Located in the growing Sunshine Coast suburb of Mount Coolum, this investment property was purchased Home Scouts for…
In the property purchase process, one of the most critical yet often overlooked activities is the pre-settlement inspection and when buying your Sunshine Coast property this step could save you thousands in the long run.
The pre-settlement inspection allows you to assess the property’s condition and verify that it aligns with the agreed-upon terms before the final settlement. It’s worthwhile to do this a few days prior to settlement if possible so that you have time to ensure that any issues identified can be addressed prior to settlement.
In undertaking these for our clients, more often than not issues arise to be addressed – from homes requiring a full clean, fixing doors and locks not working properly, remediating taps not operating, to fixing or replacing faulty appliances such as dishwashers (if they were agreed as inclusions in the sale).
In this blog, we will delve into the importance of pre-settlement inspections and highlight the importance to you as a buyer of spending the time to go through the property before it becomes yours.
Identifying defects and issues
A pre-settlement inspection is your last chance to thoroughly examine the property and identify any defects or issues that may have arisen since the initial inspections. It provides an opportunity to ensure that the property is in the same condition as when you agreed to purchase it.
By conducting a detailed inspection, you can uncover potential problems such as structural issues, plumbing or electrical faults, pest infestations, or any hidden damage. Identifying these problems before settlement can help you avoid unexpected expenses and potential headaches down the road.
Negotiating repairs or price adjustments
If the pre-settlement inspection reveals any significant defects or issues, you can use this information to negotiate repairs or price adjustments with the seller. Depending on the nature of the problem, you may request that the seller rectify the issues before settlement or provide compensation in the form of a reduced purchase price or credits. By addressing these concerns upfront, you can avoid the hassle of dealing with repair work or financial burdens after taking ownership of the property.
Ensuring contractual compliance
A pre-settlement inspection helps ensure that the property complies with the agreed-upon terms in the contract of sale. It allows you to verify that all fixtures, fittings, and inclusions mentioned in the contract are present and in good condition. For example, if the contract specifies that all kitchen appliances should be in working order, the pre-settlement inspection allows you to confirm this. If any discrepancies are found, you can work with your solicitor or conveyancer to resolve the issues and ensure that the property meets the contractual requirements.
Peace of mind
Buying a property is a significant investment, and a pre-settlement inspection provides peace of mind. By thoroughly inspecting the property before settlement, you can be confident that you are making an informed decision and that there are no hidden surprises awaiting you. Knowing that the property has been thoroughly examined and meets your expectations allows you to move forward with the settlement process with confidence and peace of mind.
Neglecting a pre-settlement inspection may lead to problems once the settlement is complete. Without conducting a thorough inspection, you may unknowingly inherit existing issues and become responsible for their repair costs. Post-settlement remedies can be more complicated and time-consuming, potentially leading to legal disputes or financial burdens. By conducting a pre-settlement inspection, you significantly reduce the chances of encountering such issues and ensure a smoother transition into your new property.
What to look for when undertaking a pre-settlement inspection
Any significant repairs required or damage
Walk through the home and around the property, and make sure you look through each room thoroughly. From opening the doors and windows and checking they’re working properly (and not broken), to testing the light switches and power points. If there’s anything you’re not sure about, you should ask the agent to follow up with the vendor, or your solicitor to follow up with the seller’s solicitor.
Inclusions and exclusions
When you exchanged contracts, the items which were to remain should have been specified. Make sure you are clear on what has been included and excluded and use the pre-settlement inspection to check that everything is as it should be.
It’s clean and tidy
By the pre-settlement inspection, the property should be looking clean and tidy. Furniture and belongings should have been removed, rubbish cleared and the garden cleaned as well as the property thoroughly cleaned. If the property isn’t clean and hasn’t been cleared of rubbish, ask the agent to confirm with the vendor that they will be removed before settlement.
If there are special conditions negotiated within the contract, make sure that they have been met.
If you’re not satisfied with the pre-settlement inspection, what should you do?
Make sure you advise the agent but more importantly, your solicitor or conveyancer as soon as possible.
They can then negotiate with the vendor’s solicitor to reach an outcome that all parties are satisfied with. For example, the vendor may agree to reduce the sale price to account for cleaning or repairs that will have to be done post-settlement.
A pre-settlement inspection is a crucial step that should never be overlooked when purchasing a property. It enables buyers to identify any defects or issues, negotiate repairs or price adjustments, ensure contractual compliance, and gain peace of mind. By investing time and effort in a comprehensive inspection, you can make an informed decision, avoid future headaches, and enjoy a smooth transition into your new property. Remember, a little inspection now can save you significant trouble later.
If you need a hand with undertaking a pre-settlement inspection on a property you’re purchasing, don’t hesitate to reach out to us, your trusted Sunshine Coast buyer’s agent.