Before making an offer and signing contracts, buyers tend to be the ones initiating a home inspection.
It’s no surprise: this comes down to the fact that the buyer wants to make sure that no nasty (read: expensive) surprises crop up whilst settling into their new home!
The home inspection process allows for the buyer to get an objective overview of the home that will shed light on any issues that may come along.
And, the seller will more than likely welcome a home inspection in order to build a relationship of trust and transparency, and speed the overall process along.
Anticipating (tough) questions
Although the onus has usually been on the buyer to conduct a home inspection, a good idea is for homeowners to initiate the home inspection process and carry it out before trying to sell their properties.
This will allow the house to be sold at the most accurate price possible, and immediately bypass any offers dependent on a good home inspection report.
However, let’s point out that this is not at all the norm in South Africa, and real estate agents tend to shy away from a home inspection in fear of a negative response from the seller.
It is, however, a process that real estate agents should welcome and encourage!
While seller-initiated home inspections are unusual in South Africa, it is an international trend that is growing exponentially. In some international cases, pre-sale inspections have become a compulsory and strictly supervised facet of selling one’s home.
In South Africa, however, the vast majority of independent home inspections are requested by the buyers and, as a result, are often a lot more finicky.
By initiating a home inspection before one’s home is even on the market, the seller gives immediate transparency on the (structural) integrity of the home. And this sets the buyer’s mind at ease and speeds the process up significantly.
Issues regarding the quality of the home’s roof and foundations, and whether there are wall cracks or damp troubles, can be ruled out or clearly disclosed. Even if the inspection sheds light on a number of faults, it allows the seller to be safe from any complaints from the buyer after the sale is official.
Although paying R2,500 – R4,500 (depending on the size of the property) may seem like a lot in addition to the other costs that come with moving home, the benefits of initiating it are paramount and the seller will make that money back in no time.
Initiating an independent home inspection as a seller may seem counterintuitive in a South African context, but it is definitely the way forward for a smooth sale.