Buying a Property: do your due diligence

When buying a property or preparing to bid at auction for a property, it is essential to have the Contract for sale reviewed by a lawyer or licensed conveyancer before exchange.  You can read a bit more about a pre-auction contract review on our blog here.  However, your enquiries should not stop at a legal review – otherwise you will only know about the title to the property.

What pre-purchase reports and enquiries should be made?

Buying a property is one of the biggest investments you make in your lifetime,  It is critical that prior to the purchase you don’t cut corners or try to save small amounts of money at the expense of finding out all you can before you commit to the property.  Get all the property reports you need!

Below are some of the more important reports and enquiries you can make.  However, the list is not exhaustive, all properties should be assessed on their merits.

  • Building and pest report;
  • Survey report;
  • if buying a unit, a Strata Inspection report; and
  • a review of the Council’s files – this will give you some information about adjoining properties and previous matters relevant to the Property of which Council is aware.

Many purchasers do not carry out extensive due diligence because they are in a rush to exchange contracts or do not want the added expense.  However, purchasers who limit their enquiries must weigh up the risks of failing to carry out thorough due diligence prior to exchange of contracts.  Sometimes unfavourable information about the Property can be revealed after an exchange of contracts for which the purchaser cannot rescind, terminate or seek compensation.

ClickLaw can help you with a contract review before auction or exchange and we can also assist you locating service providers for the above reports. Call us or complete the form below if you need a contract reviewed prior to auction (or exchange) or would like assistance with the other pieces of due diligence.

Otherwise, the saying “buyer beware” or “caveat emptor” may take on a whole new meaning…