Property Buyers: The Checklist

Published: Wed 25th November 2015
Author: Barry Davies


Buying a home is still the biggest single investment that most people ever make, so it is vital to view the property and make sure everything is in good condition before you make any offer to purchase.

Our handy checklist below will remind you what to look for, but if you are in any doubt at all, and especially if you are a first-time buyer, you should have the home professionally inspected. There will be a charge for this service but it will be money well spent if it saves you from buying a property with hidden defects that would require extensive and expensive repairs.

We suggest that you take this checklist with you to each property that you view. It will also make it easier to remember and compare them:

  • Roof and ceiling condition – check for rust, broken tiles, loose gutters or downpipes, patching and evidence of leaks or water damage;
  • Plumbing system - check all taps and showers for water pressure, flush the toilets, look for evidence of leaks or damp in kitchen or bathrooms particularly;
  • Electrical system - check the distribution board, light switches and plug points, and make sure the seller has an Electrical Certificate of Compliance;
  • Floors – check the condition of any fixed carpets, or for any problem with tiles, blocks, strips or laminates;
  • Walls – check for any cracks or rising damp, inside and out;
  • Check airconditioning and underfloor heating and find out if the ceiling is insulated;
  • Landscaping and drainage – check for any slope, stormwater runoff from neighbouring properties, and any signs of flooding from drains or sewer pipes;
  • Check the condition of garden walls or fencing, paving and the driveway;
  • Check for any evidence of clay soil or slippage such as cracked
  • window sills, a cracked swimming pool or doors that don’t close properly;
  • Check the house plans for unauthorised additions or alterations;
  • Check the title deed for servitudes and any building restrictions;
  • If the property is at the coast, make sure the seller provides a beetle-free certificate; and
  • If the property has any fixed gas installations or an electric fence, make sure those have been properly certified too.