Category: House & Home
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Sub category: Buy
2 November 2015

Game day: How to win at house inspections

It’s game day. You’ve done all the research and are now ready for the real thing, the house hunt. It’s now that you need to put on the war paint and nail the inspection.

The property market can be daunting and house-hunting is relentless at the best of times, so we’ve pulled together some hacks to help you come out with a win.

Set your roster

Most inspections are held during small time periods on the same days, which means you need to set a decent roster of potential houses. Make an inspection schedule or better yet, use the Domain Inspection Planner to help organise your life.

This tool will help you structure of your house inspections stress-free, allowing you to save the properties you want to inspect and even flags when you have an inspection clash or not enough travel time in between properties.

Pre-inspections are also a worthwhile investment. Don’t be turned off by the fee, if you fancy a property, it is worthwhile getting a head start.

Bring a fool-proof game plan

It’s easy to be whisked away by a property and get caught up in the ‘could be’. If you’re serious about finding your dream home, you’ll need to keep your feet on the ground and look realistically at the property.

Your inspection checklist should include all the features that you’d like your property to have as well as the deal breakers. Be picky with everything. You don’t want to let something slide and end up with a dud four months in.

If you’re looking to cheat the system, who are we to judge? There are loads of free, downloadable templates available on the internet. One of our personal favourites is from Vertex42 which gives you the option to download a checklist in both Excel and Word templates.

Schmooze the opposition

If you’re serious about investing in property then you’re going to need to schmooze the real estate agents to make sure you make it into their highlight reel.

Our advice is to pick up the phone and call the agent before attending the inspection. This will give you a chance to introduce yourself before and will allow you to suss out the property before you’re competing for the agents attention at the inspection.

On the day, stay until the end of the inspection and chat to the agent. This will give you a chance to re-introduce yourself and sell yourself to make sure you’re a standout applicant. Ultimately, they can carry a lot of influence in the final decision, so it’s important to stay onside.

Scan the field before making a play

Mould? Sagging ceiling? Water damage? Rust? These are all watch-outs that should set off alarm bells for potential buyers and could also help leverage negotiations.

It’s hard to know what a potential hazard is, so we’ve made a basic checklist with our top five things to watch out for that will see you through a home inspection.

  1. Stains or deterioration on the walls backing onto the showers or baths: This could indicate moisture or water leaks – which can be expensive
  2. Check for cracks or bubbles in the plastering or paint: This is easy enough to spot and can indicate incorrect application of the paint / plastering during construction
  3. Mould: It may not seem like much, but mould is a silent assassin when it comes to property and you should check the property inside and out for signs of the sneaky stuff
  4. Check the ceilings are not drooping: Look up, and make sure the ceilings aren’t wilting
  5. Turn the taps on: Check the water pressure of the taps both inside and outside the house. No one likes weak water pressure and any unusual sounds could indicate signs of plumbing needing to be repaired

You’ve found the property of your dreams. Your ‘home field’. The chance is someone else will be looking to compete. To be on top of your game on inspection day, download the Spring 2015 Buyers Guide or call one of our Home Loan specialists on 1800 100 258.

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