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Inspecting a property before signing the contract

Before signing a contract, a buyer should consider enlisting the services of a qualified building inspector, surveyor or architect to provide a professional condition report. A qualified inspector will know exactly what to look for and will see through any cosmetic improvements covering up faults that may be missed by the untrained eye.

 The inspector will provide a written condition report, pointing out faults in the property, whether they can be repaired and how much these repairs are likely to cost. The report will also highlight any unsafe or unauthorised renovations and extensions.

 The buyer may be able to use this report to negotiate conditions in the contract as well as the price. The inspection service should have full professional indemnity insurance to protect the buyer if a problem is missed in the inspection.

 On average it will cost about $250 for a building inspection. When ordering a full inspection choose a company with plenty of experience and qualifications, such as a member of the Institute of Building Consultants.

  You should also carry out your own inspection. Use Landlord Central’s Property Inspection Checklist to help you.