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What to look for when inspecting a house

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To avoid any unexpected surprises before receiving the keys to your new home, it’s important to complete a pre-settlement inspection to ensure the property is in the same state as when you signed off contracts with the seller.

Generally the property settlement period is anywhere between 30 to 90 days, however you shouldn’t simply assume that the property is in the same condition in the week leading up to settlement as when you exchanged contracts.

If the property is in a worse condition than when you exchanged contracts, for instance, there’s a new hole in the wall, broken window or burst water pipe, you can request the seller to make repairs before settlement.

Who can complete the pre-settlement inspection?

The pre-settlement inspection can be completed by yourself, the buyer, alongside a witness such as a real estate agent. It’s important to note that as the property is not yet yours, you must organize the inspection in-advance at a time that suits the seller.

What to inspect?

In order to ensure everything is accurate, the pre-settlement inspection should include:

  • Property facade
  • Boundaries and fencing
  • Lights and electronics
  • Plumbing
  • Water heaters
  • Air conditioning
  • Door handles and locks
  • Appliances
  • Curtains and blinds
  • Windows and glass
  • Pool and spa filters
  • Pests
  • Smoke alarms

What to do if you are not satisfied with the inspection?

If you walk away from the pre-settlement inspection with a frown, you should immediately inform your real estate agent, conveyancer or solicitor. In doing so, they may be able to renegotiate the conditions of settlement to ensure both you and the seller are satisfied.

If a specific problem may have to be fixed before settlement which may then require another inspection, the seller may agree to reduce the sale price factoring in repairs to be completed post-settlement.

Final words

A pre-settlement inspection is an essential step in purchasing a new home. Considering all the hard yards from searching, attending inspections to putting in a number of offers is now complete, taking the extra time to ensure everything is in order both aesthetically and structurally will provide you an insight as well as save potential hits to the back-pocket immediately following settlement.

Looking for a competitive home loan rate to make your new home dreams a reality? Check out our range of competitive home loan options available today or chat to one of our lending specialists.

About the article

As Australia's leading online lender, loans.com.au has been helping people into their dream homes and cars for more than 10 years. Our content is written and reviewed by experienced financial experts. The information we provide is general in nature and does not take into account your personal objectives or needs. If you'd like to chat to one of our lending specialists about a home or car loan, contact us on Live Chat or by calling 13 10 90.

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