Final inspection checklist

by Chris Lang on November 26, 2010

Pre settlement final inspection checklist You’ve bought a house. Congratulations! The contract’s been signed, the finance is in order, the settlement date is approaching, and your conveyancers are on it. Wait up, no sleeping on your laurels yet!

What about the final inspection?

What final inspection? Your estate agent may have forgotten to mention this to you. As a purchaser, you are entitled to a final inspection – or, as many call it, a “pre-settlement inspection” that is conducted as the term implies at some point before settlement.

Do you have to go though the final inspection?

No, it’s a right, not an obligation. In many cases with all the moving-home-mess our life gets so busy that we don’t want to have that right, because it is just another thing we need to worry about. But experienced solicitors and real estate investors will tell you that you don’t want to skip the final inspection.

Why should you conduct the final inspection?

Because of these 3 simple reasons:

A. Things that you bought the house with can go missing or be replaced (such as light fixtures and fittings, blinds, curtains, and so on).

B. Things you don’t want can be left behind by the previous owner (who couldn’t be bothered to remove them).

C. Things in the house can break down between the day you’ve signed the contract and the settlement date, and then you’d want to have them fixed before moving in.

When should you do the final inspection?

Some people suggest that you should do this pre-settlement inspection as close to the settlement date as possible – to make sure nothing breaks, disappears or gets left in the property. I say it depends on the vendors’ circumstances.

If the vendors or their tenants are living in the house till the settlement date, then it makes sense to inspect the house after they have left (but before the settlement). This way you will see if anything is missing, broken or if anything unwanted has been left behind. If you were to inspect while they are still living there, all of the above wouldn’t be possible to check.

If the property is vacant then you can check it even a week before the settlement, because the chances that appliances will break or go missing during that last week are minimal. The more time you have to solve a problem – if there is a problem – the better.

In case the house is not in the condition it was when you signed the contract, for example if any of the appliances were broken (and you weren’t notified about that at the time you signed the contract), or any fixtures were removed from the house, etc, you would need to involve your conveyancers / solicitors to have this solved before the settlement. The vendors will need to rectify the problem either by doing their own repairs or by reimbursing the purchaser for the expected expenses.

What to check in the final inspection?

Things like:

  • Light fixtures
  • Water taps
  • Sinks (check that don’t leak)
  • Toilets (check that flush)
  • Exhaust fans
  • Ceiling fans
  • Stove / cooktop / oven
  • Dishwasher
  • Air conditioner
  • Evaporative cooler
  • Heating unit
  • Hot water service
  • Pool pump
  • Spa
  • Garage door (check that works + remote)
  • Smoke detectors
  • Rubbish bins (check that present and in good condition)
  • Door locks
  • Window locks

I’ve put together a checklist that will make your job easier. Simply tick the boxes as you go through the house to mark the items as present and working.

Enter your name and email in the boxes below and I will send the checklist to you.

{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Rudy Theron July 3, 2011 at 12:05 pm

I woukd look to have check list for final inspection be moving in thanks.


Mirella July 4, 2011 at 12:14 am

What if there is a pungent curry smell in your final inspection, whose responsibility to clean it?


Sarah July 17, 2011 at 9:09 pm

please send me the cehcklist 🙂


Weigang September 12, 2011 at 11:06 pm

Please send me the inspection list. thank you


Chris September 13, 2011 at 5:15 pm

Hi Weigang,
Just enter your name and email in the form on this page, and you will get the complete set of checklists emailed to you.



Michelle September 13, 2011 at 4:53 pm

Please send me checklist 1 & 2 for first homebuyers


Chris September 13, 2011 at 5:13 pm

Hi Michelle, just enter your name and email in the form on this page, and you will get the complete set of checklists emailed to you.



Hien February 12, 2012 at 9:23 pm

Many thanks


Karen May 21, 2012 at 10:30 am

Please send checklist


Chris May 21, 2012 at 5:47 pm

Hi Karen, at the bottom of the post (above the comments section) there are 2 boxes, please enter your name and email there and submit, a checklist will be emailed to you instantly.


Katie August 26, 2012 at 9:28 am

Please send me the checklist, thank you.


dass November 9, 2012 at 5:05 pm

Please send me your checklist for settlement inspection


Chris November 9, 2012 at 9:52 pm

Hi Dass,
Please enter your name and email on this page (see link) and the whole home buying kit with checklists and all will be sent to you


Claire November 30, 2012 at 2:26 am

hi – I registered and clicked on the confirmation email, can you please send me the checklist? thanks!


Chris December 2, 2012 at 8:36 am

Hi Claire,
you should have received the checklist by now, but if not please let us know.


sharn January 23, 2013 at 1:25 pm

Please send check list . Thanks


craig March 14, 2013 at 12:18 pm

Please send checklist Thanks


Rachel November 19, 2013 at 9:13 pm

Hi there. Just signed up for a pre settlement inspection list, but haven’t received yet. Do I need to do anything else?

Many thanks,



Chris November 24, 2013 at 10:57 am

Hi Rachel,

We send the checklists as soon as people sign up – sometimes there can be a bit of a delay. Please check your Spam/Bulk folder, to make sure our email didn’t land there in error.


Dom Gonsalves June 18, 2014 at 2:40 pm

Kindly send me a pre settlement check list for OTP one bed room apartment please.
Thanks and Regards


Gordon Carter May 7, 2016 at 7:37 am

I’m moving into an apartment bought off the plan and the final inspection is due shortly – any assistance with what to check for would be appreciated.


Hector de Santos February 27, 2017 at 11:03 am

If the property is not in the same condition as per the day of sale what is the Maximum amount the purcheser can nominate
a) $5000
b) $ 2000


Lesley Pilcer July 24, 2018 at 4:05 pm

Please send me a check list


Sam December 17, 2018 at 10:29 am

Hi, I would like to get a full checklist for pre exchange inspection of a 4 bedroom 2 bathroom house in canberra


Kevin Currie January 15, 2019 at 10:31 pm

Thanks in advance for check list


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