You should undertake a building assessment before buying a property to protect yourself.
Buying a House – Buying a home
Not only do you risk paying too much for the property when buying a home in South Africa, but you also open the door to the possibility of destructive, frustrating, time-consuming conflict with the seller, the estate agent and the seller’s attorney once you have taken possession of the house and only then discover unacceptable damage.
Although estate agents are liable under the new Consumer Protection Act for the information about the house which they provide to prospective buyers , private sellers are not. This means that many sellers will continue to rely on a “voetstoots” (as is) clause as a means to try and protect themselves from comebacks from angry home buyers, who discover after they move into a house that there are problems which were not disclosed to them.
Of course, buyers who feel that they have been swindled by sellers can sue the seller. But legal action is very expensive, time-consuming and incredibly stressful.
It makes much more sense for buyers to discover everything possible about the house BEFORE agreeing to buy it. Buyers can do this by:
Insisting on professional home inspection services as a condition of purchase.
If a seller (or his agent) is reluctant to arrange a home inspection, then you, the buyer, should ask yourself: “Are they hiding something?”
HouseCheck exists to help home buyers (and sellers and their agents) to ensure that buying a home is an honest and transparent process where everyone gets a fair deal. Some sellers and agents are even willing to pay for the home inspection. This shows honesty and transparency and buyers should feel more comfortable in dealing with such people.
To empower yourself, demand a HouseCheck report as a condition of purchase. That way you will be buying with your head as well as with your heart.
“Grateful to have a good report for Agent to offer prospective buyer”
- Nell Browne
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