What to check at a pre-settlement inspection

When you buy a house or apartment you have the right to a pre-settlement inspection before giving your solicitor the go-ahead to hand over the balance of the money.

Some buyers don’t bother to do a pre-settlement inspection (or perhaps neither their solicitor nor the selling agent mentioned it to them) but we insist all of our clients have one done.

So what are we looking for at the pre-settlement inspection?

The first thing we check is whether the vendors (or tenants) have in fact moved out. You do not want to be handing over money if they are not ready to hand over the keys!

If they haven’t finished moving at the time of the settlement we make sure there is clear evidence that they are preparing to move and intend to be out in time for settlement – packed boxes and a removalist truck outside would be ideal.

The next thing we check is that all the inclusions as listed on the front page of the contract have been left in the house. You paid for the dishwasher, light fittings and fixed floor coverings, etc so unless you were planning on replacing them straight away you want to make sure they are still there.

Lastly, we make sure they have not left anything behind that you don’t want to be included. Like piles of junk under the house, or old paint tins that don’t match the current color scheme.

Unfortunately, we aren’t checking whether the place has been cleaned, since there is no obligation (other than common decency) for a vendor to have cleaned the house and tidied the garden.

If you find that things are not to your liking, speak to your solicitor or conveyancer immediately. Often they will negotiate an amount of money to be withheld from the vendor to cover the cost of replacing or rectifying anything that you weren’t expecting.


Further reading:

Make sure you get what you think you are buying

Veronica’s 8 Rules for buying property

How to choose a good buyers agent: 11 questions to ask

Published:– 12 August, 2011

DISCLAIMER: Please note: Good Deeds buyers tips are intended to be of a general nature. Please contact us for advice that is specific to your individual circumstances. You may also need to get advice from other professionals such as an accountant, mortgage broker, financial planner or solicitor.

Free e-book for Owner Occupiers

7 Steps To Buy Your Dream Home

Download Now

Free e-book for Investors

How to Choose a Low Risk Investment Property