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When it comes to buying a property you, as a prospective buyer, have responsibilities such as due diligence. What does that mean? It means that if a property is structurally faulty or has a deficiency of which you, the buyer, are unaware you have no legal comeback.
“But surely the Real Estate Agent should tell me everything about the property?” you may be saying.
Real Estate Agents are engaged by the property owner to sell their property. That doesn’t mean they will seek to hide faults from you, but their job is to sell the property. It’s YOUR role to undertake due diligence. Part of due diligence is to ask questions, research and seek expert opinion.
There may also be issues about which neither the owner or the Real Estate Agent knows, such as termites for example. It’s your responsibility, and part of due diligence, to seek a property and pest inspection if you are serious about putting in an offer.
Take note yourself of things like poor electrical wiring, unhealthy mould, balustrades that move, and cracks or rust that may indicate that the structural integrity of the house has been compromised. If there is a swimming pool or spa, check installation, safety barriers and ensure the area conforms to the current standards.
What is the history of the property in relation to soil, fill and potential contamination? In some instances you may wish to have a soil inspection. Issues such as chemical residues and waste may need to be considered.
Is the property connected to mains water or is there a septic tank system? Check water operation and maintenance including recycled water connections and the working order of outdoor taps and pop-up sprinklers.
With regards the title, understand if the property is Strata, Torrens title or under a Community title. There may be restrictions, a debt from the previous owner or costs for planned improvements of which you need to be aware.
Most homes have minor or major issues. The reason you, as a buyer must be aware of all issues is so you can make an informed decision. You may choose to buy a home with major problems knowing you have the ability to fix them. That may be part of the appeal, but at least you know.
If you are buying a strata-title unit, check with the Strata Management yourself about their regulations and your responsibilities.
Check the energy efficiency of the home with regards heating and cooling. Know what services are connected – electrical, gas, or another energy source.
Also check with the local council to ascertain if any major road works or other detracting developments are planned for the area.
Be assured that Amkar Real Estate agents will be as transparent as possible with you and advise you of any structural and other issues that they know about. For more information on Buyers responsibilities, please ask for a Form R3 from your Amkar Real Estate agent or go to www.cbs.sa.gov.au.