Six things that you should inspect before buying a property—to prevent costly maintenance headaches

property buying

Last month, we shared the five ways sellers, buyers, conveyancers and associated parties benefit from the digitalisation of property settlement. This month, we highlight the red flags that buyers should look out for during inspections, to reduce potential maintenance burdens.


Initial inspection. Before making an offer, an astute buyer inspects the property thoroughly to have a good understanding of its condition, fixtures, and fittings. In this initial inspection, the buyer can set conditions that any repairs required must be completed before settlement. It is prudent to require all gas, electrical, and plumbing equipment to be in working order by the settlement date.

Final inspection. Under most contracts in WA, the seller must allow the buyer to conduct a final inspection at least five business days before the settlement/possession date. The seller has been given fair notice during the initial inspection about conditions that must be met before settlement (including any repairs that need to be completed), and the buyer can check during their final inspection whether these have been done as agreed.



  • Boundary walls and retaining walls are sturdy (no cracks)
  • Roof frame and roof tiles if any (no leaks)
  • Load-bearing walls are sound
  • Any under-floor structure (with safe access)
  • Walls, flooring, ceilings (internal and external, no safety issues, mould, pest infestations, or cracks)
  • TIP – DIY checks on structural defects can be tricky, so you may wish to engage a professional Building Inspector to assess any potential maintenance required on the building before making an offer.


  • RCD or residual current devices to prevent electric shocks
  • All lights (internal and external)
  • All power points
  • Air-conditioning or evaporative system (no mould)
  • Hot water system
  • Stoves and ovens
  • Appliances (make sure you have user manuals)


  • Drainage system
  • Toilets (in good flushing order)
  • All taps (no leaks)
  • Dishwasher and washing machine (if applicable)
  • Spa or hot tub jets if any (indoors and outdoors)
  • Swimming pool filtration system and fittings


  • All outside-facing doors and windows are lockable and have keys
  • Garage door system and remote control fobs are working
  • Security system works, and has a user manual 
  • Compliant barriers for pools or spas deeper than 300mm


First, consult your conveyancer to either:

  1. Get some guidance on how to include particular repairs or maintenance in your Offer and Acceptance contract; or 
  2. If you have already signed an Offer and Acceptance contract, get a clear picture of the extent of your rights under that contract.

Then raise it with the seller, via your experienced settlement professional (i.e., conveyancer) and the real estate agent.


DD has a passion for property, and we are constantly innovating to provide excellent customer satisfaction. Take advantage of our 30+ years’ experience in the Perth property settlement market to avoid potential costly pitfalls. We can provide expert advice by reviewing your contract (which may be lengthy and technical) and explaining the impact that each section has on you.

Let KDD help you succeed in all your property transactions:

  • We’re licensed professionals.
  • As a business, we have two decades of experience in conveyancing, and our team has over 150 years’ collective experience.
  • We are caring about getting the best outcomes for our customers, whether you’re a property buyer or seller.
  • Every team member was handpicked for their career achievements, passion, and great personality.
  • We are active and innovative thought leaders who are grateful to be recognised by our peers and industry associations with multiple industry awards.
  • We are entrepreneurial in bringing breakthrough proptech to our fellow conveyancers, with the vision of making things easier, faster, and safer for all parties in the property ecosystem.  

Contact us to explore what we could do for you!