Preparing Your Property For A Building And Pest Inspection

Inspection Report and Keys

When it comes to preparing your home for sale, many people understand the importance of styling and presenting their home so it looks its best. But quite often it is the areas of the house that you can’t see (such as underneath the house, storage areas and roof spaces) that get forgotten. Whilst it is unlikely that your buyers will even bother to view them, you can almost guarantee they will appoint an inspector to do so on their behalf prior to the sold sticker going up. These inspections are widely known as a building and pest inspection. So if these areas have unresolved issues, it is highly unlikely you will sell the property at the same price, if at all. Preparing in advance allows you to avoid any such headaches arising and will give you a much higher chance of a smooth sale. Here are some quick tips to help you prepare your house for a building and pest inspection:

Interiors of your home

  • Inspectors will not risk moving furniture or floor coverings in fear of causing damage, so ensure you have de-cluttered as much as possible so they are able to conduct their report properly. An incomplete report can cause doubts in the mind of buyers so by failing to do this you may hold the sale up. Many buyers will request to explore the gaps in the report further or conclude there are too many unknown areas to go through with the sale.

Sub-floor areas

  • Clear any debris and clutter under your house and ensure the sub-floor area is easily accessed. If there is no access this will be noted on the report and can cast a shadow of doubt on the sale. Note: For homes that are built on/above ground level or on a concrete slab, this will not be possible.
  • The inspector will be looking at the foundations, underside of the flooring and drainage. If any of these have issues, address them before a building and pest inspection is done. You will need a qualified builder to advise you about this. We recommend paying for a building and pest yourself prior to the sale as you may not notice these problems since you are so personal to the property. This is more important if you have any concerns about your home. There is nothing worse than getting to the end of a campaign, only to see it fall over due to a poor building and pest issue that may have been addressed.
  • Remove any firewood, timber off cuts, raw exposed timber, paper or any cellulose material under or adjacent to the house.
  • Ensure that the ventilation under the house is of an excellent standard and that vent openings are not obstructed.

Internal roof space

  • For homes that have a void to the roof, make sure the inspector has easy access to enter the roof.
  • Clear any clutter you may have stored in your roof space and if possible, vacuum the area so large amounts of built up dust don’t enter your home throughout the roof inspection.
  • Remove any hazardous items such as old water heaters that can make the inspection difficult for the inspector.

External Roof

  • Try to make accessing the roof with a 3.6 metre ladder an easy task. On multiple storey homes you may make this easier by clearing a terrace or balcony area for the inspector to position their ladder.
  • If it is not possible for the inspector to access the roof safely, this will have to be noted on the report and may leave unnecessary doubt in the buyers mind.

External Areas

  • Ensure there are no plumbing leaks within or surrounding the house.
  • Ensure that the performance of the storm water drainage and site drainage in general is of an excellent standard.
  • Monitor the level of your garden beds and paths adjacent to the house. Remove garden beds against the external walls of a timber house. A general rule for brick veneer houses and houses on concrete slabs is to keep garden bed levels at least 300mm (1 Foot) below the underside level of the internal floor structure.
  • Pay attention to timber fencing, decks and timber structures attached to the house.

Recent Repairs and Renovations

  • For any recent building  repairs done, have invoices and written evidence available for the buyer’s consideration. This information will be valuable to buyers and give them confidence in the property.
  • If your home has been recently renovated, have details and invoices available, including local council approvals and tradesmen used. Making this readily available for buyers and inspectors will appear transparent and will provide comfort and confidence. This is also a good way to save time as solicitors or conveyancers will also be likely to request such information.
  • Provide evidence of any pest prevention treatments. Or, should there be any past pest activity, you must be able to show you have taken suitable steps to treat the problem and implement future prevention methods. Certificates and proof of this is essential. 

So as you can see, much of the preparation requires common sense and the capability to view your property as though you were the buyer yourself. Look for the faults and fix them as thoroughly as possible BEFORE putting your property on the market. It will be well worth it and highly increase your chances of getting a premium price for your property.

If you’d like us to put you in touch with the best building and pest inspectors, don’t hesitate to contact us. Or for further advice on how to achieve a premium price for your property call us today on 0424 006 855 or email


About Tim Cullen

Since joining McGrath Estate Agents 18 years ago, Tim Cullen has defined himself as a first class industry leader with an outstanding track record and rapidly growing client base. He consistently ranks in the top 50 agents nationwide in the Real Estate Business’ Top 100 Agents List, ranking as high as 21st in Australia. He is passionate about real estate and delivering premium results for his clients.


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