Pre contract inspections are a must when buying property

June 08, 2017
Ashley Arrowsmith

Buying a property is the biggest investment or financial outlay that most of us will make in a lifetime. It is critical that you make well-informed decisions when you purchase a property, whether it be for your own home or an investment.

The Contract for Sale follows the common law of buyer beware. This means that the purchaser should make their own enquiries and investigate the quality of the property before they enter into a contract to buy.

Pre-contract inspections

There are various inspections that a purchaser can get done prior to entering into a contract to buy a property and these will differ depending on the type of property.

Below are a number of pre-contract inspections you may consider for a standard residential house.

Pest Inspection

In locations which are susceptible to pest infestation, a qualified and insured pest inspector can conduct a visual inspection of the property to discover if there is any evidence of termite or other pest activity at present or in the past.
More detailed inspections such as thermal imaging or photographs of the walls and bathrooms to highlight any damp areas may also be conducted if required. The inspector will also conduct a moisture meter reading of the bathrooms and other wet areas as termites are attracted by damp timber. They will also examine the property for any wood decay, borers or rot that could affect the structural integrity of the home.
Termite damage undiscovered can cost many thousands of dollars to repair.

Building Inspections

A qualified and insured building inspector should be commissioned to inspect the property including the house, any garage or other buildings located on the property.
The inspector will investigate the interior and exterior of the buildings looking for any defects that are not usual “wear and tear”.
In an existing home there are usually small defects which accumulate over time due touse and are readily visible, but it is the not so visible defects that are costly like a leaking roof that can cost tens of thousands of dollars to repair.

Pools and spas

If the property includes a pool or a spa then the pump and any ancillary equipment as well as the pool or spa itself should be investigated to ensure they are in good working order.

Building Certificate

If there are unapproved structures on the property you should request that the seller obtains a building certificate from the council, to ensure that the council will not require you, after the sale to demolish, rectify or obtain approvals.


A survey shows the dimensions and boundaries of the property. It will also identify any encroachments by structures erected on the land.
In areas inhabited for a long time the fences are often not right on the boundary or there may actually be part of a building encroaching on your land. In more extreme cases, a driveway which appears to be on the property you are buying may actually be on the next door neighbour’s property which would mean you may end up with no access to your new home.


If you are in the market for a home loan or would like to discuss the home buying process, please call Ashley now on 0425 826 967 or 9432-2121.




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