Ideally, getting a building inspection done before entering into contract of sale is best to get all the facts about the property's condition before making your offer. In today's fast-moving market though, this can be difficult to achieve.

It is now commonplace for the buyer to arrange for a building inspection as soon as their initial offer has been accepted and they have entered into contract. However, its important to include a condition in your contract that the sale is "subject to building and pest inspection" so that, if a potentially costly or significant structural issue is found, you can still back out of the sale. A solicitor or conveyancer will be able to assist you in wording this correctly. 

Depending on what has been agreed upon between the two parties, the building and pest inspection will need to be carried out within 7-14 days of the offer being accepted.

Alternatively if you are going to auction, you should arrange for a building and pest to be carried out before auction day because if you are the successful bidder, then you are likely to be unconditional.  

Read: When To Walk Away From A Property

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