Tips for buyers when visiting a property
IN THE search for the perfect property a buyer will no doubt visit a number of imperfect properties.
The Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) recommends that when visiting a property a buyer should conduct a thorough inspection of the property; make notes; read and understand the contract of sale; and organise a building and pest inspection, once a contract has been signed.
REIQ managing director Dan Molloy said making notes was a good way of recording your first impressions of a property you are visiting.
“Your notes will make it easier to compare properties and may include details such as the date and address, the price range, features of the property, a quick sketch of the floor plan, what you liked about the property and what you didn’t,” he said.
“Reading and understanding the terms and conditions of the contract of sale for a property is also very important. A buyer should ask for a copy of the contract before they commence looking.”
While the REIQ recommends that a professional building and pest inspection be conducted once a contract has been signed, a buyer has the opportunity to conduct a preliminary inspection of a property when they are visiting.
Following are just a few aspects the REIQ recommends buyers look out for when inspecting a property.
- Check for signs of rising damp, such as rotting carpet or mould on the walls or ceiling;
- Check the walls and ceilings for warping and cracks; - Test all light switches; and - Test the water pressure in hot and cold taps, and check to see that water drains well. Slow flowing water may indicate blocked drains.
- Inspect the fences for stability and rot;
- Large trees around the house may have root systems that can cause structural problems;
- Check that the land’s water run-off drains away from the house;
- Water staining on the eaves may indicate damaged gutters; and - Look at the roof for broken tiles. For the best protection, the REIQ recommends you arrange a professional building inspection and organise a pest assessment.
“Although an additional expense, arranging a building inspection will provide you with a written report detailing the condition of the structure, wiring, plumbing and any other faults,” Mr Molloy said.
A pest inspection ensures that the property you are looking to purchase is free from any vermin that may impact on the condition of the property. These reports will allow you to assess the faults and potential repair and extermination costs - putting you in a better negotiating position should you decide to buy the property.
If you’re thinking of buying or selling your property, make sure you choose a REIQ accredited agency.
“It is important for consumers to be aware that not all real estate agents are REIQ accredited agencies. The REIQ accredited agency logo is displayed in the front window of accredited agencies and serves as a visual safeguard to help consumers make informed and confident choices,” Mr Molloy said.