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When does your contract go unconditional?

By John Dowling of ABIS www.abis.com.au


"Wow!  What happened there?"..."The house was only on the market for two days and it's sold!"


Yes... and what's more, the contract gives the buyer just seven days to address issues like finance and building inspection etc., before it goes unconditional. (Occasionally, you may be lucky and get fourteen days.) That's the real estate market today.  It's all done at a frantic pace and if you're not on-the-ball, you could trip up!


So be warned.  You need to book an inspection as soon as possible after signing your contract. And will any inspector do? Definitely not!


Here's your sure and certain fast-track to a quality pre-purchase inspection.


Ask your agent for the business cards of two or three well known and established pre-purchase inspection firms. Contact them and ask about:

  • Their BSA licence number and check it at www.bsa.qld.gov.au
  • Their certificate of currency - insurer, period of cover, limit of indemnity?
  • Their membership of industry associations?
  • Are their inspectors highly trained and skilled?
  • The scope of their inspections?
  • What technology they use?
  • Can they report on specific matters of concern to you?
  • Will you receive your report promptly as time is of the essence?  
  • Can you discuss your report with the inspector?

After asking these questions, how do you know you've made the right choice?


Generally, a quality company will have:

  • Longevity - have been in business for at least 7 years
  • Integrity - litigation free history
  • Credentialed - fully licensed and highly trained inspectors
  • Reputation - high level of referral and repeat customer business
  • Professional - operate using sound business practices
  • Competitive - the right service, at the right price, on time, every time.
  • Successful - history of strong, steady growth.
  • Ethical - honest, independent, balanced reports.
  • Communicators - encourage dialogue between buyer, agents and vendors.

Once you're satisfied you've made the right choice, check to see that they can conduct the inspection and deliver your reports at least 24 hours before the contract goes unconditional.  This is really important because you then have time to read the report thoroughly and act on any findings that need further attention.


All this may seem to be a big task but really, it's only three phone calls, each 10 to 15 minutes.  When you consider you're making a several hundred thousand dollar commitment, one hour to lock in a quality inspection and ensure your property is sound is an hour well spent. Once you've booked, your inspection company will then manage the entire inspection process

for you; allowing you to address any other matters.