We are quite often asked, “why do I need to do a final inspection on my new house before settlement.” The answer to this question is more about the legalities and possible loss to the buyers than anything else.
When you purchase a home, your Solicitor or Conveyancer will ensure that the majority of things that need to be done during the settlement process are attended to, but the one thing that you as the buyer need to complete is the final inspection.
The final inspection provides buyers the opportunity to go back through the property prior to settlement to ensure that there have been no major changes or damage which may have occurred at the property and that it is the same as when you agreed to buy it.
In Victoria part of the Contract of Sale – Condition 24 stipulates that the vendor must keep the property in the same condition as when it was originally inspected, save for general wear and tear. By carrying out the final inspection, you can ensure that the vendor has complied with this.
If you as the buyer of the home decide not to complete a final inspection and you find a problem with it after settlement, there is no claim that can be brought against the previous owner and it will be up to you to repair and pay for any damage.
What to look for when doing a final inspection
Check that all things are in working order – such as appliances including dishwasher, cooktops, oven, air conditioners, heaters
Check that any goods included in the Contract of Sale are still present at the property – such as water tanks and pumps, TV antennas, light fittings, and any items of furniture which may have been agreed upon.
Has there been any damage, allowing for fair wear and tear?
Buyers are able to conduct a final inspection during the 7 days prior to settlement, and ideally, this should when the property is vacant to provide you with the best opportunity to view the home correctly. Sometimes having a vacant home will not be possible as the sellers may not be moving out until the day of settlement.
What to do if there is a problem?
If you find that something is not right after completing the final inspection, then notify your Solicitor or Conveyancer immediately. Your legal representative will try and rectify the situation prior to settlement.