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Pre-purchase inspections – what you can object to and what you can’t

Published: 8th May 2018

Author: Scott Chamberlain, RMY Legal

Published in: Property Speaking | Issue #27

Pre-purchase inspections – what you can object to and what you can’t

The final step before you settle your property purchase is to undertake a ‘pre-purchase inspection’. This gives you the right (under the contract you signed) to inspect the property one lasttime and raise any last-minute issues about the property with the real estate agent and with us before settlement.

Having a pre-purchase inspection is not, however, the right time to try to negotiate a price reduction, or to attempt to raise new issues about the property.

Your rights under the pre-purchase inspection are limited to ensure that the property (and the chattels listed in the agreement as coming with the property) are in the same condition as they were when you signed the agreement.

This can result in some confusion and frustration, particularly if something is broken, not working, or missing — which you may not have noticed when the contract was signed.

The best way to manage the pre-purchase inspection is to be diligent before you sign the agreement; it’s often difficult to think of this detail when you’re making an offer. You should take note of the condition of the house, its land and the chattels and record these with photographs. If you notice any damage, such as a hole in the wall and you want it fixed, let us know before you sign the agreement. Test the lights, taps and oven and other chattels. Also ensure the garage door opens and closes properly. All these must be checked before you sign. The agreement protects you if you do this — but you will be in for a shock if you don’t.

As always, make sure you talk with us before you sign your agreement.

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