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One last look: Inspecting property before the settlement

By Renata Sowinski

The deal has gone through and the keys are nearly in your hands. You’ve gone over the sale and purchase agreement, and you should know exactly what you’re buying. Soon you can call yourself an owner of Langwarrin property. But before you say goodbye to the agent, remember to carry out one last property inspection.

Pre-settlement inspections can be carried out any reasonable time within the week before the settlement date.

Why should I conduct a final inspection?

With Langwarrin’s median house price of $606,000, according to RealEstate.com.au, you’ll want to have that final look-around once the previous owner has moved out to make sure your money is being spent on exactly what you think it is.

On occasion, previous owners have been known to take chattels that should be included in the property. The opposite can occur as well – unwanted items may be left in closets or drawers and it shouldn’t be your responsibility to dispose of them. You’ll want to take this opportunity to get the owner to remove them.

If any maintenance was listed as a condition in the sale and purchase agreement, you’ll want to ensure that that’s been done. Furthermore, a final inspection will help you avoid those horror stories of disgruntled sellers willfully damaging your new home on their way out.

What should and shouldn’t be there

When inspecting your property in Langwarrin you need to look out for what’s missing as well as what’s been left behind. In a worst-case scenario, supposedly built-in features such as the oven or even light fittings can be missing, as previous owners have decided not to part with them.

Make sure when you sign your sale and purchase agreement that any fittings you assume would be included with the house are there in the contract – otherwise you may have no claim to them.

If anything is left behind, be it rubbish or heavy yard materials, a final inspection is your last chance to insist that they be removed. You also have the power to ask for a reduction in the sale price to cover the cost of removal.

Cleaning up after themselves

The pre-settlement inspection is when you get to check that the property is as you expect it to be. Legally, the vendor (the previous owner) is required to leave the property to you in the same (or, we always hope, nicer) condition than it was at the time it was sold.

That means any changes you notice to the state of the property since the agreement was signed must be fixed by the vendor before settlement. If there are damages to the property that existed before the sale, the vendor is only required to fix them if that was listed as a condition in the agreement.

If you have any more questions about protecting your interests as you buy your next home, get in touch with the team at Ray White Langwarrin for obligation-free advice.

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