Real Estate Inspection

Real Estate is an important business area where turnover of hundreds of crores is recorded every year. In spite of the fact that Real estate business is yielding a major chunk of revenue to the government, this branch of business is not much systematized. There are no sufficient checks and balances to standardize the transactions of sale and purchaser. The norm of ‘Buyer Beware’ applies more in this field than in any other field.

 

In this context, Real estate inspection is a precaution worth mentioning. It is not very much prevalent in India. The utmost caution that a buyer in India exercises is to “see’ the property with his own eyes.

The buyer should know the merits and demerits of the property and more particularly the defects in the property before going in for the deal. It is necessary for the seller to know the defects so that any small defects can be rectified before it goes to reduce the possible sale consideration.

The seller tends to suppress facts about the defects while a buyer would like to know the same before striking a bargain. Many a times, if the property involved is a residential house where you lived for a very long time or with which you have your childhood memories connected, the emotional attachment to the house makes one blind to the defects. Normally one tends to ignore them in such a case.

Hence there is a need for an independent inspection by a third person. This ensures safety to the seller, buyer as well as the dealer. A real estate inspection ensures that:

  • The measurements and the boundaries of the real estate property are as described.
  • The possession of the real estate property is with the seller as claimed.
  • There is no illegal occupant in the real estate property
  • The construction is not faulty
  • The various fittings in the property like air conditioning systems, sanitary fittings, pipelines, gas lines etc are in working condition
  • If the property involved is a commercial property like a factory, shop, godown etc, all the requirements are met and that the safety norms are followed.
  • Where machinery is fitted in the factories, the machinery is in working condition or within reasonable repair.
  • Where the intended asset is a going concern, the various systems adopted by the concern also need to be inspected.

If all these matters are cleared before hand and a third party certifies about correctness, then the parties involved can safely negotiate the deal.

In India though inspection by an expert is not a prevalent practice, one system in practice is to get the property inspected by a ‘Vastu’ pandit. Vastu is an architectural science inherited by Indians from ancient times. It is a science which prescribes norms for various constructions and also describes the various merits and demerits of properties. Though this is a scientific discipline, since there were no authentic schools or colleges to teach the subject and since the pandits have been learning the science through their gurus, the science has less number of believers. So, though some people do get their properties inspected by the Vastu Pandits it cannot be said to be inspection in the real sense.

There are organizations like National Association of Real Estate Inspection & Evaluation Services (NARIES) for short in US which renders inspection services for residential and commercial properties. But the main thrust of NARIES is home inspection and they ensure quality and condition of the property. Moody International Group is another leading supplier of management system certificates in construction and electrical engineering. The group has its presence in 60 countries globally and specializes in technical certification.

However it must be clearly understood that an inspection is not a valuation of the real estate property. Similarly inspection does not guarantee against any possible mishaps or intentional frauds which cannot be seen on a reasonable examination of the real estate property.

Even though inspection does not guarantee a fool proof deal, it is very much desirable that buyers going in for high stake buying should get the properties inspected by qualified professionals to avoid later heart burns and legal battles.