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What is a Final Inspection?

What is a Final Inspection?

Q: I purchased a house at auction last week.  I have been told I have the right to a ‘final inspection’. What does that mean exactly?  Alison M.

A: Congratulations on your purchase! Yes, you have the right to inspect your new home prior to taking possession at settlement (when the exchange of funds and the title takes place). The final inspection entitles you to look through the property to ensure that it is ‘as inspected’ i.e. it is in the same condition as when you last saw it, excluding reasonable wear and tear, before bidding at the auction or having your offer go unconditional.

What this highlights is that you should be very sure of what you are buying before making an offer or bidding at auction. We strongly suggest you have a building inspection to be sure that you have identified any issues of concern. If there is a hole in the carpet that has been covered with a rug, or a hole in the wall behind a painting, you need pre-settlement inspection the pre-settlement inspection. Unless you can prove that it was not  there when you inspected the property then there is  no come-back for you.

A few things to consider:

Anything that has not been excluded as a chattel  should be in good working order: We suggest that  you check that all the lights work, and that any  included appliances (stove, dishwasher, waste  disposal etc.) are all in working order. A competent  real estate agent will have noted on the Sale and  Purchase agreement that any chattels that are not  working are either specifically excluded from the  chattels list, or are noted as “not in working order”.

Under NZ law the property does not have to be  cleaned prior to settlement but should not have  rubbish left on or in the premises – so it doesn’t  have to be ‘clean’ but it does have to be ‘tidy’. So  if, for example, you notice a pile of old bricks under  the house when you are looking through before buying, be sure to mention to the real estate agent  that you expect them to be gone by settlement – the  last thing anyone wants is a last minute dispute  when you are about to take possession and move in.

As always, be sure to seek professional advice when buying a property, and we’d just like to re-iterate that a building inspection is a really worthwhile investment.

Enjoy your new home!