• What things should I check before I make an offer on a property?

    5 Mar, 2013 | 92 views

    First home buyers and those more experienced buyers can often forget to check whether all the mechanical equipment on a property works properly before they buy it.

    Buyers must remember that it is a term of every contract that the property, at settlement, will be in the same state and condition it was in immediately prior to the contract date.

    It makes sense therefore for the buyer to fully understand what is being purchased and to ask the real estate agent what items are not working.

    The REIWA Offer and Acceptance Form used by Real Estate agents has a section for buyers and sellers to agree to any special conditions. This might include representations that the plumbing and wiring be in safe working order.You can also add that it is a condition of sale that the property is structurally sound and free of significant defects

    If a door, shower screen or window is broken, these are also matters you can negotiate be fixed by the owner before you settle, however, the seller has no obligation to do this and may not agree to repairs.

    The purpose of the pre-settlement inspection (not the final inspection), which takes place one week before settlement and not during the purchase transaction, is to check that the property is in the same condition as it was when last inspected by the buyer and not prior to the contract date. It is also to ensure that any special conditions have been satisfied.

    It is most important to remember that the purpose of a pre-settlement inspection is not to add new conditions or make requests of the seller for faults that existed at the time you made your offer.

    Therefore it’s important to check some of the more common things to inspect prior to entering into a contract might include:

    * The hot water system; learn how it works and whether it may need repairs. If it’s a solar hot water system ask about the booster switch and where to locate it.

    * If the yard is reticulated, check that it works properly and ask to see where the sprinklers and solenoids, where they exist, are located.

    * Check that any air conditioning is running smoothly or that ceiling fans operate safely.

    * Where there is a swimming pool, look for any damage and become familiar with the pool cleaning equipment and filter. Ensure that the property has the required legal pool fencing.

    * Check that the plumbing and lights work by operating all the taps and switches and run any exhaust fans in the kitchen and toilet.

    * Test all the power points with a phone charger or hair dryer in each of the rooms.

    * Inspect all the water drainage outlets from the roof. Be confident the guttering is sound and find out where any soak wells are located.

    * If the property is on septic tanks for sewage, check that it works and locate the tanks.

    * Test the locks and latches on all doors and windows and make sure that curtains and blinds are secure and operational.

    After becoming familiar with the property you are then ready to make an informed decision on the purchase price.

    Remember too that a pre-purchase building inspection by a reputable building inspection company like Houspect will assess whether the property has significant defects and is or is not structurally sound

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