Independant Property Condition Assessment Reports (IPCA’s) – FAQ’s
How long does an IPCA™ inspection take?
The inspector will usually spend between an hour and two hours on your property. HouseCheck will look at 21 important identified components of the property, take photographs and then go away and compile the IPCA™ report which will be emailed to you by close of business on the next working day.
How does the report treat defects?
Most properties inspected by HouseCheck do no have any defects which are considered serious enough to be documented in the IPCA™ report. This report will show photographs of defects on the property. Any defects found will be fully discussed with the seller either at the time of the inspection or telephonically after the inspection. The seller can then decide whether to repair the defect or simply to declare this issue to potential buyers.
What do I do about any defects identified in my IPCA™ report?
You as the seller have the option to repair these defects or to justify your asking price by declaring your defects. In either case you are building trust with the agent and the buyer. Trust is an essential motivator in real estate transactions. In HouseCheck’s experience trust is a deal maker and not a deal breaker.
Will I lose money and have to drop my price if my IPCA™ report reveals defects?
In HouseCheck’s experience, most buyers understand that “no property is perfect”. Buyers are mostly reasonable people who reasonablly expect minor defects and maintenance issues. Most buyers can live with future maintenance issues they know about.
But what makes most buyers exceedingly cautious about making the biggest investment of their lives is simply “not knowing”. All most buyers seek is clarity – so that they can make an informed buying decision.
Clarity is also a powerful marketing weapon for estate agents. Uncertainty leads to lower offers and the potential for conflict and stress for all parties.
Will buyers try to negotiate me down if the IPCA™ inspector finds serious defects?
This answer is possibly but most probably not. Your estate agent will advise you on this one.
In most cases the price of your property is based on a market analysis. Any good estate agent would have done market research into recent sales in your area in order to determine the likely selling price of your property.
If you have chosen a good agent, then your agent will have estimated the selling price of your property very accurately. Experienced agents will have a “feel” for the overall condition of your property, and when they advise you on the price, your agent will probably would have taken into account the general observed condition of your property.
In only a very proportion of cases an IPCA™ inspection may identify serious defects that an agent has not observed. These are problems such as issues with the roof timbers, potential roof leaks, drainage issues and defects with hot water geysers, drains and plumbing and electrical installations.
If the IPCA™ inspection uncovers anything serious, then the role of a good estate agent is to negotiate a fair deal for both you and the buyer. In doing so the agent will counsel both seller and buyer on how realistic the price of the property is, given prevailing market conditions and the cost of necessary repairs.
Why is an IPCA™ Report a great sales tool for agents and sellers?
Visible cracks and damp damage are both major deal killers – and usually unnecessarily so. Buyers may love a home but may be put off by seeing a few cracks or a moisture stain on the ceiling or wall.
An experienced and trained (SAHITA-certified) HouseCheck inspector is able to realistically assess all observed defects. Having an impartial assessment of the cause of these problems and possible treatment takes the buyer’s fear away. HouseCheck Comprehensive and “Vital” inspection products are designed e to help serious buyers get a full picture of any property, together with cost estimates for repairs of both major and minor defects. HouseCheck’s IPCA™ is available exclusively to sellers.
Remember “no property is perfect” and what sensible buyers seek is just to get assurance that they are getting value for their money. In reality most defects are easy and cheap to resolve. But no one – not agent, nor seller, nor buyer – wants to be confronted at a later stage, when the sale is about to go through, with a roof that needs to be replaced as a cost of a few hundred thousand rand.