The Ultimate Open Home Inspection Guide
Heading to another open home this weekend? Take the inspection literally and go over it with a fine toothed comb using the Hello Haus ultimate open home inspection checklist. It will help you see beyond the surface and uncover any problems that may be a costly surprise for the buyer.
Download our PDF checklist here, print it out, slip it in your pocket and be a step ahead of the market.
Download the realestate.com.au or Domain apps and build your profile. Search and save properties you like, focusing on the specific type of property, area and price range you’re looking to buy. You can set and receive alerts as soon as new properties are listed that match your preferences.
Physically inspect new listings you’re interested in as soon as you can. Getting to them early in the sales campaign can put you ahead of the competition.
At the open home inspection
Register with the agent to keep up to date with future listings and get on their radar.
Take a property brochure. If the agent quotes a sale price or selling range, write it down for future reference. This will help you work out what things are selling for – and how much in excess of the guide price.
Ask the agent these key questions:
- Why is the vendor selling?
- What price they would accept?
- Have they rejected any offers? If so, at what level?
- Is there anything in/on the property requiring work to make-good?
Avoid talking your price with the agent.
If you are genuinely interested, request a copy of the Contract of Sale.
For Strata/Company Titles (apartments, townhouses etc)
Ask for a copy of the strata report and look for:
- Neighbour disputes
- Outstanding strata fees owed
- Recent/pending building works
- Current admin/sinking fund balances
- A well-planned future financing plan
Agents may be able to give you a copy of the strata report or let you know how you can buy one.
Walk through the common areas, basement parking and external grounds and look for any remedial works required e.g water leaks, damp, damaged fences, cracked tiles, neglected gardens etc
For House Buyers
Ask for a copy of the building and pest report. You may have to purchase your own if you are interested in making an offer.
Does the home have any active or historic termites?
Has any work has been done to the home that does not have local council permission e.g An extension, granny flat or pool
- Cracks in walls, flooring and ceilings
- Ageing gutters
- Downpipes connected to stormwater drains
- Dips in the floors or roof
- Damp, mould, damaged tiles
- Poorly closing cupboards or doors
Take note of the neighbouring homes in the street for their current condition and any upgrade/extension work they may have had done.
After the open home
Thoroughly review the strata/building reports and have your conveyancer/solicitor review the Contract of Sale.
Ask the agent to keep you posted of any serious offers made on the property or any change to the sale campaign like price, terms, inclusions etc.
See the property at least one more time, ideally at a different time of the day than your first visit. Do a private inspection so you can take your time and bring another person with you to have a second set of eyes on the property looking for potential issues.
Make an offer
If the property ticks all your boxes, it’s time to start price negotiations. This is where you will need to have in-depth knowledge of the market and excellent negotiation skills to avoid overpaying by thousands. Always remember, the friendly agent that has been helping you is about to be the person you go head to head with on price and they work for the seller, not you.
Not sure you’re ready to negotiate against a skilled professional? Then it’s the time to engage Hello Haus to double check your legwork so far and step in to take care of the sale negotiation. We remove the stress, risk and angst – and can save you thousands.
Download our printable PDF checklist
Take our open home inspection checklist with you, download a printable PDF version here.