Comprehensive pest inspections for home buyers

When you are buying a property, pre-purchase pest inspections are a must. Whether the family home or investment property, it is vital a comprehensive pest inspection is carried out before purchase or bidding at an auction. These inspections are like a “health check” on the property – you want to make sure you are buying a sound property with no issues. With 1 in 3 homes estimated to have a history of termite attack and even 1 in 5 new homes likely to come under attack within the first 5 years (CSIRO), skipping a pest inspection can lead to financial disaster!

Why choose Pest Options for your pre-purchase pest inspections?

  • We only do pest inspections (not building inspections) – we know timber pests!
  • John Stanton, the business owner carries out all pest inspections, he is highly experienced, fully licensed and insured
  • Our inspections are comprehensive, exceeding Australian Standards
  • We utilise the latest termite detection technology for increased confidence
  • We invite you to attend the inspections so we can explain our findings to you first hand, providing advice on potential pest treatment / protection measures and any building repairs
  • Detailed, multi-page report with photos provided

We work for you (not the real estate agents) and won’t be rushed to complete an inspection. You are making a big purchase and its important you have confidence that we have done a thorough inspection.

Call our friendly staff today, to book your pre-purchase pest inspections

What's the difference between a termite inspection and a pre-purchase pest inspection?

There are some significant differences between a pre-purchase pest inspection, or more accurately a timber pest inspection, and a termite inspection.

Pre-purchase timber pest inspection

  • For who: Potential purchasers of a property
  • When: Before making an offer on or purchasing a property. The best timing is to have the inspection before making an offer or placing a bid at an auction, however, you can still have the pest inspection done in the cooling off period to check for any issues. However, remember that a bid at an auction is final - you must have any inspections completed before the auction.
  • What are we looking for?: Termites and borer activity; live activity and / or damage. Signs of wood decay and mould. Any conditions that would put the property at risk from these timber pests

Termite inspection

  • For who: Property owners
  • When: At least once as year as part of their ongoing property maintenance activities
  • What are we looking for? Termite activity and / or damage. Any conditions that would put the property at risk from termite attack

What’s included in our pre-purchase inspections?

It is important to remember a building inspection report is separate to a pest inspection report. Although a building inspection report should identify any visual termite damage, it is not specifically looking for termites, borers or wood decay. That is why it is important to have both a building inspection and a timber pest inspection before buying a property.

Although these inspections are often called pest inspections or termite inspections, they are more accurately called timber pest inspections. This is because the inspection is also inspecting for wood borers and fungal wood decay, as well as termites. As well as looking for the pests themselves, the inspection is also looking for signs of damage and any conditions that are conducive to pest activity.

It is important to remember pre-purchase inspections are visual inspections, which are carried out according to Australian Standards AS 4349.3-2010.

Timber pest inspections cover all the same areas of the building and site as the building inspector. For termites it is important to cover up to 30m from the main building to inspect for signs of termite activity that may become a future threat to the property.

Our standard equipment includes the multi-facet donger - a “tapper” for sounding wood and a moisture meter for detecting leaks and areas of moisture, which can be attractive for termites. However, we also use our Termatrac device and Flir thermal imaging camera to investigate any suspicious areas.

Termite activity on a tree near a home

Termite activity on a tree near a home

Our building and pest inspection reports

Our reports are detailed multi-page reports, including photos where appropriate. These reports are detailed, large reports and although they provide a lot of detail there is a bit of legal wording as well. We always welcome customers to be on site with us so we can discuss and point out any findings in person. Of course, if you are unable to be present for the inspection, we are more than happy to discuss the findings over the phone.

As well as providing a list of the major findings, they will also list any areas that were not inspected and the reason why it was not inspected. Importantly, it will make recommendations for additional inspections, if there are areas of concern. For example this may include specialized inspections by a structural engineer for building faults or invasive inspections to quantify termite damage.


Separate formal agreements for pest inspections must be signed before the inspection is carried out. With purchasing a property a big financial commitment, it is important that the potential purchaser understands what is and is not covered by the pest inspection. If you are using a company that does not provide such a document, you should be concerned. This is an important legal document that protects both the inspector and you, the customer.

Buyer Beware!

For many, buying a property is the biggest investment they will make. It is therefore important you choose a quality inspection company. When you are buying a property for hundreds of thousands of dollars, it doesn’t make sense to choose an inspection service on price. Be aware of companies that don’t go through every aspect of your property. Whereas each property will take a different length of time to inspect, an average inspection time would be around 1.5 hours. Certainly be suspicious of any inspector who can complete an inspection in less than an hour on all but the smallest properties.

Be aware that home sellers who know they have a problem will try and hide the problem from the inspectors. For example, it is not uncommon for home sellers to place heavy furniture in front of something they want to hide. As an inspector, we are not allowed to move any furniture without the homeowners permission. If we are suspicious we will make note of this in our inspection report and will often recommend a further inspection.