Get the most out of property inspections

Are you one of the many hopeful home buyers spending your Saturdays inspecting open homes this spring? Veronica Morgan, co-host of the Lifestyle Channel’s Location Location Location Australia reveals her top tips to make the most of your inspection time.

How many times have you seen a property online and been surprised by how different the property looked when you walked through the front door? This highlights why physical property inspections are vital when you’re looking to buy a property.

When you start the property inspection process, you may be tempted to only look at a property once. This is not enough. There are things you simply won't see on a first visit. Sometimes properties get better the more you see them, sometimes they lose their appeal, or “shrink”.

It’s commonplace now for properties to be styled before being put onto the market. These days, agents advise their vendors on the best ways to present their homes and when to de-clutter, so you may not always see a true representation of how people actually live there.

Here are my tips for getting the best out of property inspections.

1. Inspection, inspection, inspection

Check out the property at different times of the day so you can get a sense of variable things like natural light and external noise allowing for no surprises regarding the area (think about traffic, aircraft, nearby schools, cafes and bars).

2. Consult the floorplan

Calculate the room sizes and be honest about whether they are adequate. Be aware that empty rooms look smaller than furnished ones.

3. Look at the other buyers

What’s the “vibe” at the open house? Are you seeing familiar faces at your repeat inspections? Are buyers asking the agent a lot of questions? Or does it all seem a bit quiet with no-one making a move on the property? It’s important to look at the property first and then consider interest from competing buyers before determining whether to make a strong or low offer, or whether to try to buy a property before auction.

4. Chat to the agent and take notes

Don’t view the agent as the enemy. Unless you have a buyer’s agent acting for you, you won’t be able to buy a property without dealing with a selling agent. Make it known to the agent if you like the property. You don’t have to tell them what you are prepared to pay, but you do need them to keep you in the loop. Ask for a copy of the contract if you are serious about purchasing the property. Finally, make sure you compare each property’s attributes against a pros and cons checklist.

Guest author, Veronica Morgan, is the Principal of Good Deeds Property Buyers and co-host of the Lifestyle Channel’s Location, Location Location Australia and Relocation Relocation Australia exclusively to Foxtel.


Important information: The advice contained in this article is for general information purposes only and may contain general advice. It has been prepared without considering your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should, before acting on the advice, consider its appropriateness to your circumstances. Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124.