pre-purchase building inspection sydney
  • February 10, 2021
  • Effective Building
  • 0

Okay, so you have listed your home and considered a purchase price. You’re now planning a pre-purchase building inspection Sydney before completing a deal with your dream house. What to do next?

In a typical transaction, the home inspection happens after signing the purchase agreement and before the final closing date. Most homebuyers make the closing contingent on the home inspection results. This means that they can back out of the sale if the inspector finds something that they don’t like, and the seller is unwilling to repair it or lower the purchase price to account for it. 

What to Prepare During a Pre-Purchase Building Inspection Sydney?

During the pre-purchase building inspection Sydney, properties are examined top to bottom, with emphasis placed on evaluating the walls, roof, foundation, electrical system, plumbing system, and HVAC system. Inspectors will also assess the operational ability of installed systems, such as carbon monoxide detectors and garbage disposals, and mould, mildew, leaks, and other signs of water damage.

As a buyer, it’s normal to feel nervous during the home inspection process. You don’t want to fail on a deal or be stuck with the cost and burden of repairs. Luckily, in this post, I will share the things you need to prepare for a pre-purchase building inspection Sydney.

1. Contact a Lawyer

A home purchase will probably be one of the most significant investments you will make in your life. It involves real property law, which raises legal issues and issues not present in other transactions. A real estate lawyer is trained and has the most experience handling these problems and dealing with them. This is the most basic things you need to have when having a pre-purchase building inspection Sydney.

a. Contracts

Most buyers can negotiate face-to-face with the property seller. However, the dealing terms must be noted in a contract for it to be legal. Lawyers can negotiate on your behalf and ensure that the contract adheres to all state laws. Furthermore, a lawyer can also address any specific issues that might affect the property’s future use.

In NSW, the contract of sale must come with a Schedule1 Prescribed Documents. These documents are prepared by the seller to inform you of relevant information about the property.

This document will include Section 149 (2) Certificate – (Council zoning of land residential), Service Drainage Diagram – (Location of services), Title & Title notations – (owners and restrictions on land use), and plan or deposit or strata plan -(location of the lot).

As a buyer, you need to carry out a pre-purchase building inspection Sydney report. This will include any significant property defects or issues such as cracking walls, faulty roofs, rising damp, or safety hazards. Before you exchange sales, it must identify problems that could be costly to repair if left unchecked. You should also consider having a pest inspection carried out on the property.

b. Title Searches

A title search is another vital service that lawyers perform. Its purpose is to ensure that the property is free of any encumbrances, such as liens or judgments. The title search reveals whether the seller has the legal right to sell the property. Hiring a lawyer will be able to do it faster and better. 

If the lawyer sees something problematic, he can counsel you on how to proceed. He might negotiate for a price reduction on the property to compensate for the delay. He may also provide the seller with recommendations for financing so they can satisfy claims. Lawyers can secure proof that judgments have been resolved.

b. Property Transfers

The contract preparations and ensuing negotiations are complicated. A lawyer understands these types of business arrangements and legal boundaries within NSW. 

2. Choose the Right Person to Inspect the Property

Choose a suitably qualified person such as a licensed builder, a structural engineer, a surveyor, or an architect to provide a professional building inspection report of the property. These professions should see any cosmetic improvements tampering the faults that might be missed by an untrained eye.

A professional person will ensure that the pre-purchase building inspection Sydney report complies with the Australian Standard. Ensure that it has an adequate insurance cover, specifically for professional indemnity.

3. Do Personal Inspections

Property viewings usually last 30 minutes to an hour. Before pre-purchase building inspection Sydney, use your 30 minutes to do the following checks:

  • Check that windows and doors can open effortlessly and don’t get caught in their frames.
  • Check for mould or damp along skirting boards, ceilings, and walls. Be cautious of paint jobs used to cover up mould.
  • Check for buckling walls or sagging ceilings.
  • Lift the carpet and check for rotting floorboards or damp,
  • Try all taps and check how long it takes for waters to come through.
  • Flush the toilet to check for a running cistern.
  • Look under skinks and give the plumbing a gentle shake to test sturdiness. Check also for rust and other damage to the pipes.
  • Look at the general state of the roof, guttering, and drain pipes.
  • Inspect exterior walls for cracks and other defects.
  • What does the property smell like? Are there strong smells from nearby restaurants or waste treatment plants?

4. Order a Pre-Purchase Building Inspection Sydney Report

EBC’s consultants need a minimum of 1 to 2 days advance notice to do a pre-purchase inspection. The said notice still depends significantly on the workload they have.

As a buyer, give yourself enough time when ordering a pre-purchase building inspection Sydney report. You should get the vendor’s permission to have the property inspected as early in the negotiations as possible. That way, you can decide if the property is worth buying or not. There may be little point in spending money on inspections until you know the property condition.

5. Understand the Inspection Report

The format and amount of the detail in the inspection report will depend on the type of property, size and age, condition, and reporting process by the inspector or consultant.

Effective Building Consultancy inspectors adopt a standard format with photographs and comply with the Australian Standard (AS 4349.10). The building inspection report uses standard terms such as acceptable (sufficiently good standard), fair (usable but deteriorated), poor (needs substantial repair work), and safety (urgent attention). It includes enough information for you to be aware of the property’s condition and identify any significant problems.

The scope of the EBC’s inspection only deals with any evidence of defects found in the property’s external and internal parts. However, assessment is limited to the site’s readily accessible areas and visual examination of surface work except for the furniture and stored items and the carrying out of tests.

Generally, the pre-purchase building inspection Sydney report is a visual inspection only and may not identify other defects or problems. For such concerns as testing electrical and plumbing items, you might consider obtaining additional property assessment from a suitably accredited specialist like an electricity supply authority and water supply authority.

Final Thoughts on Pre-Purchase Building Inspection Sydney

You now know the preparations you need to do when having a pre-purchase building inspection Sydney. This can help you to understand the property’s condition. This way, you can negotiate the purchasing price or make a well-informed decision.

For more information about pre-purchase building inspection Sydney, visit our Help Centre.

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About Elie Farah

Elie Farah is a Building Consultant with over 25 years of experience in the property industry. Elie has specialised knowledge in development acquisitions, blue-chip properties and inspections, as well as flood-affected and waterfront properties, heritage buildings, bushfire management and existing use rights.

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