A Homeowners’ Guide to Preparing for a Pre-Purchase Inspection

pre purchase house inspection

It’s common knowledge that building inspections are an essential part of the property purchasing process in South Australia. Nonetheless, an air of mystery persists around what a pre-purchase building inspection includes and the steps homeowners should take to prepare for one.

This blog post will dispel any lingering myths and clarify the ins and outs of pre-purchase inspections. A visit from a building inspector doesn’t have to be daunting. With a little bit of planning, you can ensure that everything goes smoothly and that you present your home in its best light.

A pre-purchase building inspection is an unbiased, third-party assessment of a property’s condition. The report generated by the building inspector will identify any significant defects or maintenance issues that may be present on the property. It’s important to note that a pre-purchase inspection is not a valuation (a certified valuer performs this service) but focuses on accurately describing the physical condition of the property.

A pre-purchase inspection is an integral element of the property buying process because it allows the buyer to assess its condition before making an offer. In some cases, pre-purchase inspections can identify hidden issues that may not be apparent during a standard viewing. As the vendor, it may be tempting to cover up any potential problems with the property before the inspection. However, this is not advisable. Qualified building inspectors are highly trained and will easily see through any attempt at camouflage. For further information on why you should never skip a pre-purchase building inspection, read our informative blog post, ‘Why are pre-purchase building inspections important?‘.

What does a pre-purchase building inspection include?

A pre-purchase building inspection will usually take two to three hours to complete. The inspector will examine the property inside and out, looking for any damage or potential problems. The inspector will then prepare a report detailing their findings.

At Select Building Inspections, our comprehensive report outlines the property’s condition in an easy-to-understand format. We also include photographs to provide a visual record of any defects or maintenance issues that we identify. Our report covers:

Understand your responsibilities

The pre-purchase inspection will usually occur once a buyer has expressed interest in purchasing a property. The buyer will organise and pay for the assessment and be supplied with a report detailing defects and other important findings.As the present homeowner, it’s your responsibility to provide the building inspector with safe and unhindered access to the property. You should endeavour to make yourself available on the day of the inspection to let the inspector onto the property and to answer any questions they may have. You should also ensure that your home is presentable on the inspection day. This doesn’t mean that you need to go to great lengths to tidy up, but you should ensure that there are no hazards or apparent signs of disrepair.

Guarantee easy accessibility

One of the most important things you can do to prepare for a pre-purchase inspection is to guarantee that all areas of the property are easily accessible. Before the inspection, remove any obstacles such as furniture or storage items that could block the inspector’s path. It’s essential to make sure that all windows and doors can be opened easily, as the inspector will need to check for things like drafts and leaks.

Inspectors check underneath the house.

Another vital thing to remember is that inspectors will often need to access areas of the property that are not ordinarily visible. The inspector will check for leaks, damp and termite damage underneath the house. If you have a crawl space or basement, make sure these areas are clear and free from obstructions. By taking these steps, you’ll be helping the inspector to carry out their work more efficiently.

Fix Known Issues

If you’re aware of any repairs or maintenance issues with the property, it’s essential to fix them before the day of the inspection. It’s also a good idea to provide documentation of repairs so that the buyer can evaluate the work for themselves. However, there are some issues that you can tackle yourself, including:

Rotten fascias:

If your property has rotten fascias, we strongly recommend replacing them before the inspection. Facias are relatively easy to install, and doing so will help improve your home’s curb appeal.

Damaged or clogged gutters and downspouts:


If your gutters are damaged or clogged, you should strive to repair or replace them before the inspection. Clogged or damaged gutters and downspouts can cause water to pool around the foundation of your home, which can lead to serious structural damage.

Leaking windows and doors:

If you have any leaking windows or doors, we recommend repairing them before the inspection. Leaks can not only cause damage to the interior of your home and create a health hazard, but they can also lead to a poorer energy rating and higher electricity bills.

Garden too close to the house:

When a garden creeps too close to your home’s foundations, walls and roof, it can damage the integrity of the property’s footing and cause problems with drainage and dampness. We recommend uprooting and trimming back any overgrown plants and bushes before the pre-purchase inspection.

Broken lights:

If you’re aware of any broken lights, look to replace them before the inspection. This will make it safer for the inspector to carry out their work and ensure they don’t waste valuable time searching for electrical faults.

Rising damp:

Adelaide rising damp damage
rising damp signs

If you’re aware of any rising damp, we recommend fixing it before the pre-purchase inspection. This will help to improve your home’s value and make it more appealing to potential buyers.

While these are just a few tips for preparing your home for a visit from an inspector, following them will help to increase the chances of a successful inspection. If you’re interested in learning more, check out our in-depth article on the most common issues discovered during building inspections. Of course, remember that your real estate agent can also address your most pressing questions or concerns.

Get in touch

If you’re thinking of selling your property, Select Building Inspections can help. We offer a range of building and pest inspection services to help make the process as smooth and stress-free as possible. At Select Building Inspections, we are licensed builders with over 20 years of experience in the construction industry. The South Australian pre-purchase inspection industry is currently unregulated, so choosing a reputable company is crucial. To learn more about our services or book an inspection, contact us today. We’d be more than happy to help get you started on the path to selling your home.


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