Pre-Settlement Inspection FAQs
SM Property

May 11, 2023

So you’ve purchased an off the plan property, and it’s finally time to do your pre-settlement inspection! When you purchase an off the plan property, there’s normally a 3-12 month build time. Once the construction is complete, you’ll get to conduct a pre-settlement inspection. We thought we’d take you through some of our most frequently asked questions, so you’re better prepared.

What is a Pre-settlement Inspection?

A pre-settlement inspection is a walk through of your property once the construction is complete. It’s typically between you (the purchaser/s), the developer, and your sales agent. You’re normally allocated between 15-45 minutes depending on the development. This inspection means you can have a walk through of your property and check that everything is working as it should, and that it meets the same standard as your sales and purchase agreement. This can include checking for any defects in the painting and checking the appliances and water works as it should. If you do notice any defects, they’ll get noted by the developer to be fixed before you move in.

Why do I need a pre-settlement inspection?

A pre-settlement inspection provides you as the buyer, an opportunity to ensure the property has been built according to contract and specifications promised in your Sales & Purchase Agreement. It is one of the final steps prior to settlement occurring and handing over the keys.


Why do my bricks have gaps in the mortar?

The gaps in the mortar between your bricks are called ‘weep holes’. These are a requirement that allow water to drain out of the exterior walls.

Some of my bricks look like dis-coloured – what is this?

When bricks become wet any salts present can come to the surface, resulting in white deposits on the surface – this is common and is called efflorescence. The salts can be brushed off the surface using a stiff dry brush, then the wall can be wiped with a damp cloth to remove remaining deposits. This process may need repeating several times until all salts have been removed. Do not hose bricks off to remove, as this can make it worse.

What should the painted surfaces in my home look like?

Majority of the homes we sell are finished to the standard Level 4 Finish. The surface should be generally uniform in colour, sheen, opacity and film thickness and mostly free from painting defects such as brush or roller marks, spray pattern and other inconsistencies.

How should I view the paint finish in my home during the inspection?

Any inspection of a surface should be carried out under natural light with no artificial light used, at a distance of 1.5 to 1.8 meters and normal viewing position. Viewing at more acute angles or under strong illumination is not an endorsed method or standard. Please note – slight variations in colour/finish don’t always constitute a paint defect. If it’s not clearly visible from the recommended distance, the finish is considered acceptable.

Why are there hairline cracks on my newly finished architraves?

When a house is newly built, it settles on it’s foundations for the first few years as it adjusts to it’s environmental conditions. You may have some minor cracks appear. Up to 90% of these are due to the seasonal expansion and contraction with changes in temperature and humidity. They commonly appear on architraves around windows and doors.

Does the result of movement from the house settling cause any other issues?

Sometimes it can cause creaking floorboards, sticky windows or doors. It’s common for nails/screws to slightly pop, especially as the house heats and cools over the first year. If you experience hairline cracks, they can be easily patched and repainted, and if they remain small are
no cause for concern.

Why does my toilet flush seem weak?

Due to Council sustainability regulations, the toilets installed in your home have water saving cisterns which may result in the flush capacity being less than you may be used to.

Can I have my own building inspection done?

You’re welcome to, however, please note there are varying views in the marketplace so issues they could raise may not be issues the developer is contractually obligated to remediate. If the development has already passed final inspections from Council, your home will meet the
Building Code.

These are just some of the frequently asked questions we get asked at a typical pre-settlement inspection. Of course you may have more, and the agent and developer are there to help, so ask away! For more tips and tricks on home buying or investing in new build property, head to our Instagram, or visit our other blogs!

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