13 Sep 2023

The Importance of Final Property Inspections

Buying a property is a significant investment, and the final inspection before settlement can be your last line of defence against costly surprises. In this article, we’ll explore why conducting a final inspection is essential and what you should look for during this critical step in the property buying process.

Why the Final Inspection Matters

The final inspection, usually conducted five days before settlement, is your opportunity to ensure that the property you’re about to purchase aligns with the terms of the sale contract. While it may not be a comprehensive building inspection, it serves several vital purposes:

  1. Contract Compliance: You can verify that the property complies with the conditions stipulated in the sale contract. This includes checking for any repairs or maintenance agreed upon in the contract.
  2. Special Provisions: If your contract includes special provisions or conditions, the final inspection allows you to confirm that these have been fulfilled to your satisfaction.
  3. Functional Check: Ensure that all aspects of the property, such as electrical, plumbing, and appliances, are in working order as specified in the contract.
  4. Post-Contract Condition: Confirm that there haven’t been any significant changes or damage to the property since you signed the contract.
  5. Avoiding Extra Costs: Identifying issues during the final inspection can prevent you from incurring additional costs or delays in getting problems fixed after settlement.

What to Include in Your Inspection Checklist

During the final inspection, be thorough and pay attention to various aspects of the property.

Here’s a checklist to guide you:

  • • Structure: Check for any structural damage inside and outside the building. Look for cracks, leaks, or signs of wear and tear that weren’t present during previous inspections.
  • • Utilities: Verify the condition and functionality of essential utilities such as air-conditioning, heating systems, gas appliances, electrical fixtures, plumbing, and hot water systems.
  • • Doors and Windows: Ensure all doors and windows can open, close, and lock properly. Test the garage door and any external gates for functionality.
  • • Kitchen and Bathroom: Inspect the kitchen appliances, sinks, drainage, showers, and toilets to ensure they are in good working order.
  • • Fixtures and Fittings: Check for missing or damaged furnishings, fittings, window dressings, and landscaping, as specified in the contract.
  • • Cleanliness: Ensure the property is free from rubbish, bulky items, or any debris left behind by previous occupants.
  • • Occupancy: Confirm that the property has been vacated as agreed upon in the contract.
  • • Privacy: Evaluate the level of privacy the property offers, considering neighbouring properties and shared walls.

What to Do if You Find Issues

If you discover any issues during the final inspection that are not in line with the contract, follow these steps:

  • 1. Notify Relevant Parties: Inform your conveyancer, real estate agent, and settlement representative about the problems you’ve identified.
  • 2. Address with the Seller: Work with your settlement representative to communicate the issues to the seller’s agent and request that they address the problems.
  • 3. Negotiate Solutions: You may negotiate with the seller to rectify the issues, reduce the sale price, or make necessary repairs.
  • 4. Seek Legal Advice: If disputes arise or the seller doesn’t cooperate, consult a property lawyer to protect your rights and interests.

While you may not be entitled to multiple inspections, collaborating with the seller and your settlement representative can help ensure that the property meets your expectations before finalising the purchase.

A final inspection is a crucial step in the property buying process. It safeguards your interests, ensures contract compliance, and provides peace of mind as you prepare to take ownership of your new home. Don’t underestimate its importance, and always stay vigilant during this critical property settlement phase. Read more about the dangers of dropping the ball with buying inspections during the settlement process.

As Perth’s leading conveyancing and settlement agency we have conducted thousands of settlements for our satisfied clients. If you’re interested in our conveyancing and settlement services, contact us today or apply for a free quote and settle with ease.