Talk to your prospective inspection company to verify relevant knowledge and experience for your application.  Just because someone offers certain services does not make it so.  Especially when it comes to complex commercial due diligence.

Both our Commercial Property Inspections (CPI) and Property Condition Assessment (PCA). It just depends on the company’s needs.

We will give it to you straight and on the level.  If we don’t have an answer to a question, we will tell you and then we will find that answer.

First and foremost OTL Commercial only does Commercial Assessments. We provide professional personalized one-on-one service. We know your time is valuable. Finally, we schedule a meeting shortly after you get the report to go over any questions you or your team might have come up with after reading the report.

Depending on the size and scope of your inspection, the team can include an electrician, plumber, structural engineer, HVAC specialist, sprinkler & fire systems specialist, commercial estimator, and architect. Usually, not all of these specialists are needed, and others can be included if required.

The cost for your commercial inspection is based on the scope that you choose and based upon the property involved. The cost will be included in our written proposal.

The scope describes the areas, components, and systems that are included in your commercial inspection. It will identify the condition of existing systems and components. The client will decide on the scope, based on specific needs and expectations. The scope will be included in the written proposal.

The American Society for Testing Materials, ASTM E2018-01 is the only recognized standard for the inspection and reporting on the condition of commercial property. It is recognized internationally. This is the standard that lending institutions will be looking for and basing their loan decisions upon. It includes financial projections on repairs and maintenance that help banks and owners plan for the financial future.

And the Biggest question of all… – What if a comprehensive Property Condition Assessment “Kills the deal” after much work?

There is a scenario where an agent works for months with a client, has them put in an accepted bid in on a property. The fear is that a Property Condition Assessment (PCA) may bring undue attention to material defects or deferred maintenance problems that cause the buyer to back out of the purchase deal.

This is possible, but far from typical. Should a professional 3rd party PCA bring to light previously unknown or not accounted for defects, these may affect the property value. A reasonable seller will choose to either adjust the price or correct some of the findings. Once documented, it is an unusual seller who will not be willing to consider the cost of legitimate repair & maintenance in the overall financing. Also, in the case of deferred maintenance findings, they are usually indicative of a reduced cash flow and therefore, very likely a more motivated seller.

It is not the intention of property inspection services to devalue property or “kill” any deal. What I do is investigate and report on the condition of property. This is to the end of having a well-informed buyer or owner who can effectively plan the expenses of ownership well beyond the purchase or time of assessment. This is precisely what lenders want to know and why they seek PCA’s based upon the ASTM standard. It specifically provides a 5-year outlook of predictable expenses.

It is possible that someone may back out of a purchase transaction upon review of a completed PCA. They may find that the property under the circumstances won’t fit their needs or their projected financial package. This is not the worst thing that could happen. This client will still have their needs, they will move on continuing to have them met. They will also have proof that their agent, who recommended they have the property assessed, was looking out for their interests. They will find something, and the next time they need anything, it is very unlikely they will want any other representation. That kind of loyalty and return business is the most important aspect of the Real Estate business in my experience.

The worst thing that could happen is the client buys a property, without having planned for unknown expenses. If these expenses become significant and are revealed soon after the purchase, the entire transaction becomes a bad experience for the client. This one transaction went through. However, the relationship with this client may be irreparably damaged.

This is just food for thought, and only based upon my own experience and opinions.


Ken Humont