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Should you get a Building Inspection when buying at auction?

Purchasing property at an auction is becoming an increasingly common and popular option. There is a good reason for this, houses at auction can be significantly cheaper than those purchased through a traditional real estate specialist.  In fact, buying this way helps to keep the price of mainstream properties lower. 

Of course, there are pitfalls when purchasing at auction. In most cases, you won’t get to see the inside of the house before you make an offer. All you will have is the description offered by the seller. You do need to sort your finances out before the auction to ensure you can pay for any property you offer on. It is also impossible to guarantee a price as the final selling price is dependent on the level of interest in the property.

This is why many people question whether to pay for a building survey or not. After all, if you pay for a survey but don’t have the winning bid at an auction you have just wasted your money. However, if you have the winning bid and haven’t had a survey you must buy a house that you don’t know what condition it is in.

In short, if you are serious about making an offer you need to have a survey conducted first. Because gaining access can be difficult, the best approach is to use drone thermal imaging. This type of survey will map the heat signature of a building, allowing you to assess where it is losing heat and whether this is due to structural defects or something else. 

Precaution If This Is Not Possible

In some cases, the time between the listing and the auction is too short to allow an inspection to be done. If this is the case then you will need to specify that the sale is subject to a satisfactory survey. It is best to advise the auction house of this before the bidding starts. 

In some cases, this is not an option and you will need to decide whether you still want to bid or not.

Reasons To Have A Survey

The purpose of a building survey is to assess the building for subsidence, cracks, dampness, electrical issues, and other structural problems. In other words, the survey will tell you if there are any serious faults with the property. These will need to be considered when making an offer as serious faults generally equate to serious money for repairs. 

That can quickly knock out any savings you have lade buying at auction. Even worse, if you are not prepared for these issues you may not have the funds to resolve them, giving you a serious problem.

Don’t Forget the Pests 

When having a property survey done it is always a good idea to invest in a pest survey at the same time. Rodents spread disease and can be a nuisance, especially if they are chewing through electrical wires. Termites are a serious concern as they can do significant structural damage. 

It pays to have a pest survey done at the same time as the property has drone thermal imaging completed. This will allow you to bid at an auction confidently.

If you don’t get the property you should see the survey expenses as a necessary part of the process, potentially saving you a lot of money.

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