If you haven’t already, start by reading the blog post on taking control of your offer conditions.
A building condition is often inserted in a contract by the real estate agent acting for the vendor. Would you be happy with this wording?
Building inspection condition.
The contract is conditional upon the buyer/s obtaining at their expense a written report from an independent registered builder or qualified structural engineer, certifying that the dwelling on the property is structurally sound within 14 days of acceptance of this contract.
If the report discloses that the dwelling is not structurally sound, the buyer/s may at the buyer’s option, terminate this contract by written notice, supported by a copy of the report, to the vendor within 24 hours of receipt of the report.
This wording takes the control away from you I have seen those exact words used hundreds of times, and most buyers just accept them. But by accepting this wording you are putting yourself at risk; this is because of the words “structurally sound”.
This wording means you must buy the property unless it has a major structural defect. By accepting it, you essentially waive your building condition.
Don’t get stuck with a lemon
99% of properties are structurally sound, but they could still be a mess! The property may have rusted gutters, rotten windows and many other items that need repair. But unfortunately you won’t be able to withdraw your offer if you have accepted this wording.
Read between the lines
Also, did you notice the inspection has to be done by an independent registered builder? Using someone you know or an unregistered builder to do the inspection is a dangerously easy way to put yourself at risk too.
I know an agent that had used this condition for 5 years and every property he sold had this condition inserted. In that time no one had changed it and he told people it was standard wording. Now I am sure this agent thought he was doing a great service many happy clients. But what about the buyers forced to buy properties despite a poor building report?
The agent acts for the vendor
So always stand your ground and remember the agent is paid to act for the vendor.
Your solicitor or conveyancer acts in your interest, they will provide you with the wording and check it’s in your favour.
Here is the building condition I have used, but please sure make you get legal advice before using it:
Suggested wording for building condition.
The contract is conditional upon the Purchaser/s obtaining at their expense a
Building Inspection Report accepted as satisfactory by them within 14 days of acceptance of this contract.
If the report is not to the purchaser’s satisfaction, the Purchaser/s may at their option, terminate this contract by written notice, supported by a copy of the report, to the vendor’s Agent prior to date of 14 days from acceptance.
Whereupon the contract shall be at the end and all monies paid hereunder shall be repaid to the Purchasers without deduction.