People who are interested in purchasing a property are strongly encouraged to hire a reputable building inspector to examine the property before committing to a contract.
A pre-purchase building inspection is useful to enable purchasers to assess the structural stability and integrity of a property. An inspector should also check things such as electrical wiring, plumbing and roof spaces, which are potentially dangerous if they do not meet building standards.
Independent building inspections commissioned by a purchaser are the most effective way of ensuring complete peace of mind when transacting real estate.
Purchasers can arrange building inspections prior to making an offer or entering into a contract or, during the cooling off period. Alternatively, a purchaser may negotiate to make the contract subject to obtaining a satisfactory building inspection.
In the case of sales by auction, a building inspection should be carried out prior to the auction as the successful purchaser will normally be required to enter into a binding unconditional contract upon the fall of the auctioneer's hammer.
The inspector should provide a written condition report which points out faults in the property and provides advice on whether they can be repaired. The fee for a professional inspection service is relatively minor compared with the cost of buying a property that requires extensive, unforeseen repairs.
The vendor has an obligation to hand over the property in the same condition as it was in when you signed the contract of sale. You are entitled to make an inspection to check the house at any reasonable time, one week before settlement, only if you stipulated in the contract that the sale was subject to a pre-settlement inspection.
To assist consumers with real estate queries, REISA operates a free information service – REISA Query Connect on free call 1800 804 365, between the hours of 9.00am to 4.00pm each weekday. This service is staffed by knowledgeable real estate professionals with many years of practical experience.