Looking to Buy a house- consider pre-contract Building Inspection before sign on the line

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Under the current normal Buying a property process in WA, a buyer will sign a contract -also known as an Offer and Acceptance (O&A) to buy a House, Land, or Strata lot, and they may include as a condition their desire for a Building Inspection or Survey done, usually at their own cost, after it goes unconditional.

The standard REIWA annexure if included in the negotiation of the O&A allows for a Pre-purchase Building Inspection. However, it is usually limited to specific remedy only to ‘Structural defects’.

The Australian Standard used for inspection under the mentioned annexure allows for a Maintenance Report which includes Structural defects, however, it often details other Non-Structural issues or defects that may fall outside of the Buyer’s right to request a remedy or a list of items that may need attention, potentially creating a value discrepancy in what the Buyer may have offered or never even considered -IF ONLY THEY HAD KNOWN.
paying blind

Consider either A)’Due Diligence -catch all clause by a set date’, or B) ‘Pre-Contract building inspection’ as far better options. With B) your Buyers get their building inspections done before entering the contract. Then it should inform them;

  1. whether they should buy the property at all,
  2. whether it’s good value, and
  3. what work they might need to do on the house in the next few years or so.

Plus if there are issues, they have no contract to get out of. Entirely analogous with having a second (2nd) hand car checked over by a mechanic or vehicle inspector before buying it.

In the case of Strata property, Buyers should inspect the Strata records and building maintenance plans to inform themselves of known current and planned levies.


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