You’ve spent years saving for a house deposit, you’ve finally found the property that you love, your mortgage is approved and the settlement date is approaching…. now what?
Buying a house is a lengthy process and one that is full of fine print, so you can be forgiven for breathing a sigh of relief now that the process is almost over.
There is one last thing to consider before you start planning your house-warming; the pre-settlement inspection.
Understanding the pre-settlement inspection
The pre-settlement inspection is your responsibility and is vital ahead of settlement to protect yourself from any problems. The inspection should takes place within five days of settlement, and ideally once the previous owner has left so that any issues can be identified and fixed before settlement takes place.
Under the terms of property sale it is expected that you will take ownership of your new home in the same or better condition than when you inspected so it is important to know what to look for, as many things that you need to check will not be visible to the untrained eye.
What to look for during the inspection
We’ve outlined some important things to check during your pre-settlement inspection:
- Plumbing: Check taps, sinks and toilets to ensure that water runs where it’s supposed to and doesn’t where it isn’t! Switch the taps on and flush all of the toilets to make sure there are no blockages or leaks.
- Electricity and appliances: turn everything on and make sure it works. This includes the oven, dishwasher, ceiling fans, air-conditioning and smoke alarms. If you want to take an electronic device to check the power outlets work you are allowed to do so.
- Windows and doors: Check that they all open and close, lock and unlock and that you have keys where required.
- Condition of property: The seller must clear the property of rubbish before the settlement takes place. Be vigilant, as any rubbish left at the property becomes yours once the settlement has taken place.
Why is a pre-settlement inspection so important?
A thorough pre-settlement inspection is your way of making sure you get what you’re entitled to. You’d be surprised how many owners take fixtures and fittings with them. It also makes sure you don’t get what you hadn’t banked on.
You should refer to the terms of your contract if you’re unsure of the property’s condition and the sale inclusions, as these will be listed. Your attention to detail at this inspection will stop you from inheriting the previous owners problems.
Sometimes, you will find something out of place
If there’s something you’re unhappy with or that doesn’t meet the terms of the original contract, it is up to the owner to fix this. In most cases, they will arrange the repair or compensate you to do it once you’ve settled.
In extreme cases, you can delay the settlement if the owner won’t cooperate . Be aware this can lead to a risk of you losing your deposit if you can’t reach an agreement.
Inspecting investment properties is a must!
If you are buying a property as an investment and think the pre-settlement inspection isn’t important because you’re not going to be living at the property, think again! Tenants are just as fussy and will want any issues fixed as soon as they move in.
If they aren’t fixed straight away, you risk them becoming larger problems down the line.
Whether you are buying a property to move into yourself or buying as an investment, taking the time to complete the inspection will save you time and money down the track.
If you’re interested in getting the most out of your pre-settlement inspection or finding out more about our conveyancing services, click here to visit our conveyancing page, or contact the team from McClure Law today on 03 9744 1881 or email@example.com.
Have you had a bad experience with an inspection (or completely forgot about it) and want to share your experience? Leave a comment below.