Building & Pest Inspection Checklist for Sellers and Buyers

Education & Training with Property Investment Wise


Buying a house is a significant life investment that we all look forward to. The security afforded by owning the roof under which you lay your head is important in life.


Carrying out a thorough building and pest inspection before buying or selling a house is a prudent and cost-effective way to assess its current condition.

Engage a certified inspector to familiarize yourself with the various types of home inspections before carrying them out.

What to Look Out For When Inspecting a Building


As A Buyer



As a buyer, inspecting a building and identifying potential trouble spots beforehand helps you avoid any hidden, major repairs that will cost you more after purchase. Detected problems will help you negotiate the price down further, saving you money. Below is the list of 9 things to look for.


  1. The Roof

Saggy ceilings indicate potential roof leakage issues. Ensure there are no damaged or missing shingles either.


  1. The Foundation 

Fixing the foundation is quite costly. Inspect the walls and windows for any obvious cracks as this is an indicator of problems with the foundation.

Check where the foundation is firm and plumb to ensure no sliding.


  1. Gutters

Rusty gutters might indicate a problem with the foundation or draining system. Check to ensure the joints are sealed, that the gutters are firmly attached to the walls and are not sagging. Look out for mud deposits too as this indicates frequent clogging.


  1. Termite and Pest Damage 

One of the most important checks to carry out is a termite inspection to ascertain the extent of any damage. Check out these warning signs to identify termites then contact an inspector as soon as possible. Termites destroy the wood from the inside out, and if an inspection misses any damage, there could be significant issues down the road.


  1. Drainage

Assess whether the drainage is properly grading and that it is fully functional. Any signs of pooled/standing water may indicate draining problems that need fixing.


  1. The Siding 

Good siding is one that has a minimum distance of 6 inches between the wood and the ground. Ensure there is no earth- wood contact.


  1. Mold

The presence of mold is a health hazard and can indicate water damage.


  1. Trees

Check for any trees situated next to the structure as they are storm hazards. During high winds, they can crash into the roof or side of the house, causing extensive damage. Overhanging trees also pose the same danger.


  1. Future Planning Development 

Engage the local zoning and planning authority to investigate any future developments that might negatively affect the property under consideration.

As A Seller


Pre-inspecting a house before selling it is vital in mitigating any future liability as you have documented proof you provided full disclosure to the buyer. It can also help you justify the price. The assurance an inspection provides to the buyer helps close a sale smoothly with minimal problems. Below is the list of 5 things to look for.


  1. The Gutters

Rusty gutters can be a put off to potential buyers. Loose joints and holes point to ineffective gutters. Cut any trees near the garters to eliminate leaf clogging. Clean clogged gutters and repaint them if possible.


  1. The Roof

Is your roof saggy or rusty? Decide on whether to repair and resell the house or price the house to accommodate and reflect a roof in disrepair.


  1. Hot Water System

Is your overflow outlet draining under the house instead of draining away? That could create conducive conditions for white ants that love moist, dark areas with no air circulation.Keep a verifiable record of any recent treatments you might have done.


  1. External Stair Steps

Check on the state of the tread on the steps. If they are worn out, they might need replacing as they are a safety hazard and also look unappealing. Confirm whether the railings are loose or firm. If necessary, replace and rebolt them to prevent any risk to safety.


  1. Downstairs Stumps

 Investigate whether the stumps have rotten out or been attacked by white ants at the bottom, also known as concrete cancer.If the affected stumps are few, consider replacing them. If they are many, you can replace them or consider pricing the house to account for that.



Whether buying or selling a house, a full assessment of the property is prudent. Engage a qualified inspector to fully grasp the scope of any damage and the cost of any repairs to be undertaken. With adequate due diligence, both buyers and sellers can transact successfully.


Posted by

Joe McCord works at REAA.


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