Pre-Purchase Inspections: Are They Worth It?
When speaking with a homebuyer, we’ll always recommend pre-purchase inspections. Pre-purchase inspections aren’t legally required or mandatory, but they’re a buyer’s due diligence.
In NSW, law relating to property purchase operates in a “buyer beware” fashion. This means that the onus (responsibility) is on the buyer to ensure that they’ve asked all the necessary questions before committing to a purchase. Therefore, the more you know about a property, the better. Once you complete a property purchase, you’re agreeing to the house as it is and any issues you discover cannot void your agreement.
Learn more about the mistakes to avoid when buying property.
Which pre-purchase inspections should I choose?
The standard pre-purchase inspections that we recommend are Pest and Building. Pre-purchase inspections will differ from company to company. A Pest inspection generally identifies any visible signs of timber pests such as termites or wood borers. Similarly, a Building inspection is a visual assessment of your property, to identify any existing building faults or potential areas of concern. Your inspector may hint at a problem that needs further investigation by a plumbing or electrical expert.
If you’re buying a property in a Strata or community complex, it’s also important to get a Strata inspection. A Strata inspection details information about the building or complex as a whole. This includes who the current owner is, insurance and fire safety requirements, and what the quarterly levies for the property are.
Interestingly, you can now get an inspector to check for traces of methamphetamines to see if your property was previously used as a meth lab. It’s more common than you may think, and traces in the walls would be toxic to your health.
Overall, we recommend investing in
- Building inspection
- Pest inspection
- Methamphetamine test
- Strata inspection, if applicable
Is it worth the money?
Say you skip out on a Pest and Building inspection, only to find out after purchase that you have active termites and damaged bearers in the floor that need replacing. Unfortunately, these issues would be entirely yours to fix, as the seller and real estate agent may claim that they were unaware of these issues. Keep in mind, if you arrange a Pest inspection before signing your contract, you can negotiate the price of treating the termites with your seller. Almost always, you’ll lose any money you save in skipping out on pre-purchase inspections by fixing problems further down the track.
Keeping all of this in mind, it’s also important to note that you could do every inspection possible and still miss something. As this is one of the biggest purchases you could make, it pays to be as informed as possible. Findings from an inspection may also allow you to negotiate on your price, which we can assist you with. Remember, you can conduct inspections before the exchange of contract or during the cooling-off period.