At HouseCheck, we believe home inspections should provide home buyers and sellers and their estate agents with clarity and confidence, not anxiety. We believe a strong brand and consistent inspection and reporting standards inspires confidence from real estate agents and gives clarity to home buyers and sellers.
The HouseCheck professional brand difference is the first thing a home buyer or estate agent notices. When a HouseCheck inspector arrives for an inspection, they are on time and are neatly dressed in HouseCheck-branded clothing. Inspectors carry a computer tablet which is used to perform the inspection and they are equipped with good inspection tools including proprietary inspection software and moisture and pitch meters, cameras and fold-up ladders.
HouseCheck is committed to providing extensive initial and on-going training to help HouseCheck inspectors grow their understanding of the vast amount of knowledge needed to be great home inspectors.
One example of our approach to excellence is our unparalleled proprietary software that helps inspectors perform accurate, consistent inspections, guiding them through the various parts of the home, providing check-lists of items to inspect, but importantly also allowing the inspector to make customised notes which are incorporated into their home inspection report. Cost estimates and lots of photographs are part of the standard HouseCheck report.
All HouseCheck reports are also quality controlled by experienced people in the HouseCheck head office before being released to clients, yet the HouseCheck software has streamlined the inspection process to the extent that we can promise delivery of our reports only one business day after the inspection. This industry-leading turn-around time is greatly appreciated by estate agents, buyers and sellers.
In many parts of the world home inspections are a normal part of a home purchase, and in the USA, according to the National Association of Realtors, more than 77% of all home purchases now involve a home inspection. It wasn’t always this way; 30 years ago the idea of hiring someone to inspect a home was new to the US market.
In South Africa the HouseCheck business has grown by more than 50% per year for the past 4 years and if anything that growth is now accelerating. HouseCheck has a fast-growing data base of nearly 7 000 active and successful estate agents across the country who are increasingly welcoming of home inspection as value-add to their professional services.
It wasn’t always that way in South Africa. One home inspection company often took an adversarial role with estate agents and sellers and scared off potential home buyers. Some home inspectors were not properly trained, and standards varied by inspector and by house. Some inspection reports were detailed and accurate. Others contained faulty information and misleading claims of problems.
Homes either “passed” or “failed” an inspection, and estate agents and home sellers began to dread home inspections. Home inspectors began to get a poor reputation. Home inspectors sometimes torpedoed home sales by spooking buyers unnecessarily. Agents lost out on commissions, and buyers walked away from homes that might have been a perfect fit.
The launch of HouseCheck four years ago was in response to a clear need for someone to protect agents, buyers and sellers by providing clarity on the condition of the home.
HouseCheck knew that if home inspectors understood and followed local building regulations and international inspection standards and produced a factual report which calmly evaluated and assessed the seriousness of any defects, then they could help rather than hinder the process of buying the right home.
HouseCheck is the market-leader
HouseCheck’s new approach to home inspections has garnered a lot of attention. HouseCheck quickly grew to dominance in the South African home inspection industry and began a nationwide expansion that has taken us into all the major centres with a team of trained and motivated HouseCheck professionals.
We set ourselves apart by offering a consistent, professional experience that home buyers appreciate and real estate agents respect. Training, technology and marketing support help our franchisees and inspectors develop loyal relationships in the real estate industry which lead to a steady stream of customer referrals. HouseCheck’s professionalism and spirit of cooperation have been rewarded.
The fast-changing economic profile of South African home owners bodes well for the professional home inspection service industry. Growing numbers of young professionals of all races are changing the profile of South Africa’s middle class suburbs. In many areas black buyers and first time buyers are now the largest market segment. These younger, well-educated home buyers are embracing home inspection because they want to be sure that there are no unpleasant surprises when they buy a new home.