COVID-19 Level 3 Home Inspections

THE HOME DETECTIVE IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS IN LOCKDOWN LEVEL 3

COVID-19 Level 3 HOME INSPECTIONS
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Home inspections during COVID-19 Level 3

Its been a tough time for everybody including home buyers, home sellers, estate agents and home inspectors as well! The good news is that with the COVID-19 Lockdown level 3, THE HOME DETECTIVE is open for business. So! Don’t delay, contact me today for a Free Quote for your home inspection. I am still providing the best inspections at the best prices in Gauteng!

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THE HOME DETECTIVE » Home seller » Estate Agent

Building Work, Building Plans and Building Lines

Questions about Building Work, Building Plans and Building Lines

approved plans and house building work

Hardly a day goes by without questions from disgruntled homeowners relating to issues with discrepancies with house plans and building work. When I’m inspecting, I often find discrepancies between the approved plans and the built structure.

If you are selling your house, and don’t have municipal approved plans or necessary permissions, you could be in trouble. If you are buying a house, and don’t ask for approved plans or permissions, you might have very expensive problems.

Homeowners can also be in trouble with the municipality for the erection of illegal structures. Some municipalities have aerial photographs of suburbs taken every four years to check if alterations have been made to homes. In addition to this, municipalities assign building inspectors to monitor developments on the ground.

Legal Implications of Selling a House Without Approved Plans

The law requires all major building work to have plans drawn up and approved by the local authority. Therefore, it stands to reason that every house should have plans. But this is not always the case! A lack of approved building plans is a major problem for many people buying and selling houses and other buildings.

Sometimes people only discover that there are no plans years after they have bought a property. This comes to light either because they eventually want to do alterations, or because they want to sell. Buyers often find that a house they are buying does not have plans. They then want to know whose responsibility it is to have plans drawn up retrospectively (“as-built”).

It can become quite a complex legal matter if alterations and additions have been carried out on a property without municipal (local authority) approval.

Are Building Plans and Building Approval Always Required for Houses?

The National Building Regulations and Building Standards Act specify the need for building plans and approval. More specifically, it is the local authority that governs exactly what can be done in terms of its zoning regulations and the National Building Regulations. So it is they that give approval (or deny it) for all building work and renovations on all properties. However, most municipalities are more lenient when it comes to minor building work.

The Act states that the municipality may grant relaxation in the case where the approval of plans requires the necessity of relaxation. However, you will have to apply for relaxation in writing and receive approval in writing.

If your property is within an estate or townhouse or cluster complex, you will also need to get a copy of the Estate Guidelines from the Aesthetics Committee, Body Corporate, Residents Associations etc.! Usually, there is normally a list of requirements that ensure aesthetic harmony and good building practice within the estate or complex. Furthermore, you will need your plans stamped and a letter from the Body Corporate for Council indicating that they are happy with your planned building.

How the Issue of “Voetstoots” Affects Building Approval and Plans

The purchase agreement made between buyers and sellers of the property will include a voetstoots clause. Essentially this clause indicates that the purchaser accepts the risk relating to defects existing at the time of the sale, patent or latent (but not visible). The exceptions to this clause are instances where the seller deliberately and fraudulently conceals latent defects from the purchaser, that he or she was aware of at the time. In this instance, the seller will remain liable for these defects. But of course, the purchaser will have to provide evidence that the seller knew what was wrong.

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Home Inspections Kill Deals

Four Reasons Why Home Inspections Kill Deals:

buyer inspection for houses

A buyer may cancel a transaction after a home inspection! It may be tempting to blame overzealous a home inspector when a transaction falls apart after the inspection of some houses.

But there’s more to that situation than meets the eye.

Estate professionals know there are many ways that deals can fall apart, from credit, financing, appraisals to plain cold feet. But certainly, one of the more common deal killers is the home inspection.

But it doesn’t have to be!

