Commercial Property Inspections, do you really need one?

By : Chuck Forman   
Submitted 2011-01-21
A commercial property assessment is the equivalent of a home inspection for a commercial property. A commercial property inspector will, after being contacted by the potential buyer, perform a brief walk through of the property and then put together a Property Condition Assessment Proposal for the client.
The proposal will cover the items that the Commercial Property Inspector believes are relevant to their customers needs. After sending the Proposal to their customer the client will either agree with the inspector or there will be a negotiation of items to be inspected. I say there will be a negotiation because the client may want other items inspected or may prefer to have certain items inspected by people with a specific set of skills (i.e. A/C Specialist, Plumbing Specialist, Structural Engineers, etc.). The inspector will incorporate several different means of gathering information about the property and its surroundings. During a property assessment the inspector will be expected to inspect such items as plumbing, electrical, heating and air conditioning systems, emergency exits and egresses, ADA (Americans with Disabilities Association) compliances and many more items based on the agreed upon proposal. An inspector may employ specialists in different fields to provide information on equipment and special items within the premises. The inspector will also take the time to speak to, and interview, others that may have something to do with the property such as property managers, building maintenance personnel and building engineers. In the end the client should expect to receive a Property Condition Report (PCR) within 7 days of the depending on the size of the property inspected and the depth into which the inspector had to go to acquire the information requested. 
Be certain when you are searching for a Commercial Property Inspector that you get one that is qualified to perform the inspection correctly. All Commercial Property Inspection Companies should adhere to ASTM E2018-08 guidelines. The ASTM E2018-08 guidelines define good commercial and customary practice in the United States of America for conducting a baseline property condition assessment (PCA) of the improvements located on a parcel of commercial real estate by performing a walk-through survey and conducting research as outlined within the ASTM E2018-08 guide.
Also, when searching for a Commercial Property Inspector try to find out if they are members of an accredited organization such as the NACBI (National Association of Commercial Building Inspectors). This way you will be assured that you are hiring a professional in their field.
Chuck Forman
Forman Inspection Services, LLC