Sellers should consider professional home inspections before putting their properties on the market, says Lanice Steward, managing director of Knight Frank Anne Porter.
Steward points out that most estate agencies now require sellers to sign property condition reports, but some sellers who sign such reports, may not be aware of some of the defects in their house. John Graham CEO of HouseCheck agrees and says that this is especially true as regards defects on top of and inside the roof structure.
Steward adds that a home inspection is very important for people selling a house which has been tenanted. This is because the seller has not been living in the house and may not be aware of all of the defects.
Steward says that one of the challenges facing the industry is the standardisation of home inspection criteria (in South Africa).
Graham points out that the home inspection industry in South Africa is currently unregulated. To rectify this, HouseCheck is supporting the efforts of the SA Academy of Home Inspection (SAHITA) to develop a home inspector training programme which is fully accredited by the necessary South African education and training authorities.
Graham explains that the SAHITA training material equips students with the spectrum of information required to properly inspect South African houses. All HouseCheck inspectors are SAHITA-certified.
Graham points out that construction techniques and regulations in South Africa differ widely from construction in the United States – the country which originates most other home inspector training material which is currently offered to prospective South African home inspectors.. He says this US-based material is of limited practical use to South African home inspectors. US homes are mostly timber-framed, while SA homes are usually built from bricks and mortar. The spectrum of finishes and installations also differs widely.