Disclosing Information About A Property: Do Your Research - SPI Property Inspections

Disclosing Information About A Property: Do Your Research


If walls could talk, I’m sure they would have some very fascinating information to share. Does your home have an interesting past, filled with stories of crime scenes, murder, tragic accidents and/or gruesome events? These types of homes have the potential to attract a lot of media attention and public curiosity but they can also deter a prospective buyer. Subsequently, a murder can have a significant impact on a home’s resale value.

Did you know that in NSW, real estate agents must disclose a property’s criminal history to potential purchasers? Currently, in Victoria, agents are only required to disclose such information if directly asked by a prospective buyer. Therefore, in Victoria, agents do not have to volunteer the information.

In April 2016, Hon Jane Garrett, Minister for Consumer Affairs announced they would be investigating this specific issue as part of their review of the Sale and Land Act. The results of this review have not been published as yet.

According to the Australian Institute of Criminology, up to 70 per cent of homicides are committed at residential properties. Subsequently, if the laws in Victoria change, agents could possibly be forced to identify these types of properties as they come to market. Buyers advocates, in particular, believe laws need to be changed in Victoria to force real estate agents to reveal if a property has been the scene of a crime or tragic accident.

Evidently, what is relevant to one person may not be so relevant to another. For those who are superstitious when buying property, ‘traumatic events’ such as murder would have a major impact on their spending. For others, an infamous house may attract some curious buyers with an interest in the property’s history and can actually help a sale.

It’s always important to do your research and find out as much about your potential purchase as you can. As well as speaking with the agent, you’ll want to be sure you know the true condition of the property.

The SPI team specialises in pre-purchase house inspections across Victoria. A pre-purchase inspection involves a comprehensive, 250-point house inspection report, complete with photos, giving you confidence in knowing the overall condition of the property. Some of the essential items covered by a pre-purchase house inspection include:

  • Site elements: such as fences, surface drainage, retaining walls, driveways, garage, carport and shed.
  • House exterior elements: including the roof, gutters, flashings, valleys, eaves, downpipes, brickwork, weatherboards, paintwork and weepholes.
  • Underfloor space: involves the condition of the sub-floor structure, footings, stumps, piers, ant caps, dampness and the level of ventilation.
  • Internal structural elements: covers ceilings, doors, walls, windows, skirting boards, architraves, fireplace, staircases and tiling.
  • Wet areas: includes elements in the kitchen, bathrooms, toilets and laundry.
  • Services: looks at electrical aspects such as circuit breakers, safety switches, smoke detectors, hot water service and water pressure.
  • Roof space: reports on the general condition of insulation and reveals if there are any structural or framing issues.

Click here to read our article on what a pre-purchase inspection covers and how we can help you through your purchase decision.

For more information and to speak with the team, call us today on 1300 721 032 or click here to submit a free online quote.