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Commercial Building Inspection Checklist: What Realtors Should Know

Updated: Nov 10, 2021

Yes. Unfortunately for the commercial real estate world, most inspectors or inspection companies that provide commercial inspections regularly only provide a glorified home inspection. What we’ve done at IOC, is rethink the commercial inspection from the ground up, a person or entity purchasing a commercial building has much different needs, typically, than that of a person buying a new home.

And for areas that we are not experts we will bring a full team with us to cover additional needs the commercial building requires, like commercial boilers or high-rise roof, elevators, etc.

Quick story: the family was selling most of their properties in Los Angeles and moving a majority of their money into the Denver metro real estate market. They were purchasing a large building with an elevator, and we do not claim to be elevator experts, although we did know a local elevator expert. It was an extra $750 -$1000 for the elevator inspector to join the team for this large building. The investor wasn’t sure if it was worth the money, so we talked through the pros and cons and he decided he would include the elevator inspection.

As it turned out, that elevator is no longer manufactured, meaning that if even one-part breaks on the elevator, the new owner will have to replace the entire elevator. That cost would be $60-$70,000, but that is not all! Because this is a commercial building, when an elevator is replaced, all of the safety systems need to be brought up to the current building code and safety standards of that municipality, meaning that if one part on this elevator breaks in the near future, it would be upwards of $200,000. I spoke with the investor after learning this and we agreed that the large sum paid for the elevator expert to attend the inspection ended up being well worth it.

They are definitely different and unique things to take into consideration when evaluating a commercial building compared to a residential building. We’ve done everything from a Pizza Hut, to a 600-unit apartment building with elevators, to a 30,000+ square-foot casino. Our commercial inspections include items not found in residential inspections, and quite honestly, not typically covered by other inspectors who say they do commercial inspections. These items include things like:

  1. life safety

  2. green building concerns

  3. 2010 ADA issues the full requirements, not just, ‘consider a ramp or a railing here.’

IOC see has tons of experience with both residential and commercial buildings, and as the agent and for your client, you could know that we very much will have you and your client’s financial interest at heart.

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