Estate Agents

Consumer Protection Act

Home Inspection Services is a simple and reliable resource which will assist professional estate agents to comply with the new Consumer Protection Act and will also help agents fulfill their ethical obligations to both their buyers and their sellers – without compromising the sale!

We understand the needs of estate agents who are looking for a quick, simple and streamlined inspection process which will enable the agent to provide an ethical and legally bullet-proof service – without bogging down the sale!

We Assist Estate Agents with Pre-Sale Compliance

Home Inspection Services has combined its in-depth experience in the real estate, property inspection and building industries with best international practice to provide an inspection model which quickly, easily and seamlessly fulfills the needs of buyers, sellers and estate agents.

Our reports satisfy the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act and also provides definite advantages to professional estate agents who want the best of both worlds – fast,trouble-free sales and happy, satisfied buyers and sellers.

We understand the urgencies involved in the estate agent’s task to successfully bring buyer and seller together. Each member of the Home Inspection Services team is committed to maintaining the highest of business / industry and ethical standards in all aspects of our business. So when the opportunity arrives to choose an inspection company which will deliver professional service designed to meet and exceed client expectations Home Inspection Services is the right match for you and your clients!A Home Inspection report may assist estate agents to counsel sellers who want to overprice their properties.Most estate agents experience sellers who may have an unrealistic view of the value of their home. A Home Inspection Services report in conjunction with a comparative market analysis will assist estate agents to counsel their clients to apply a realistic price to their properties. Correctly priced houses are most likely to sell quickly to the benefit of seller, buyer and agent.

Buyers Are Nervous

Besides being nervous at their largest purchase to date, research shows that buyers use defects as a negotiating tool on a ration of 10:1. A buyer will generally over-estimate the cost of repairing a defect and will often ask for a price reduction worth ten times the actual cost of fixing the defect. With full disclosure and a cost estimate to repair a far more realistic picture can emerge.

Every Consumer Has the Right to Receive the True Facts.

With the new Consumer Protection Act due for implementation in April 2011, the tricky issue of latent and patent defect raises its head again.

The Act states that all defects must be divulged to the estate agent and the buyer.

This raises a major problem:

  • Does the seller know that all defects must be divulged
  • Are they qualified to evaluate faults
  • Does the estate agent clarify the information?

This Act therefore will impose new responsibilities on estate agents and they will be accountable for:

  • Any action which on later investigation could be characterised as dishonest, unfair or misleading.
  • Any aspects of the property which could be deemed of low or defective quality and/or of questionable value in terms of the price paid.
  • Any documentation which could be deemed difficult to understand or insufficiently explanatory.
  • Any statements in the advertising and promotion of the property which are exaggerated or misleading.

If latent defects become apparent in the home within six months of its being transferred to the new owner, it could be argued that these have reduced the value of the home and the seller will, in terms of the Act, have to remedy them or pay compensation.

The Consumer Protection Act has the potential to stop high pressure selling, in which the buyer finds that he has signed for a home without being made aware of some implications and drawbacks.

The “Voetstoots” or “As-Is” clause will be a thing of the past. This clause offered no protection to buyers who found defects only after property transfer had taken place. The only exception was if the seller or agent had deliberately concealed a known defect from the buyer (patent defect), and it was not reasonable to have expected the buyer to have noticed this defect when the property was viewed.

The problem is that often the seller or estate agents are not necessarily aware what may be serious defects in a property. This may be that the seller or estate agent has not inspected the property, climbed into the roof space or on to the roof.

To avoid expensive mistakes it is becoming increasingly apparent that an independent home inspection would be advisable for any property and questions can be answered such as:

  • Are there any problems with damp in the walls.
  • Are there any problems with the roof.
  • Are there any problems with storm water run off.
  • Are there any structural concerns regarding the foundations, wall and roof.
  • Are the visible cracks in the walls serious – does this mean that the house will fall down.
  • Are the geyser, plumbing and drainage systems all in order.
  • Has the building been well maintained or just “patched up”.
  • Does the roof require repairs.
  • Are there signs of rodent infestation.

It is for these reasons that Home Inspections in many parts of the world are now an integral part of the property industry.