A pre-settlement inspection is an essential, last step in the home buying process that allows a new home buyer to thoroughly assess the condition of the property they are purchasing before finalising the sale. This inspection typically takes place a day before or on the day of settlement and provides an opportunity to identify any issues or concerns that may have arisen since the initial property inspection.

Who attends a pre-settlement inspection?

Typically, the buyer, their buyer’s agent, and the seller’s agent attend the pre-settlement inspection. If a buyer is interstate or overseas a buyer’s agent can conduct the inspection on behalf of their client. A buyer’s agent plays a crucial role in guiding the buyer through the pre-settlement inspection process, providing expertise, and addressing any concerns or questions that may arise. The seller’s agent or representative will also be present to address any outstanding issues or provide further information as needed.

The importance of a thorough inspection

Conducting a thorough pre-settlement inspection is of utmost importance for buyers. It allows them to identify any potential issues or discrepancies between the agreed-upon condition and the actual state of the property. A comprehensive inspection ensures that the buyer is fully aware of the property’s condition and can make informed decisions regarding the purchase. It also provides an opportunity to address any concerns before finalising the sale and potentially negotiate repairs or adjustments to the purchase price.

What to look out for during a pre-settlement inspection…

Condition of the property

A buyer’s agent will pay close attention to the overall condition of the property during pre-settlement inspections. They look for any visible damage, such as cracks in walls, ceilings, or floors, water leaks, mould, or signs of pest infestation. It is crucial to identify these issues before settlement to ensure that necessary repairs or negotiations can take place.

Fixtures and appliances

A Buyer’s agent will inspect fixtures and appliances included in the sale to ensure they are in proper working order. This includes checking the functionality of electrical outlets, plumbing fixtures, air conditioning, ceiling fans, dishwashers, dryers, built-in BBQs, pool equipment, garage remote controls, kitchen appliances, and any other items specified in the contract such as NBNs. Any defects, malfunctions or missing items should be documented and addressed before settlement.

Repairs and maintenance

During the pre-settlement inspection, a buyer’s agent will look for any outstanding repairs or maintenance issues that were agreed upon during the negotiation process. They ensure that all agreed-upon repairs have been completed satisfactorily and that the property is in the promised condition. This helps avoid any disputes after settlement. If there is something that requires repair such as pool fence not closing properly, a buyer’s agent can request this be repaired before settlement.


Assessing the cleanliness of the property during the pre-settlement inspection is always important. While it may not directly affect the property’s structural integrity it ensures that the buyer can move into a clean and habitable space without any additional cleaning or maintenance requirements. As it is not a legal requirement in Queensland for the seller to hand over a clean property, a Buyer’s Agent will always check this so that their client can arrange a deep clean and pest treatment for the property before they move in if necessary. A clean and well-presented property is always hoped for but never expected.


During the pre-settlement inspection it is a good idea to take a tape measure to take any last-minute measurements to ensure that furniture and appliances will fit on moving day.

Manuals, security codes and keys

During the pre-settlement inspection a buyer’s agent will ensure the seller has provided all necessary manuals to ensure the buyer is able to operate fixed items that remain with the home such as security systems, dishwashers, ovens, BBQ’s, air-conditioning units, remote control garages and swimming pools. A buyer’s agent will also discuss the handover of keys with the selling agent to ensure that this process is smooth once settlement occurs.

Remaining items

During the pre-settlement inspection it is advisable to check that the seller or seller’s tenants haven’t left any of their personal items in or on the property as the last thing a buyer wants to worry about when they move in is removing the previous owner’s rubbish, or personal belongings such as abandoned cars in the backyard! 


A pre-settlement inspection is a critical step in the home buying process. A buyer’s agent will focus on assessing the condition of the property, inspecting fixtures and appliances, verifying repairs and maintenance, and evaluating cleanliness. Attending these inspections allows buyers to have a clear understanding of the property’s condition and address any issues before settlement. By conducting a thorough inspection, buyer’s agents can ensure a positive home buying experience and smooth handover.