Tips & Tricks

Don’t Engage a Structural Engineer if You are Selling Your Cracked House

You might be tempted to engage a structural engineer if you are selling your cracked house to write a report to explain that those cracks are only superficial cracks.

After all, the cracks have been there forever and you never worried about them.

You might just be wasting your money.!

Join Matt Cornell to find out why.


G’day. This is Matt Cornell from Cornell Engineers.

Today I’m answering one of the questions we get quite frequently and that is, “Do we, at Cornell Engineers, do inspections and provide reports for people who are selling their house?”

So, Tom, for example, was selling his house. He noticed cracks in the walls and thought that it might be a good idea to get an engineer’s report before he put his house on the market. His intention was to show the engineer’s report to prospective buyers and allay their fears.

Now while this sounds like a good idea in theory, what we have found is that most buyers do not trust the seller’s engineer’s report.

So, in fact, Tom if he were to engage us so that he could sell his house or to provide a report before he sells his house, is probably just wasting his time and his money.

Engineer checking plans on tablet


Because the first buyer that comes along or the buyer that comes along is more than likely going to read the report, not trust it, think that it’s been provided for the seller for the seller’s benefit, and then go out and get their own report.

The fact is engineers should be writing reports independently of who is paying them but that theory, or that feeling that people are worried that they can’t rely on the engineer’s report, that’s a real concern.

So our solution is, instead of Tom coming to us before he sells the house or as he’s preparing the house for sale, we recommend just about every time, that Tom and the buyer once he has a contract, engage the engineer together.

That way the buyer can attend the engineer’s inspection with the engineer. They can ask any questions that they feel like they would like answered They can have their name on the engineer’s report when it’s issued.

Even though Tom is maybe even paying fifty percent or a hundred percent of the report, it allays the buyer’s fears.

It becomes the buyer’s report or it helps the buyer feel more satisfied that the engineer has done a good job and is acting for both parties and it allows the buyer to ask the questions they want.

Building and Pest Report

Now don’t forget we also recommend that most buyers undertake a building and pest report.

On our website, we’ve talked about this.

Those building and pest reports, even for me, are a valuable resource and when I purchase properties, most times, we tend to get a building and pest inspection report as well.

So it’s that good. We definitely recommend using a building and pest inspector.

We have attended site inspections with the building and pest inspector – but more often than not it’s better value for money if the engineer attends to inspect a building after the building and pest inspector has been to answer any questions that remain.

Building and pest inspectors are required or tend to in any case, have a lot of recommendations to seek specialist advice, and a lot of that time, that tends to be structural engineering advice.

So we’d normally recommend that a building and pest inspection is done first and then if there are any structural issues that are raised in that report then you go out and you get your structural engineering report at that time.

This has been Matt Cornell from Cornell Engineers. I hope this has clarified our feeling or the best way we think you could spend your money on an engineer’s report if you are selling your cracked house.

If you’re buying or selling a house, we’re based in Brisbane. We’re working all across the state and at the moment, in fact, I’m coming back from Stradbroke Island, so we get around.

Give us a call if we can help you and we’ll see what we can do for you.

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Matt Cornell from Cornell Engineers.