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The Importance of the Pre Settlement Inspection

Conveyancing & Property
18 May 2023
The Importance of the Pre Settlement Inspection

Under the terms of a standard REIQ residential contract, Buyers are only permitted a few access rights to the property once the contract is signed.

A Buyer’s main access rights are: 
(a) Building and Pest inspections; and
(b) Pre settlement inspection.

The importance of the pre settlement inspection should not be overlooked.

Here are our main tips for the pre settlement inspection:

1. Don’t do it too early

We generally recommend the inspection is done 1 – 2 days before settlement.
By this time the seller should have made proactive steps to be moving out of the property and you are viewing it at a point where the condition is likely what is expected at settlement.

Note however that agents are generally busy and booking this pre settlement inspection in once the contract is unconditional will mean no last minute regrets.

2. You should be getting the same “product” at settlement

A buyer’s expectation at the pre settlement inspection is that you are getting the same “product” at settlement.
If the property was immaculate when you made the offer to purchase - it should be immaculate at settlement.

In saying that, there is no standard condition in the contract which places an obligation on the seller to do a bond clean of the property – so, if you have any concerns as to what the condition of the property may be like at settlement these concerns should be raised with your lawyer early on in the transaction.

3. Included chattels or issued raised under building & pest

If the contract includes certain chattels, you should be checking that these chattels still remain in the property and haven’t been removed by the seller.

If the seller has agreed to attend to any issues as part of the building & pest condition, you should be checking that these issues have been attended to.

Conversely, if the seller has left items at the property which you don’t want, or thought would be removed – then this should be raised before settlement.

It can be costly for buyers to remove and dump items that aren’t included in the sale.

If you’re not happy with the pre settlement inspection you should call your lawyer straight away – generally once the buyer has paid for the property at settlement, raising a concern with the seller is too late!