What Are My Rights When They Inspect My Home For Sale?
‘My house is up for sale and the buyer wants a professional building inspector to inspect my home. I feel nervous. What should I expect?’ – Rebecca, QLD.
Pre-purchase property inspections are standard practice in Queensland to assist buyers make an informed investment and help them understand what they are getting into. A pre-purchase building inspection will equip the buyer with a full review of the condition of the property they intend to buy. An experienced building inspector knows exactly what to look for when inspecting a property, examining areas of the house that aren’t always visible at an open inspection.
While a pre-purchase building inspection is recommended with most sales these days, it doesn’t make it any less nerve-wracking for sellers. You know your home is in great condition and you’ve worked hard to get it ready for sale, but what if the inspector is biased toward the buyer? What if they find serious issues with your property? What if they try to bargain the price down based on findings from the inspection report? What if they ask you to fix the issues?
Here’s what you need to do to prepare and protect yourself for when your home undergoes a pre-purchase building inspection. But first – let’s take a look at what a pre-purchase building inspection involves.
What is a pre-purchase building inspection?
A pre-purchase building inspection is a comprehensive inspection designed to identify the true condition of a property and ensure it is built to code and Australian industry standards.
• house exterior
• house interior, wet areas
• decking, pergola and verandah
• roof exterior and interior
• termite barrier
• underfloor areas.
A qualified and experienced building inspector will use technical equipment during the inspection such as thermal imaging, moisture metres and digital photography. Issues uncovered could include anything and everything from structural and foundation issues, to plumbing, drainage or general maintenance.
A pre-purchase building inspection assists buyers to understand exactly what they are purchasing and helps them decide whether or not the property is a worthy investment for them.
Know the condition of your property
Before you place your property on the market, ensure you know as much about its current condition as possible. Give it a thorough inspection yourself and take note of any issues that are visible to the naked eye. Take note of cracks in the walls and ceiling, mould, warped or rotten floorboards, leaking toilets and anything that causes you concern.
It is up to you to decide whether or not to fix these problems before putting your property on the market, or adjust the price with the issues in mind. Knowing the issues exist could help soften the blow of any findings that are uncovered in the inspection report. It is better to be prepared than be hit with a nasty surprise.
Need help preparing your property for inspection? Check out these five reasons a property fails a building and pest inspection.
Who chooses the building inspector?
The buyer is responsible for engaging a building inspector. A buyer’s agent will often recommend an appropriate inspector; however it is essential that the building inspector is impartial and independent to ensure an unbiased report is delivered. Never use an inspector recommended by a real estate agent.
Inspectors must have the appropriate qualifications and licenses to undertake a pre-purchase inspection. At Action Property Inspections, all inspectors are fully qualified building inspectors with years of experience within the Brisbane property market. You can be assured of an independent property inspection with Action Property Inspections.
Can I be there when they inspect my home?
Buyers and sellers are within their rights to attend the pre-purchase property inspection. It can feel awkward having strangers in your home, so you may prefer to be around when the inspection is taking place and be aware of any issues that are raised with your property. It is not necessary or mandatory, however, that a seller attend the pre-purchase property inspection. In some instances, it could make the buyer uncomfortable.
It is recommended, though not mandatory, that buyers attend the inspection to allow them to see the property in detail and ask questions about any concerns they may have.
If the buyer cannot attend the inspection, it is not an issue. A detailed inspection report will be provided to the buyer on completion of the inspection and the inspector will contact the buyer to discuss the report in detail and explain the outcomes and recommendations of the report. Action Property Inspections reports are comprehensive with a detailed overview of the property’s condition, including photos.
What happens if issues are found when they inspect my home?
The pre-purchase building inspection report provides an unbiased assessment of the property and its current condition. It details any issues that may have been uncovered in the property and what needs to be done to get the property to standard.
Rest assured, if the pre-purchase building inspection uncovers issues with your home, it is not all doom and gloom. A buyer might not be satisfied with the outcomes of the report, but still want to continue with the purchase. They might be content simply knowing the issues exist and that they will need to make repairs.
The buyer is within their rights to ask the seller to fix the issues or negotiate the price down. In some cases, a pre-purchase building inspection can result in the termination of the contract.
If issues are uncovered with the property and the buyer wishes to negotiate, the seller will be provided with a copy of the report to familiarise themselves with the offending issues.
As the seller, you have the right to decline the request to fix the issues and renegotiate the price. You are also welcome to engage an inspector of your own for a second opinion.
“Does someone really need to inspect my home?” It is only natural to feel nervous when your property undergoes a pre-purchase building inspection at the request of a buyer but, in the end, it is a safeguard for both buyer and seller against unexpected delays or expenses.