Our new house pre settlement inspection
Home buying is a serious investment. It’s important to assess for new damage and get all the items and specific terms cross checked. Otherwise, responsibility for any necessary repairs, cost or liability will fall onto you rather than the vendor.
It is strongly recommended to conduct a pre settlement inspection within reasonable time before your settlement date. This way, if anything is amiss, you can negotiate with the vendor for remedial actions to be completed. You can even get them to agree to reduce the purchase price for any repairs that need to be carried out post settlement.
The following are just some of the main areas we will cover during your inspection process:
The importance of a pre settlement inspection for your property
Unfortunately, many prospective buyers undermine the importance of getting a pre settlement inspection done before committing to their property. Some may be misled into thinking the previous owner has already resolved any glaring issues when there can be problems as large as a burst water pipe or broken air conditioners.
This oversight is common because home buyers are at different stages of their property journey. They often have little idea of what they need to do before agreeing to anything. Effective Building & Consultancy can provide you with unbiased, independent property condition assessments so you can have complete confidence on your settlement day.
How do pre settlement inspections work
You have the right to inspect your property before the final settlement to make sure it’s in the same condition as it was when you signed your contract. If it isn’t, you should negotiate with the vendor to fix those discrepancies before settlement.
While ideally you would have already conducted an inspection pre contract, the goal of a pre settlement inspection is different. The pre settlement inspection is your final chance to take a look at the property before you move in. If anything isn’t working, you need to have it listed as a special condition. It’s also a good thing to check if other conditions on your contract have been met, if rubbish has been removed and that the property has been maintained to a good standard.
Why is a pre settlement inspection necessary
Because a normal settlement period tends to run quite long, anywhere from 30 to 90 days after the contract exchange, anything can happen. It should never be assumed a property will be in the same exact condition as it was when first inspected. This cannot be overstated especially if it has been lived in throughout that time.
A pre settlement inspection ensures the property condition hasn’t changed, that the seller’s obligations have been met, all fittings and fixtures are in working order and the house has been vacated properly. It is a necessary final inspection that will prevent you from being liable for costly repairs and remedial works.
What should your pre settlement inspection checklist cover
- Electricals — switchboard, doorbells, ceiling fans if any, light fittings, exhaust fans, heating &/ air conditioning, garage doors/external doors.
- Appliances — kitchen, gas, dishwasher, oven, stove top, rangehood.
- Landscaping – garden, garden beds, courtyards, terraces, outdoor taps and plumbing.
- Fixtures — taps, hot/cold water, toilets, basins, washing machines, check for leaks.
- Window dressings — curtains/blinds and other types of window dressings, check if all window dressings that are part of your inclusions are still covering the windows and if those excluded are removed.
- Doors and windows — check all structural and lock mechanisms of doors and windows.
- Rubbish bins — check all rubbish bins are present and in good working order.
- Any items that were included in the contract as part of the sale of the property, such as furniture.
- Other items may include the hot water system, gas metre, telephone lines, pool pump if any and smoke detectors.
When should your pre settlement inspection be conducted
What should you do when you are not satisfied
It’s important to make sure that everything in your new home remains in the same condition before final payment is made. You need to get the relevant inspection reports to see how well your property has been maintained and to review if there are any concerns that will result in extra or special levies. After all, you don’t want to spend a fortune on repairs you’re unaware of.
If you happen to walk away from the pre settlement inspection dissatisfied, then you need to let your conveyancer or solicitor know immediately. They will negotiate with the vendor’s solicitor to reach an outcome all parties are satisfied with. For example, a problem may need to be fixed pre settlement, which can require another inspection, or alternatively, the vendor may agree to reduce the purchase price to account for the repairs that need to be made.