TRENDING: Shielding your project from hidden agendas.

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Issues can be can be discovered before closing.

Buying commercial property carries a number of risks such as unexpected repairs. However, hidden issues can be addressed before the investment is finalized. Poor ventilation, leaks, excessive moisture, electrical service not powerful enough for today’s technologies, the dreaded four letter word—mold, and pests infestation can be can be addressed before closing.

Instead of discovering these surprises after the purchase, many buyers are reducing the risks by having a thorough commercial property inspection.

Before asking a commercial property inspector the obvious question, “What date and time can you do the inspection”, there are 5 other questions you should consider.

1. How many commercial inspections have you completed? Clarify you do not mean home inspections which are very different. Ask for a list of some of the buildings they have inspected so you can get an idea what their limitations may be.

2. Is your inspection report specific to my commercial property? Many times inspectors use a generic report for apartments, office buildings, warehouses, and even manufacturing plants which should each be industry specific. And if it’s just a home inspection report, well, you know what you are getting them.

3. Does the report just note defects? Many inspections do not categorize the defects by need such as repairs, safety hazards, working as intended but monitor for changes, etc. How severe are these defects so you know what needs to be repaired immediately and some within the next few years.

4. What certification do you have for commercial inspections? As an example, a Haag Commercial Roofing Certification means the inspector has been specifically trained for commercial roofs. Non-certified inspectors may lack the knowledge to truly understand the complete roof structure, damage, and potential water intrusion.

5. Do you have an inspection team or is it just you? If your time is limited, then you understand that question. Usually, most buyers want the report quickly so they can make a decision on buying a property. Usually a day or two is sufficient but not a week.

Thank you to Jack Werner, PhD, owner of A to Z Inspections, for his insightful information and details.

Almost all reports include photos of the defects, explanations of terms such as what a “lintel” means, and descriptions of the building elements. Make sure you can get a verbal explanation as well as the written report of the inspection.

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