Houses and Home Inspectors Do Not Kill Deals

Four home inspection situations lead to a cancelled transaction. Two things which are not on this list are the house and the home inspector. Some estate agents blame the home or the home inspector. However, let’s consider what happens in these situations.

Problems are caused when the home inspection report significantly alters the buyer’s expectations about what they thought they were buying. The client may say, “Gee, I thought I was buying a well-maintained home, but now that we have looked closely, I see the house requires a lot more maintenance than we expected”.

Therefore, the cancellation has everything to do with the client’s expectations coming into the inspection! Agents may wish that the home inspector had been less forthcoming about the condition of the house but this is not the solution! The solution to this problem is buyers having more realistic expectations before they sign the contract. My website and blog attempt to teach people skills that will help them look at houses and evaluate risk so they are more prepared to make an offer on the right house.

Here are the top four reasons buyers cancel a deal after the inspection.

1) Unprepared buyers

There are no classes in university or high school to teach people how houses work or where the risk lies in a residential building. Even professional estate agents have little or no training to help them understand how to look at houses and identify issues. A new generation of homebuyers, many of whom who did not grow up working on their houses with their parents, compounds this problem.

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Seller Mistakes

estate agents

Critical Home Seller Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

By Kay Pascale.

Selling your home is one of the most important life-changing decisions you’ll make. It’s both personal and financial, and the stress of the home sale process can leave you open to some critical, and costly, mistakes. Here are a few common mistakes and how to avoid them.

Choosing the Wrong Real Estate Agents

The second most ill-advised choice, beyond trying to sell your own house, is the wrong choice of estate agents. Properly-vetted estate agents, with proven sales records, can help you with many of the costly legal requirements of property transfer as well as avoiding the myriad of pitfalls of a poorly marketed home. Consult several local estate agents and ask each how they would market your home. Also, ask for a comparative marketing analysis that would give you the values of homes in your area.

Poor Staging

Part of a successful home sale is the attractive staging of the property. Decluttering your home will allow the potential buyer to visualize themselves in the home. Putting your extra clutter from the garage, attic, and even some of the main rooms of your home in storage will make your home feel more spacious to the buyer.

Small upgrades like fresh paint and home repairs are necessary to secure the best price for your home. The basics of home maintenance give the buyer confidence in your home as their choice. Keeping your home picture-perfect and ready at a moment’s notice for a showing can greatly improve the likelihood of a successful and quick sale. A well-staged home ready for viewing will get the most potential buyers for your home.

Pricing Your House Too High

Pricing your home too high is one of the costliest and time-delaying mistakes. Too high a price can turn off buyers and delay the sale of your home. Each subsequent lowering of your sale price will put you in a more vulnerable position in negotiating an optimum home sale price.

Not Giving a 90-Day Notice

One of the legal pitfalls that good estate agents can help you avoid is not giving a 90-day notice of cancellation to the bank. This is a costly mistake since it results in a penalty of 1% on the remaining balance on the bond for the full 90 days.

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Estate Agents and Property Inspections

When Estate Agents Should Insist On An Independent Inspection

independent inspection
An independent inspection and report protects both the estate agent and the seller

The EAAB (Estate Agents Affairs Board) encourages buyers to have a home inspection. However, which buyer ever reads the articles on the EAAB’s website? Maybe estate agents read the articles and the EAAB encourages estate agents to advise buyers to have an independent property inspection?

Most estate agents prefer not to have an independent property inspection, mostly because of concerns over defects that may make the sale fall through and because of the cost involved.

Estate agents should know better! Insisting on an independent property inspection may save the agent from strained relationships with both sellers and buyers. Furthermore, an independent inspection will prevent damage to their reputation or possibly even costly liability later on, should problems occur with the condition of the property.

An independent home or property inspection doesn’t kill a deal by forcing sellers to disclose defects that they wouldn’t otherwise have known about. Any defect that is serious enough to kill a real estate transaction is best discovered before it can kill the deal or result in litigation at a later stage.

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