Full home inspections possibly the way to go when selling a home

“With legislation coming in in South Africa where sellers of properties are having to supply beetle infestation clearance certificates and water, electrical, gas compliance certificates and, the latest introduction, the electric fencing compliance certificate, and with the possibility of other legislation coming in on other installations in the home, is there room to protect the seller by moving in the same direction of other countries, of the seller having a full home inspection report completed which will protect him in the event of claims being made by a purchaser?” asks Lanice Steward, managing director of Knight Frank Anne Porter.

Presently, most property marketing companies require a seller to sign a condition report in terms of the CPA but a number of sellers might not be aware of a defect in the home at the time of signing (e.g. the roof leaking because it is the middle of summer) and have no ill intent.

A full home inspection could be of particular value to a seller of a home which has been tenanted for a time, she said.  The seller in this instance will not have lived in the home for a while and might not be aware of any defects. 

One of the challenges, she said, would be the standardisation of the home inspection benchmark levels or criterion because already there are differing opinions by different companies as to the requirements of plumbing/water compliance and other certificates. 

“At present there is no standard list which every company refers to, and so the reports can differ from one company to the next,” she said.

The important thing for sellers to check is whether the service provider doing the inspection, whichever it is, is fully accredited to do so, said Steward. 

It is always an option for a purchaser to request home inspection before purchasing a property, but this will be at their own expense, she said. 

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