When you are buying a new home, especially your first, there is tremendous amount of excitement.  Usually 3 days before settlement you will be invited to inspect the property.  Most buyers, however, don’t inspect the property thoroughly though.  They usually take the opportunity to take one last look at the house before it is theirs and plan what furniture will go where.

What the inspection is actually there for is to ensure that all the items that are supposed to be there remain; all of the things that are supposed to be removed are gone; and that everything works.

The final inspection is not an obligation; however, it is highly recommended that you do so.  It is also recommended that you do the final inspection between the vendor having completely moved out and the settlement date.  If the property is already empty you can generally do the final inspection any time because it is unlikely that items will go missing or be broken.

Here is a list of things that you should check over will doing the final inspection:

  • Take a copy of the contract with the inclusions and exclusions with you.
  • Ensure that all the inclusions remain and are working.
  • Ensure that all of the exclusions have been removed.
  • Check all the keys and locks work on all doors and windows.
  • Ensure that the garage door works.
  • Flick on and off all of the lights.
  • Turn off and on all of the water taps, and check the hot water service. Also make sure that none of the taps and sinks leak.
  • Ensure that any heating/cooling works correctly.
  • Check the oven, cooktop and stove work.
  • Make sure that the toilets flush and do not leak.
  • Check the dishwasher works.
  • If there is a pool or spa, ensure that their pumps are in working condition.
  • Check that the house alarm is working.
  • Make sure that the bins are there.

If the house is not in the same condition it was when you signed the contract or if any items are not correct or working you will need to involve your solicitor or conveyancer for them to arrange the items be fixed or replaced before settlement can take place. Before you do so, tell the real estate agent straight away so that they are kept in the loop.   In some instances the vendor may even have to reimburse the purchaser for any unexpected expenses.

In the event that the vendor does have to rectify some items it is important to re-do the final inspection after the vendor has corrected the issue/s.  When you do 2nd final inspection is important to do the entire process over again and not just check that items to be fixed have been.

If you are not confident in your ability to perform the final inspection it may be worthwhile having another impartial and detail orientated person attend with you to ensure that all of the items are in order.  However, check your contract and with your solicitor/conveyancer before taking someone else with you, in some instances the number of people attending the final inspection may be regulated.