What are the buyer’s rights for the pre-settlement inspection?

Stock image.
Stock image.

EVERY year the REIWA Information Service receives thousands of calls regarding renting and sales.

Residential asked for the answers to some of the more frequently asked questions.

What are the buyer’s rights for the pre-settlement inspection?

After your offer to purchase a property has been accepted and finance approved, then comes the wait for settlement.

Just prior to settlement occurring (usually within five business days of when you take formal possession of the home), you are entitled to a pre-settlement inspection.

This allows the buyer to check the property thoroughly to ensure the seller has complied with the representations, warranties and special conditions.

Standard conditions and obligations are listed in the Joint Form of General Conditions, which form part of the overall contract for sale.

An important representation a seller has to fulfil is that the property “will be in the same state and condition at settlement that it was prior to the contract date”.

Another condition is that the seller is obliged to remove all vehicles, rubbish and chattels from the property prior to the buyer taking possession (unless the property is subject to a lease agreement).

The parties to the contract (the buyer/s and seller/s) may also add special conditions to the contract that are specific to that purchase.

For example, they may agree the seller has to remove an old shed from the property prior to settlement.

If, upon inspection, the buyer discovers that a warranty or representation has been breached (for example, the pool water has changed colour), this does not give the buyer the right to delay settlement.

Settlement would go ahead as planned, however the buyer is entitled to seek damages from the seller for costs incurred rectifying the breach.

On the other hand, if the buyer discovers a special condition has not been completed, they are entitled to delay settlement till the outstanding condition has been satisfied.

In most cases, a resolution to this type of matter is reached between the buyer and seller.

However, on the rare occurrence it is not, the buyer is entitled to cancel settlement and the sale would fall through.

Members of the WA public who are dealing with a REIWA agent can direct their real estate queries and concerns to the REIWA Information Service on 9380 8200 from Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm.

Note: the REIWA Information Service is closed from 23 December and reopens 2 January.