In the context of real estate in Australia, pre-settlement inspection is the final inspection of a property that is scheduled to be settled in the next week or two. The purpose of the home or building inspection is to ensure that the property is in the same condition as it was when the contract was signed.
You’re about to finalise on your dream property in Australia but before you sign the papers and make it official, it’s important to take one last look around. That’s where the pre-settlement inspection comes in.
Homebuyers always have the right to do a pre settlement inspection before their settlement period. Settlement periods usually last around 30-90 days after the vendor and buyer have exchanged contracts.
During a pre-settlement inspection, you’ll get a chance to take a close look at the property and make sure it’s in the same condition as it was when you first saw it. This is your last chance to identify any potential problems before the settlement date, so don’t skip it.
What Should You Do During a Pre-settlement Inspection?
During a pre-settlement inspection of your dream property, it is important to ensure that everything is in order. Once settlement day comes, you are legally responsible for the property in its current condition.
Here are five things you must do during the first and final inspection day:
1) Bring the Contract of Sale.
You need to bring the contract of sale during the pre-settlement inspection because it is the document that outlines the agreed-upon terms of the sale. This includes:
- the condition of the property,
- the inclusions, and
- the price.
By comparing the condition of the property to the contract, you can identify any potential problems that may not have been evident during your initial inspection.
2) Check the Contract
Because a pre-settlement inspection is your final opportunity to find any potential issues with the property before you settle, it is crucial to look for damage.
The property may have been damaged since you first inspected it. This could be anything from a broken window to a leak in the roof. If you don’t identify these problems before settlement, you may be stuck with them.
These are the things that you must check for damage:
- Look for any damage to the property that was not there when you first inspected it. This could include things like broken windows, holes in the walls, or faulty smoke alarms. Ensure that the property has working smoke alarms to avoid any fire accidents.
- Check the condition of the roof, gutters, and downspouts. Damage usually occurs on the roof, gutters, and downspouts.
- Check the pool pump if there is a pool.
- Make sure the appliances, if any, are in working order.
- Take photos of the damage you find and don’t hesitate to ask questions from the seller or agent.
3) Make Sure all Inclusions are Present
The inclusions are the items that are included in the sale of the property. They are typically listed in the contract of sale. It is important to make sure that all inclusions are present during a pre-settlement inspection because you are legally entitled to them.
If any inclusions are missing, you can request that the seller provide them or reduce the purchase price.
4) Check for Pests and Make Soil Inspection Reports.
Pests can cause significant damage to a property, so it is important to check for them during a pre-settlement inspection. Here are some things to look for:
- Signs of termites
- Droppings of cockroaches and rodents
- Trails of ants and anthills.
- Signs of lawn weeds or green waste
5) Check for Cleanliness.
If you find that the property is not clean, you should request that the seller clean it before settlement. This will help to ensure that you are getting a property that is clean and free of pests.
Additional Tips for a Successful Pre-settlement Inspection
Here are some tips you can put in your pre settlement inspection checklist for a successful pre-settlement inspection in Australia:
- Do the inspection during daylight hours. This will give you a better chance of seeing any damage or defects.
- Bring a friend or family member with you. Two sets of eyes are better than one when you are conducting your final inspection of your newly bought property.
- Take pictures of any damage or defects that you find. This will provide you with documentation in case there are any disputes after the settlement process.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions. If you’re not sure about something, ask the seller or their real estate agent to clarify.
- Be prepared to negotiate. If you find any problems with the property, you may be able to negotiate a reduction in the purchase price or ask the seller to make repairs.
- Get everything in writing. If you agree to anything with the seller, make sure to get it in writing. This will help to protect your interests in case there are any problems after settlement.
Property Legislations in NSW
Buying a property or a house in NSW, Australia is a big decision, and it is important to do your research about property settlement before you make an offer. You need to do a research about NSW property laws in order:
- To understand the market.
- To assess your finances.
- To find the right property.
- To avoid problems.
These are the legislations that impact the property industry of NSW.
- Property NSW Act 2006
- Real Property Act 1900
- Community Land Development Regulation 2018
- Land Acquisition (Just Terms Compensation) Act 1991
- Real Property Regulation 2019
- Conveyancing (Sale of Land) Regulation 2022
Seeking the Advice of a Property Lawyer
Property lawyers of JB Solicitors can do a number of things when there is an issue during a pre-settlement inspection in NSW, Australia. Here are some of the services that we offer:
- Advise the buyer of their legal rights. We can advise pre settlement inspection buyers of their legal rights under the contract of sale and the Real Property Act 1900 No 25 (NSW). This includes the right to cancel the contract, the right to request repairs, and the right to negotiate a reduction in the purchase price.
- Negotiate with the seller. We can negotiate with the seller to try to resolve the issue. This may involve requesting repairs, negotiating a reduction in the purchase price, or cancelling the contract.
- File a lawsuit. If the issue cannot be resolved through negotiation, our property lawyers can file a lawsuit against the seller. This may be necessary if the seller refuses to make repairs or if the buyer believes that the seller has breached the contract of sale.
- Represent the buyer at mediation. Mediation is a process where the buyer and seller meet with a neutral third party to try to resolve the issue. We can represent the buyer at mediation and help them to get the best possible outcome.
- Take the matter to court. If mediation is unsuccessful, we can take the matter to court and represent the buyer at trial and argue their case in front of a judge or jury.
Contact us today if you need help with pre settlement inspections.