A pre-settlement inspection is your final chance to check a property before taking possession of it, to make sure it’s in the same condition as it was when you exchanged contracts. So it’s important to make the most of this opportunity to make sure there are no surprises. 

When should you do the pre-settlement inspection?

Within the week leading up to the day of settlement. If you inspect five business days before, this may give you or the vendor enough time to arrange for things to be fixed, or to renegotiate a new deal before moving in. Keep in mind though that the property may still be occupied so you may not be able to see as much as when the property is empty.

Who should do the inspection?

Ideally, you should inspect the property with your real estate agent. You may even do it with the vendors as well – just be aware you’ll need to arrange a time that suits them while they’re still living there rather than turning up unannounced.

What should you look for?

It may have been several weeks or even months since you last checked out the property when you exchanged contracts, so you’ll be looking for any changes that may have impacted the state or condition of the property since that time. In particular, check for:

  • Any significant damage. If you come across, for example, a fresh hole in the wall, you could ask the vendors fix it before settlement
  • Special conditions of the contract have been fulfilled. For example, you might have asked for a broken window to be fixed when you exchanged contracts
  • General good condition – the property should be neat and tidy, with all rubbish and any other waste removed (bearing in mind that the vendor may still be in the middle of packing)

You should also do a final check of all fixtures, smoke alarms, plumbing, electrical, heaters and air-conditioners (if applicable).

What if you find something wrong?

Raise any issues with your real estate agent, conveyancer or solicitor right away. They may be able to renegotiate the conditions of settlement – for example, that the vendor must fix a particular fault before the day of settlement or agree to reduce the sale price to account for any money you’ll need to spend on repairs after you’ve moved in.

Need more info?

Your CommBank Home Lending Specialist can provide you with all the details you’ll need for a successful pre-settlement inspection.

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Things you should know

This article is intended to provide general information of an educational nature only. We make no warranty as to the completeness of the information, nor do we accept any liability or responsibility if the information is incomplete. It does not have regard to the financial situation or needs of any reader and must not be relied upon as financial product advice. As this information has been prepared without considering your objectives, financial situation or needs, you should, before acting on this, consider the appropriateness to your circumstances.