This is a common situation where people have no idea of the process between contract signing and the building and pest Inspection. We are asked this so very often, and would like to offer some assistance to you all, particularly our 1st Home Buyers.
Above everything else – remember, you are in the drivers seat, it is YOUR decision to make.
Read Your Reports From Start to Finish
This is the critical stage for Buyers- this is the time when the decision is made to pass, proceed or negotiate. The building and pest reports give you all the information to assist your decision and you should understand what you may be buying into. Your building and pest Reports should fill you with confidence and thorough understanding of the overall property condition. Ask questions of your Inspectors as you need to remove any ambiguity and feel you are all over the property.
- What is good about the property?
- What needs to be repaired?
- Who is responsible for repair costs?
- How much will this cost us, on top of the purchase price- does this fit into my budget?
“Subject to Building and Pest”
At this point you need to be confident your Conveyancing Solicitor is providing the best advice to you. This is where negotiation may come into play, and the advice on what to negotiate based on the “Subject to Building and Pest” clause is vital.
You have three options here, depending on what information the reports provided- pass, proceed or negotiate:
If the building and pest reports are too heavy on the negative side, and the prospect is now not a viable option, then the decision to pass may be the right one- keep looking, there are thousands of properties for sale at any time which may fit the budget of purchase + repairs.
If the building and pest reports reflected a mostly positive summary, then you may decide to proceed as is, content that the property is in such condition that you can move straight in and tend to any minor repairs in your own time.
If the building and pest reports confirm some or many repairs required, then depending on the degree and type of defect, then you may be in a position to negotiate the price with the Vendor via the Agent.
Conveyancing Solicitors are your representative from here, and will handle the negotiations back and forth. It is very important at this point to let you know that typically negotiation on minor defects such as a scratch in the benchtop is not regarded as negotiable, but Major Structural Defects and Serious Safety Hazards which pose an imminent risk to the integrity of the structure and/or pose a risk to personal safety are more likely negotiable.
The best way to establish a realistic cost to repair is to contact a QBCC Licenced Contractor to provide a formal quote for each aspect. To simply “guesstimate” will not serve you or the Vendor well, and there may be tears when your “guestimation” falls short, or you loose the property due to Vendor refuting the revised offer. Get it right by getting the numbers as close to realistic as possible.
The options to repair or negotiate price based on these more critical defects is submitted to Vendor via your Conveyancing Solicitor. Then it is a waiting game, and your options are still open. If they Vendor is not willing to repair or negotiate, then you have the option to pass on the deal and the contract is “crashed”. Then you move on and keep looking, start again. Which in the long run may well be a positive outcome for you.
Arrange the Building and Pest Inspection as soon as you can after the contract of offer is signed off, so you have time to arrange quotes to repair, show report to your Friends and Family who are more experienced in purchasing property, and you have time to consider the decision carefully.
This is not a decision to be rushed.