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How many homeowners-to-be have haggled with the seller to get a good price and even gotten a mortgage for a newly-built property they are excited about, only to find out upon moving in that the tub has a leak when filled, the windows only open halfway, or that a few tiles are loose here and there?
Creating a snagging checklist and actually conducting a snagging inspection are important steps in the pre-handover phase of a property transaction. Buyers, especially those based abroad, are advised not to rely on photographs at all as none of the possible defects in the build quality and finishing can be accurately pinpointed in pictures. Also, something worth considering prior to signing any document is ensuring that, in case you are buying a property already being built or about to be finished, there is a snagging clause stating that after snagging and remedial work is to be done, you can hold back a certain sum of money or delay completion until after all repair work is completed and all issues have been satisfactorily addressed.
When you personally do your snagging, two factors come to mind: functionality and aesthetics. The former would refer to certain aspects of the structure which are intended to work one way but don't: a door that won't open wide because of the uneven flooring, a doorknob that doesn't lock, or an exhaust fan placed inside out. Aesthetics is more subjective and has more to do with your taste and preferences. You may notice that the three rooms in your villa have been painted in three different colors when you expected them to be uniformly done, or that the bathroom fixtures do not meet your standards.
If you do not wish to hire a professional inspector, be sure to bring someone along with you and your snagging checklist. If you don't know how to make your own list, a lot of free checklists are available for download on the Internet.
Remember though that you are not out to get the builder during snagging; you just want to make sure that you get exactly what you expect at the price you are expected to pay.
• Property buyers are urged to conduct snagging prior to property handover
• When personally conducting snagging, consider functionality and aesthetics
• Employing a professional inspector is a small price to pay for peace of mind
Read more on the importance of snagging before property handover
Source: Claire Dangalan, Special to Properties
The writer is a freelancer