould can be buried behind walls, cracks beneath the paint, structural difficulties hidden inside cupboards, and so forth. Several less significant issues may be discovered on your building and pest report, which may present an opportunity for your conveyancer to bargain on your behalf.

Some of the issues a report may uncover include:

Identifying Termites 

The word “termites” probably makes you cringe. However, these hungry, tiny animals could be your ticket to a profitable investment! If you’re looking at houses that need substantial rehabilitation or considering a knockdown and rebuild, the presence of termites could be extremely beneficial.

Repairing termite damage can be expensive if you want to keep and preserve the old home, but if you want to gut the place, that extra cost becomes unimportant. Because the vendor is unaware of your plans for the property, when you present them with the pest inspection report indicating the home has uninvited guests, they are more likely to pay attention to your negotiating techniques.

Use the existence of termites to play hardball, there may be a lot of room for a deal here.

Look Out For Termites

No one wants to find termites on their property, especially one they are thinking about purchasing. However, if termites are found during a building and pest inspection, it could mean you have more power to negotiate on price. 

This is particularly true if you are looking for project investment. If you are considering a rebuild or complete renovation, then termites will probably be the least of your problems. 

Yes, it can be expensive to treat termite damage if you are looking to restore an old home. However, if you are already planning on gutting the place, this cost becomes less important and more of a bargaining tool. 

The person you are purchasing from is likely unaware of any of your plans so, when you provide them with the news that the home has termites present, they are going more likely to make a deal.

Water Damage And Damp

Again, water damage and dampness in a property can give you the power to find the ultimate deal for your new property. This is one of the most commonly picked up problems with a building and pest inspection and it gives you the power to negotiate based on the cost of repair. 

Gather several quotes and identify the cause of the issue, then show your findings to the seller.

Structural Issues

A home is supposed to be a safe environment, if there is an issue with the structural integrity of the property you are buying you may be able to cut thousands from the asking price. 

Damages roofs, cracked walls, and illegal alterations can cost you a small fortune to repair. If there has being any illegal alterations you could end up having to knock down structures or have major work to correct the work completed. If any of these are identified during an inspection you most definitely have the power to make strong negotiations. 

If you negotiate based on the costs of the repairs, you will have a strong case and have the money to complete the work you need to.


It’s estimated that one-third of Australian homes built before 1987 have some form of asbestos, it can be found in anything from the ceiling to the bathroom tiles. If you find this during a building inspection, you should look at the law in your state here.

Then you should find the correct information and the cost of removing the asbestos. Show your findings to the seller and negotiate based on the costs.

building and pest inspection

Tips to help you negotiate

If you’ve come across a property with some perks and pitfalls, here are some strategies you can put in place to drive down the purchase price. 

  1. Obtain quotes to rectify the issue at hand. You can do this by asking the inspector how much it might cost to repair or complete upgrades or you can go as far as to obtain quotes from trade specialists.

If you are buying a property, it is important to make sure you conduct a building and pest inspection. Victor Legal can help. Get in touch today.

Article by John Christian, Principal Lawyer, Founder and Director of Victor Legal

John has extensive experience in complex civil and commercial dispute resolution and litigation matters, specialising in:

Building and construction disputes
Complex litigation
Contract drafting and review
Dispute Resolution
Commercial Law
Corporate insolvency
Securities and caveats
Debt collection
Contract disputes
Commercial and risk mitigation advice

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