Real estate industry beefs up building inspections

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Fully 20 percent of all residential real estate transactions in Norway wind up in conflicts between buyer and seller, generally because of structural or other problems found in the home after the buyer takes over. Now the real estate industry has agreed to introduce much more thorough, and mandatory, inspections and disclose problems before sales go through.

Home showings (called a visning) are relatively short in Norway, often lasting only an hour or two, and bidding can be heated. That means many buyers commit to purchasing properties that they haven’t had an opportunity to properly inspect themselves, and unhappy surprises can crop up after the deals close.

Starting next year, appraisers (called takstmenn) will make much more detailed inspections of properties going on the market, including drilling holes in bathroom or cellar walls, for example, in an effort to uncover any dampness problems or rot. They’ll also control whether remodeling projects have been carried out in accordance to local building standards.

“We’ll take more time in each house, and we think our reports can provide good assurances for both seller and buyer,” appraiser Helge Jensen told newspaper Dagens Nææringsliv (DN) this week. The goal is to reduce the number of expensive repairs and conflicts after sales go through. The new, more detailed appraisal and condition reports will be mandatory for single-family homes, duplexes and row houses from January 1, and voluntary, at least at the outset, for sellers of condominiums.

newsinenglish.no staff