Property settlement is the finalisation of a real estate transaction between a buyer and a seller. As part of the overall transaction, it is recommended that a buyer should carry out a thorough inspection of the property. This inspection is the buyer’s opportunity to make themselves familiar with the condition of the property. Furthermore, the final inspection is a chance to ensure that the property is in the condition promised by the Offer and Acceptance, before the transaction is finalised on the settlement date.
Under General Conditions, the seller must give the buyer an opportunity to undertake a final inspection of the property within five business days prior to the settlement date or the possession date.
If any repairs are required, a condition should be included in the Offer and Acceptance, ordering the seller to undertake the repairs prior to settlement. It is prudent to make the offer conditional upon all gas, electrical and plumbing systems being in working order at settlement.
Fixtures such as toilets, baths and basins, fittings such power points and lighting should be on the list of things to check during a final inspection. Other items to consider checking during the inspection include the:
- Cook-top and other appliances
- Tapware and shower-heads
- Hot water system
- Pool and any associated equipment (if applicable)
Strength in numbers
The buyer of a property may be accompanied by 2 people for an inspection, as dictated by the Joint Form of General Conditions.
Mosaic Settlement recommends that you only bring people along to your pre-settlement inspection who have a good understanding of the Offer and Acceptance you’ve signed. If a seller is not obligated to fix imperfections of the property, given that the issues were not identified as repairs in the Offer and Acceptance, the people you bring along might be a hindrance rather than a help to you as a buyer and your real estate agent.
Your inspection party should only be familiar with the items that need to be addressed by the seller, as promised in the Offer and Acceptance documentation.
Know what you’re looking for
Stay focused on the repairs covered in the Offer and Acceptance, and also essential items covered by law, such as:
- Unlawful structures – By the time you get to the final inspection, any council orders and requisitions should have been addressed by your settlement agent. However, if you a structure that is a potential breach of the law, such as a non-compliant pool fence, you are entitled to have it fixed before settlement.
- Fixtures and chattels – If one of the selling points of the property was a free-standing cooktop, you’ll want to check that it hasn’t been removed or replaced. Also keep in mind that chattels such as dishwashers, or anything else that isn’t part of the house itself, do not have to remain in the property unless specified in the contract.
If you uncover something that needs to be addressed, tell the real estate agent straight away. A successful final inspection is the last step before our expert team step in to carry out your settlement – congratulations on getting this far!
The importance of a Final Inspection
We hope we’ve handled your concerns, please reach out to us if you require any clarification.