Home seller’s inspections

In the current South African housing market, home buyers still have more houses to choose from and it remains firmly a buyer’s market, with the buyer, rather than the seller, calling most of the shots.

If you are a seller or a seller’s estate agent, then the question to ask is: Why should buyers stop and look at your house? What is different about this home? To catch the buyer’s attention, the estate agent could offer an eye catcher such as “This home is inspected…no surprises!” HouseCheck is now working with some smaller estate agencies in a trade exchange, whereby the seller pays a reduced inspection fee and the agent brands HouseCheck on its advertising for the inspected home.

Seller’s inspections eliminate some natural fears of the buyer up front by giving them an objective report on the conditions of the home and its components (including the roof). As seller’s inspections become more usual in South Africa, these inspections will start to influence buyer’s behaviour when surfing the internet property sites.

One of the sobering facts regarding internet marketing is that buyers are able to pass over your listing fast. You need an eye popper link at your web listing that says: Click here to see the home inspection report.

As a seller you need to ask yourself: What will separate your houses from the dozens of others that you may be competing with for the buyer’s attention.

Also, if you were an agent and were looking on behalf of your buyers for possible homes to show them, would you be attracted to a home that may sell easier because you know the home’s condition has already been inspected?
Agents work on commission and many times the inspection is the problem. With a seller’s inspection link at your listing, the sale is likely to go through if the offer price is right.

Home sellers can take back the leverage regarding a home inspection by doing it before the buyer comes along! When a buyer brings the home inspector they are looking to cut those negotiated prices again. If significant problems are found the buyer may:

  • Want to cancel the sale.
  • Or ask for inflated amounts to have the problems fixed.
  • Or be so alarmed by the defect found that the contract is cancelled without the seller being given the chance to fix it.

Either way the seller’s house is back on the market and the problem is still there for the next buyer to find. Or, your dream home you wanted that was contingent on your home selling is lost.

The real problem is the timing of the home inspection.

In the US eight out of ten second hand houses are inspected at time of sale.   In South Africa this established international trend is fast catching on. With this change in the trend in the SA home market some sellers are now having a home inspection at the time of their listing in order to repair or determine the condition of their home and then use the inspection report as a sales tool.

A Seller’s inspection can often eliminate all the hassles and blown deals home inspections can cause when the Buyer brings their inspector at offer stage. The fact is, seller’s home inspections pass the leverage back to the Seller.
• No more renegotiations after the home inspection.

  •  No more alarmed buyers when the home inspector finds a problem.
  •  No more does the Seller have to deal with inflated repair estimates.
  • No more countless hours and money lost when a sales contract is “blown out of the water” at the last minute by surprise defects.
  • Above all, a Seller’s Inspection is the ultimate gesture of full disclosure and will help protect the Seller.

How easy is selling a house with a Seller’s Inspection?

If a seller’s inspection is performed and significant damage or defects are found. there will be disappointment, but no hysteria or regret. No deal about to go sour. The agent will discuss the problems with the seller and will determine if this listing is “voetstoots” (as is), but with full disclosure, or if any repairs need correcting to expedite the sale.

The Seller can then sort out any problem areas, and calls for a re-inspection of the home. HouseCheck provides a seller’s package deal which includes a re-inspection once the defects have been repaired. The home inspector is thus able to return a clean report.

When a buyer then makes an offer to purchase the buyer can choose to either trust the seller’s home inspection report or will have another done at the buyer’s expense. No major problems should be found by the second inspection. The deal coasts downhill to closing. Everyone is happy.

With HouseCheck, a seller’s inspection report can even be displayed over the internet with a link to the report on the estate agent’s listing. When prospective buyers see the listing on the web, they can view the report instantly.

Take a look at HouseCheck’s Red Flag inspection – designed as a low cost option for sellers and agents to provide full protection.

Read more on our home inspection services

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