Home inspection is taking off in South Africa, but estate agents are still lagging behind international trends in recommending that buyers make a home inspection a condition of their offer, if the property is being sold voetstoots.
John Graham, CEO of HouseCheck, says only about 20 per cent of HouseCheck business comes from estate agent referrals, and 60 percent comes from cautious and aware buyers doing their own internet searches, while the remaining 20 percent comes from word of mouth.
So the question is: why are most South African estate agents lagging so far behind worldwide trends, which are tending more and more towards protecting home buying consumers?
In the USA, the National Association of Realtors reports that the majority of home buyers (77 percent) had a home inspection prior to buying their home. Among these home buyers, 99 percent of estate agents had recommended home inspection to their buyers, 81 percent of buyers instructed their agent to place an inspection contingency in the sales contract, and 97 percent believed that the home inspection fee was good value.
Graham says South African estate agents in general still only recommend a home inspection if their buyers put pressure on them about home inspection services, or if the agent is worried about possible problems with the house, which may not have been fully disclosed by the seller.
He says while the majority of homes are without serious defects, most agents and sellers don’t know what to look for when putting a house up for sale.
According to Graham there are eight common problems inspectors routinely uncover in South African homes:
- Roof leaks – these are often not obvious during the dry season.
- Deteriorating roof structure, roof covering, flashing, gutters and downpipes.
- Incorrectly installed and unsafe hot water geysers.
- The causes of damp on the walls and ceilings.
- The significance of visible wall and slab cracks.
- Deteriorating plumbing, drains and sanitaryware.
- The safety of the electrical installation.
- The efficiency of ground rain water management and control.
This article “Agents Must Endorse Home Inspections” was issued by HouseCheck – http://www.housecheck.co.za/