The Importance of Pre-Settlement Inspections
They are generally arranged by the real estate agent, and usually only take approximately 30 minutes, so it’s important to have a list of questions ready if you have any. In an ideal world, the pre-settlement inspection should be done alongside your real estate agent. If the sale was a private sale, pre-settlement inspections can be arranged between vendor and purchaser. If this is the case, it can be a good opportunity for the purchaser to ask the vendor practical questions such as how the air conditioning works.
The pre-settlement inspection is usually done the morning of the settlement but can also happen beforehand. When the pre-settlement inspection is taking place, it’s a good idea to have the contract of sale so everyone can make sure the inclusions are all still in the property and the exclusions have all been taken away. It also means you can check that any special conditions have been met, if there were any included in the contract.
Only one pre-settlement inspection can take place. If there are any problems identified that need to be fixed, purchasers are allowed one further inspection to ensure the matter has been dealt with.
There may be times when there is a problem. Don’t worry, these are easily solved, as long as you have a good understanding of the inclusions and exclusions on the contract. If there is a problem, it needs to be raised with the conveyancer. It’s important that you do not do this directly with the vendor as the conveyancer will negotiate it as a special condition added to the contract, meaning it needs to be fixed before settlement can continue.
If a problem can’t be fixed, the conveyancer can negotiate on the sale price for the purchaser in order to cover the cost of any necessary repairs. Importantly though, these breaches of contract must be proven by the purchaser in order for settlement to be withheld and it must be shown that the deterioration or damage is not a result of general wear and tear.
You’re on the home stretch now, but it’s important to take the time to do this inspection carefully and not rush through as it may save you a lot of trouble down the track.