Melbourne-based startup Easy Inspect has developed a platform that allows property buyers to share the cost of inspection reports with other interested buyers.
Easy Inspect conducts structural and pest inspection reports on behalf of potential buyers interested in residential properties that are up for auction. Currently, the service is limited to the Greater Melbourne Metropolitan Area, but the startup is looking to expand to Sydney later in the year.
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Once a house is on auction, buyers have six weeks to register their interest in the property following advertising rotations. Founder Michael Stafford said that his aim is to make inspections more affordable and easier for home buyers.
“Most people tend to conduct pre-purchase inspections separately and spend between $550 – $600 per inspection. We want to put the power in the hands of buyers and offer a standard factor rate of $185,” he says.
“The cost depends on the model of the house. For instance, a unit’s inspection report may be less than $185. Additionally, if there are less than 3 buyers up until one week before the final auction is due, then we try to figure out a cost that could be slightly higher. Auctions are expensive and can be a rushed process so we try to help the buyers.
“For most people, this is the biggest investment they will make and where they invest their life savings into. The costs are high and inspections may be difficult to organise. If they lose out on auctions repeatedly, they decide to forgo inspections completely and that is a massive danger.”
Stafford says that he works with registered contractors to carry out inspections, who have a minimum of $10 million in insurance. He’s funding the startup himself and is not currently looking for investment.
“There are hundreds, if not thousands of competitors out there but no one follows the same model as we do,” he says.
“Buyers can feel safe when they use our app, the turnover time is very quick and our inspections are a third of the price if buyers went to individual firms to get their properties inspected.”
He hopes to tie up with mortgage brokers and real estate agents in the future to spread the service.
“We did our public beta testing and have a couple of sample test reports. Our PR launch will start this week and we hope first time home buyers will be ready to get on-board,” he says.