If you’ve purchased a house recently, you’d know all about the growing anxiety that is the final inspection day. You thought you had plenty of time but all of a sudden the important date is right around the corner. What are you supposed to do?!
There’s a heap that you need to check off, what are you even supposed to be inspecting?
Do not worry, because in this article we will walk you through what you need to know in order to finish your final inspection with confidence, as well as present you with a checklist you can use to make sure you’re not forgetting anything. So if you want to know how to successfully complete a final inspection, keep reading here.
What is the purpose of the final inspection before settlement?
If you’re wondering what happens in final inspection, or what a final inspection is, it is essentially a pre settlement process where buyers are able to inspect real estate they are about to buy, and inspect that the property seller has complied with their obligations under contract.
Once receiving unconditional approval from the bank, buyers can then set up a pre-settlement inspection with the seller or real estate agent.
This allows you to view and inspect the property you made an offer on one last time, so that you can be sure that nothing has changed since your original offer and you aren’t falling into a dodgy deal.
In a way, this acts as a sort of insurance for you to make sure you are not being ripped off, and hence why it is so important that you carry out the final inspection properly. Otherwise, you might be out of pocket or find yourself in a difficult situation.
Does the home look and function the same way it did when you made an offer?
When you purchase a home in WA, generally, you’ll be entitled to a final inspection of the property prior to settlement, however it is not compulsory. It’s always a good idea to try and secure one.
Why you should request a final inspection
Requesting a final inspection isn’t just a waste of time or a way to annoy the real estate agent that you are buying the property off. A final inspection is for:
- Making sure that the appliances and outlets that you were promised have not been removed from your new property. Some of the most common items that get removed are: washing machines, dishwashers, and ovens.
- To make sure that nothing from the previous owner gets left behind that you don’t want. You might be surprised what some people might leave for you to clean up, and you don’t want to be in a position where you are forced to do it.
- To make sure everything in the house works. Things like lights, taps, water heaters, and garage doors can break, make sure they are fixed before you move in.
Final House Inspection Checklist
If you’re wondering “what should I look for in a final inspection” or “how do I prepare for an inspection checklist”, don’t worry. Here is a comprehensive settlement day checklist to try avoid accepting a dodgy deal:
- Switch on all the lights
- Check every tap, flush all toilets, fill the bath and drain it
- Check for leaks on all tapware (don’t forget outside)
- Check the hot water system is working
- Switch on the stove, cooktop and oven
- Check gas metre
- Check telephone line
- Check all door handles, do they open and close
- Switch on exhaust fans
- Check dishwasher works
- Test air conditioner
- Heating unit
- Evaporative cooler
- Pool pump (if applicable)
- Spa (if applicable)
- Open and close the garage door to make sure there are no strange noises
- Make sure that your garage door remotes are functioning
- Smoke detectors
- Door locks
- Window locks
- Open and close windows
- Check all power ports work (bring a phone charger and test each port)
- If any furniture and appliances are included (check they work and are present)
- Plugs for sinks and basins
- Laundry tub
- Washing machine taps
- Request copies of appliance manuals
- Open and close all cupboards, make sure there are no strange odours
When should you do the final inspection?
A house settlement inspection should be completed as close to the settlement date as possible. Ideally, you want it to be 3 – 5 days prior to settlement. Final inspections can become quite challenging during public holidays and long weekends including Easter and Christmas.
Who can go to the final inspection?
The buyer can be accompanied by 2 other people. You may choose to bring mum or dad but we recommend bringing along an inspection officer for some professional advice.
What happens if I discover a problem at the final inspection?
Should you discover that something needs to be repaired, replaced or otherwise attended to, inform your real estate agent and your settlement agent so that they can liaise with the seller. Don’t think you’re being rude, that is the reason real estate inspections exist.
Can I delay settlement until the seller fixes the problem?
Unfortunately, issues raised at final inspection do not entitle you to delay your settlement. That means, if the seller is not willing or able to repair the problem before settlement, you will still have to go ahead and settle, and seek compensation following settlement.
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