Making an informed decision

INSPECT: Before purchasing property, you should inspect it and obtain any professional reports you may need to help you make an informed decision. Photo: Ray White

INSPECT: Before purchasing property, you should inspect it and obtain any professional reports you may need to help you make an informed decision. Photo: Ray White

Aside from looking at a property to see if you like it and that it suits your needs, the next thing you need to consider are building and pest reports. In NSW, sellers are not required to provide these inspections and lenders don't often mandate them as necessary, so it's usually your own choice.

Firstly, it's a good idea to go through the offer and acceptance process, in other words, find out if the vendor is willing to accept your offer before you pay for inspections. Once your offer is accepted you'll need to sign contracts as quickly as you can, so if you're going to order inspections then you'll need to get onto it straight away. On the other hand if you're heading to auction, then you'll need to complete any inspections you choose to have prior to the auction taking place.

The second important point is to remember that reports are for your awareness and information so that you know what your signing up for, sellers rarely renegotiate the agreed price due to imperfections picked up in building or pest reports. Price expectations are generally set with full knowledge of the state of the house, and on the very rare occasion that a legitimately unknown fault is picked up, your agent will provide advice.

Principal of Ray White Parkes, Forbes and Condobolin. Tracie Robertson, said that getting reports before purchasing a property is always a good idea. "I've seen many a buyer spooked by building faults that are common to our region, so it's a good idea to ask your inspector for context,: she said.

A lot of the soil across Central and Far West NSW is classified as highly reactive, meaning cracking might be a sign of soil expansion, while contraction could be exacerbated by simple things such as a leaking down pipe. "Another example is a pest inspector can advise that not all termite species found in our yards can actually damage houses," she said. "It's important to speak to a suitably licenced and insured inspector."

Other inspections you can obtain include power and plumbing, engineers reports, soil testing, surveys and council reports. A good agent can provide a list of inspectors operating in the area and can help home buyers and sellers navigate the process.

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