The Ultimate Guide for Home Buyers

We’ve been helping people buy their homes for over 20 years, providing real advice and guidance through conducting pre-purchase electrical inspections.

As a result, we’ve developed the ultimate Guide for home buyers! 

Electrical inspections are a key part of the home-buying process. These pre-purchase inspections are particularly important for identifying faulty electrical installations that can be dangerous and costly to repair. Even if you are considering completing a renovation post-purchase, getting professional help is important for property hunters prior to settling on a sale. General building and pest inspections that are conducted pre-purchase, do not address the majority of the electrical aspects of a property. 

If you’re relying on a building inspection report, you’re walking into your property purchase completely blind.

A general building inspector will often check if a property contains a safety switch. That is usually the extent of their electrical enquiry into the property you are about to buy. This doesn’t mean they test to see if the safety switch is working. Legislation states that general building inspections don’t have to test the functioning of the safety switch, leaving you in a whole world of hurt if your new property’s safety switch does indeed not work at all.  For those who don’t know, safety switches protect you, your loved ones and any guests from electric shocks. These switches turn off the electricity supply within milliseconds when a leak is detected. This can happen if a faulty power point, wiring or electrical appliance is being used. Circuit breakers and fuses do not protect people directly, only safety switches save lives. 

Still unsure of what safety switches do? We’ve included this short video to help explain the importance of having multiple, functioning safety switches in your property.

If you have found yourself a reputable building inspector, who does test the functioning of the safety switch, it still does not mean that the safety switch covers all aspects of a property. We consistently see that lights are a key electrical part that aren’t protected by safety switches. We often go to properties within a few weeks of new ownership, where new owners are faced with this issue. They then are faced with the cost of installing safety switches in their new property. 

Any home built pre 2000 is unlikely to have safety switches on their lighting system. For homes newer than 2000, it is advised unless newly built, to have your trusted electrician to complete a pre-purchase electrical inspection to check and test the property’s safety switch mechanisms. 

Can any pre-purchase electrical faults hold up a contract of sale? 

There are only two main areas of electrical faults that can hold up the settlement of a property sale, these two things are:

  1. A property does not have a safety switch 
  2. The property’s smoke alarms are not in date to the minimum standard

Additionally, for any other faults or issues found from a pre-purchase electrical inspection, this information can then be used in the negotiation of a property’s sale price. For major repairs, this could save you paying top-dollar for a property that requires significant electrical work to meet current market standards.  Not worried about the property’s electrical system, because you are planning to renovate? Think again….

To complete major renovations on a property, it is a legal requirement to first bring the property’s switchboard up to current standard. 

So what does a pre-purchase electrical inspection actually involve? 

  • Checking incoming mains
  • Checking the condition and suitability of the main switchboard, meter panel and mains cabling 
  • Checking and testing distribution boards
  • Testing safety switches, circuit breakers, main switches and identifying if property meets current standards 
  • Testing electrical circuits to determine if they are overloaded 
  • Checking the property for correct cable sizes for circuit protection
  • Checking and testing property lighting points and ceiling fans
  • Electrical tests to hot water systems 
  • Checking the positioning and functionality of smoke alarms, determining if they are up to current standards 
  • Checking wiring in roof spaces and below floors 
  • Earthing System
  • Providing a detailed report of all electrical hazards with quote to repair
  • Revealing electrical hazards and check ceiling spaces for insulation dangersIdentifying non-compliant electrical work on the property (eg. DIY electrical work, or handyman work)
  • Highlighting any lack of bonding or earthing
  • Conducting appliance testing
  • Checking and testing for energy efficiency, determining any property inefficiencies that will lead to high energy bills and property usage 

Don’t risk being caught on spending lots on your first property buy, post-settlement. For buying your first property, take the guess-work out of knowing all there is to be known, and organise a pre-purchase electrical inspection.  We take pride in quality workmanship, care and attention. With our expertise and experience we give you professional cost-saving advice, affordable solutions and 5-star service. At Auscan, all of our team are licensed and trained in the latest technology.

Want to know more?

Call us today! The Auscan team is highly experienced and trained in pre-purchase electrical inspections. We welcome the opportunity to discuss your property purchasing requirements with you.

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