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Are you buying a building and wondering about negotiating its price, or thinking about buying a building and unsure whether this is a worthy investment? If so, a commercial building inspection might be for you. These inspections are a service designed to aid buyers in making the right decisions, and spotting any aspects of a property that might not be quite what they seem to be.

According to “Commercial Building Inspection,” there are many distinct attributes of a building that need to be examined during an inspection. These include “building structure and foundation, roof condition and remaining useful life, building envelope, ADA accessibility, electrical panels and wiring tenant improvements, pavement systems, plumbing fixtures and piping, heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, elevators and conveyance systems, [and] landscape, irrigation, site grading & drainage.”1 Upon reading that list, it might start to be more clear why a service like this is required. The average layperson looking to buy a building might not think of inspecting the roof or estimating when it will need to be replaced and negotiating the purchase price accordingly. These are attributes that many buyers feel they don’t have the specialized education to evaluate correctly, and many sellers would prefer not to discuss anyway. In cases such as this, the negotiation is unfairly tilted in favor of the seller through what is called an “information imbalance.” The buyer has the chance to correct this imbalance by gaining information about the state of the property by hiring a provider to conduct a commercial building inspection. This inspection service gets to the heart of the condition of the building, focusing on many facets that can prove to be the most expensive to fix if an unexpected issue is found after purchase.

A commercial building inspection has the potential to save you money, and will certainly let you plan better. The results of this inspection have real financial impacts- with proof of damage to a core component of the property, many sellers realize that they are in more of a position of needing to allow negotiation on the price of the building. This allows the buyer to recoup some costs, drawing funds away from the purchase price and making them available for the repairs that will be needed. This is a total gain, as those repairs would end up being needed whether they were foreseen (using an inspector) or not. In many cases, repairs can even be less expensive the earlier they are performed as damage to the building can invite in moisture or rodents or have other “snowball” effects that could have been avoided had the damage been caught earlier. All of this, taken together, justifies the expenditure on hiring a private firm to conduct a commercial building inspection for many buyers. This popular service is almost like gaining a glimpse of the future, making you more empowered to begin planning now and tilting negotiations back in your favor. So is a commercial building inspection service right for you? Earlier is always better, so now is a perfect time to act.

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