7 Tips That Home Buyers and Sellers Should Know When Doing Property Inspections

Property inspections are non-invasive assessments to evaluate the condition of a property’s interior and exterior. This inspection gauges it all from the foundation, structure, ceilings, floors, and walls to the plumbing and electrical systems and the heating and air conditioning of the house.

It is one of the essential steps to be undertaken by homebuyers, tenants and sellers alike. This ensures good maintenance of the property, keeping it in the best possible condition. Accordingly, the prospective tenant or buyer will make informed decisions regarding the house. It is similar to how someone looking for a job would provide a complete CV to ensure credibility and responsibility.

To detect any hidden problems that might arise later, it is crucial to hire a professional property surveyor. Are you someone looking to let, sell or buy property in Streatham and around South London? Then you can opt for estate agents in Streatham to help you out with your property deals and suggest some good home surveyors.

Why Are Property Inspections Important?

Property inspections can find both major and minor defects in the house. The major issues which one might want to get out of the way include structural failure, leaks, insurance, legality, safety hazards, among other things. It is almost impossible for the untrained eye to spot such issues.

The tenant or buyer can spot and fix minor issues by themselves, like cosmetic requirements, broken switchboards, carpeting, etc. 

Periodically undertaking property inspections, with or without a surveyor, provides the homeowner with peace of mind too. It ensures that their home is in prime condition, and between tenancies, no major damage has been done. For future buyers, it points out exactly where the problem areas are. Thus, there is a higher level of accountability and trust.

Some Tips For Buyers and Sellers 

Here are seven suggestions that buyers and sellers can use while a property inspection takes place so that the best possible solution can be found to any issues which get unearthed.

1. Stipulate The Inspection In The Contract

According to the UK government, in England and Wales, it is the landlord’s duty to keep their property free from health hazards, and all equipment like gas and electricity must be safely installed and maintained. 

Thus, it is their prerogative to ensure that they conduct property inspections on a regular basis. Before finalising any purchase or tenancy deals, make sure you insist on property inspections.

This will make sure that the inspection occurs promptly. This is important for the seller too. It can help negotiate which repairs will be made by them and which by the buyer. A legal binding contract will also ensure full transparency between the buyer and seller.

2. Do a Pre-Inspection Check

As a buyer, doing a visual inspection beforehand will also help you to find some problem areas. Things such as water stains, cracks in the walls, interiors without proper finishing, leaking taps and pipes can be easily spotted. Talk about these with the seller, and note them down. 

3. Be Present At The Location 

When the property inspection takes place, make sure that you are present at the spot. This will help you to get real-time information regarding the property. Also, make sure that the property surveyor you have hired is well-qualified and experienced. It takes an eagle eye to diagnose various discrepancies in properties thoroughly. Do not refrain from asking them questions to ensure that you get all the details of the property, but do not cause interruptions.

4. Expect there to be Some Issues In The Report

The buyer and seller must expect to find quite a long list revealing potential issues in the house. But don’t fret; most of the issues are not precarious and would not even need any repairs. If you are the seller, respect the buyer’s decision whether they want to go ahead with the purchase or not.

5. Negotiate the Repairs

Once the home inspector provides a detailed Home Condition Report, the buyer or seller would be easily able to identify the problem areas of the house. Examine all the remedial methods possible, and discuss how to go about it with the other party. The buyer can fix minor problems after purchase too. All major problems are taken care of by the seller as soon as possible.

6. Ask for Proper Receipts Of Repairs

The buyer should request proper documentation of all the repairs meant to be done on the seller’s part before purchase. For the seller, the documents can add to the property’s portfolio.

7. Get A Property Valuation Conducted by a Chartered Surveyor

Getting a Property Valuation, as regulated by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors or RICS, can be quite beneficial for your house. 

Property Inspections merely provide reports on the house.  Chartered Surveyors, however, can give valuable advice on how to take remedial measures and offer legal and environmental consultancy as well.

Final Thoughts

To establish the exact condition of a house put on the market, property inspections are the best option. This helps agents to provide an accurate valuation of the property and aids further negotiations between buyer and seller.

Make sure to hire a good property surveyor to ensure a higher chance of finding out problem areas quickly. Another point to note is that property inspections can only be done on the surface level; some underlying problems within the house’s walls, such as faulty wiring or piping, cannot be detected through this medium. 

On an ending note, it is important to realise that no home is perfect; there will be some issues everywhere. But the earlier you detect the problem, the easier it will be to fix it. If you are a seller or a landlord, be honest about the property. Maintain full disclosure with your buyer or tenant before you close the agreement with them. If you are a tenant or a buyer, you can intervene likewise and reach a deal feasible for both sides.

Written by Julie Hanson

Julie is passionate about property – development, investment and portfolio planning. Along with husband Alec, Julie is actively building a property portfolio while helping others to do the same.


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