If you are seriously considering purchasing commercial real estate in Windsor Ontario, a bad inspection can ruin your venture. Take my word for it, there are too many stories to tell of investors who didn’t get a good inspection and lived to regret it. Not only did they lose financially, but the stress of it all turned a potential profitable deal into an absolute nightmare.
One of the most crucial steps an investor must make before finalizing a commercial real estate deal, is to make sure they have a qualified professional inspecting the property. How does one do this?
1. Ask for samples:
Ask a commercial real estate inspector to email you a copy of a sample report they have done for a previous client. All reports will vary in length, but you don’t want to see a report that is light on details. On average, a report should be 20 pages on up with photographs accompanying the report.
2. If an inspector recommends…walk away!
Don’t listen to those inspectors that will tell you on the side that they know of someone who can help with repairs. This is a complete conflict of interest. How would you know you really need the repair or the inspector is not just helping out a friend?
3. A job should take time….
Don’t trust an inspector who advertises that they work quickly. This is the last thing you want to hear. A good, thorough commercial inspection should take several hours at a minimum.
4. Re-inspection charges….
Many inspectors are happy to come back and look at a property to make sure all repairs have been made professionally. Make sure that when originally hiring an inspector, you ask if they charge to come back to re-inspect.
5. If they don’t want you to attend inspection.
This should be a red light. If your inspector says they prefer that you not attend the inspection regarding YOUR commercial real estate inspection, then walk away. Not only should you be there, but so should your agent. This is an excellent opportunity to get information on not only what repairs need to be made, but how everything operates. Any questions you may have about a property and its condition, should be asked now.
6. Ask for referrals:
Don’t hire a commercial real estate inspector without getting good referrals. By just hiring someone from the phone book you may be setting yourself up for trouble. Ask friends, family or better yet, your real estate agent for referrals. And don’t, whatever you do, hire a friend or family member that does not have the necessary qualifications and licenses. The last thing any agent should do for their client is to let an unqualified inspector review the property so take your time and ask for referrals.
1. Cheaper is not always better. The most experienced and professional charge a higher price for their services. In the long run, it may cost you more if you hire the cheapest inspector and they miss a costly problem.
2. Don’t wait on an inspection. Most inspections are returned to the buyer within a few short days. Don’t wait too much longer as professional inspectors know you need this information as soon as possible.
3. Ask if your inspector will get on the roof and into crawl spaces. Many do, but charge extra.
4. Make sure your inspector has not received any complaints or had their license withdrawn in the past.
Even if you are buying a piece of commercial real estate that has had a recent inspection, don’t ignore hiring your own inspector. You want to make sure you have an impartial review before you sign on the dotted line. Many buyers have found out too late that an inspection the sellers conducted was not thorough, so don’t rely on them. It is well worth the several hundreds of dollars to get your own report so that you can then negotiate for repairs and updates if necessary.
Much like you would buying a home, commercial real estate inspections are one of the most important steps you can take when purchasing a property. Take your time, do your research and work closely with your real estate agent to find the best inspector for you. Chances are, if you are working with a professional and qualified agent, they will have plenty of recommendations for you, so take advantage of their contacts.