Activate your water and electricity supply before your visit so that you can check if all appliances are in working condition.
Dents and scratches are relatively smaller issues that can be fixed easily.
Spending a longer period in the house before moving in allows you to conduct a more thorough inspection.
Defect checks are done for Build-To-Order (BTO) flats and condos, although there are more fittings and fixtures to check for the latter. One thing that is NOT useful to check is how white the walls are. Whether or not the walls are white during the defect check, they are bound to get dirty or stained while moving in. This issue can easily be addressed, later on, so more attention should be paid to other parts of the house.
Firstly, ensure that all appliances in the kitchen are working properly. Ensure that your water and electricity supply has been activated. Let appliances like the oven run for a few minutes, rather than instantly switching them off. Check the taps as well in case there are leaks. Next, you should open the cupboards to see if the doors and hinges are secure. Sliding doors should run smoothly and bearings should not be rusty. This can be applied to all the doors in the house, beyond just the kitchen.
The toilet is often the most troublesome and problematic part of the house. Apart from checking if the flush works properly, you should also examine the cement connecting the toilet bowl to the floor. Wet cement likely indicates a fault in the installation of the toilet bowl, and needs to be highlighted to the contractors so that the appropriate repairs can be made. Taps and pipes, which are usually made of metal, should be checked for dents. Dents might also be found on the floor or floor tiles in addition to cracks. These defects do not pose big problems since floor tiles can be replaced quickly. Scratches on doors can also be solved easily with paint.
Some people go to the extent of knocking coins against the floor to check if the floor is hollow. Frankly speaking, developers and contractors might be unwilling to redo the flooring in such cases but it is still worth raising the issue to them. This problem is more common in BTO flats than in condos.
Next, electrical wires and Local Area Network (LAN) points should be checked to ensure that they connect and function properly. It may be tedious to diagnose such issues, especially for people who are not IT-savvy. You can connect your LAN cable router to each LAN point to do such checks.
For a thorough defect check, you can consider bringing a mattress into the house and staying there for 1-2 days. This allows you to use the toilet, shower and other facilities. In this way, you can detect more issues than you can identify during a short visit to the house.