It wouldn’t be long before you’re handed the keys to your new home or office. As exciting as that may sound, you have to make sure the property hasn’t been altered in any way by the seller as he or she moves out or that the previous tenant isn’t leaving the place with considerable damage. This is where the final building inspection comes in.
We’ve heard countless horror stories of sellers leaving garbage behind, ripping out gardens, packing up pool pumps, not disclosing electrical or plumbing problems, etc. Because you need to be sure that you’re not suffering the same predicament, have an inspector at the ready to do one last check of the place before you move in.
When Final Building Inspection Should Be Conducted
This kind of building inspection has to be done as close to the settlement date as possible. However, in most cases, that date largely depends on the agreement with the vendor. Although some will choose to skip this as they can clearly see the finish line already (and may feel like the report will only be an unnecessary hurdle), it can actually save you from a lot of headaches down the line.
If you’re buying from a seller who is moving out of the property, you should ideally commission the inspection after he or she moves out. This way, you can be sure that no items or features have been taken (or left) that aren’t part of the sale contract. You don’t want to be paying extra to keep, maintain, or dispose of the previous tenant’s collection of vintage motorcycles, after all.
However, if the property is previously vacant, you may have a few days before the settlement date to conduct the final inspection. This time frame should allow the vendor to do the necessary fixes and replacements included in the house sale. In case you’re wondering—yes, the solicitor has to be involved in resolving such concerns before the actual settlement.
In the end, the final building inspection has to be the last important step before the purchase of the real estate property. It will give you confidence that you’re getting exactly what you’ve paid for.
Ideally, it has to be you and anyone who is involved in the purchase decision (like a co-buyer) that should be conducting the final inspection. Although it’d be tempting to bring in the same building inspector who did the pre-purchase inspection, try not to. Remember, the final inspection may be a different ballgame entirely considering the fact that the inspector doesn’t know what features and amenities are part of the sale price. In the end, you’d rather have fresh sets of eyes at the final inspection so nothing is overlooked as you’re about to settle into your new place.
While you may be feeling that a final home inspection is a bit of a stretch financially, know that it is recommended. Nevertheless, you do have the right to conduct this inspection to ensure that nothing in the house has been changed since the previous property assessment (e.g. pre-purchase building inspection). Once the settlement happens, the last thing you want to see are amenities and features that have been damaged as the previous occupant moved out.