Preparing For Home Inspection

house inspection

10 Things To Do Before Having Your Home Inspected

Home sellers should prepare for the likelihood of a home inspection in advance. Moreover, getting ready your house ready for a home inspection helps to prevent delays and can prevent surprises. Also, a seller doesn’t need a home inspector breaking fixtures or cause damage because the seller was ill-prepared.

In South Africa, the seller is required by law to provide full disclosure of the condition of the property. However, the buyer usually pays for his or her home inspection.

Whether you’ve decided to produce a seller’s home inspection report for buyers or expecting the buyer’s home inspector to show up for a buyers inspection, the best thing is to be well prepared.

 1) Clean the house and swimming pool

You should always try to create a good first impression. Notably, clean homes and pools are an indication of how you maintain the house and property.

Don’t underestimate the importance of making a good impression. Don’t make the mistake of thinking inspectors see past stuff.

2)The Inspector will be on time

You can expect the home inspector to be on time. Therefore, if an inspector makes an appointment with you for 9:30 am, have the house ready for inspection at 9 am.

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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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Weekend Projects

Weekend Projects to Increase Resale Value

by Kay Pascale

resale-value

If you’re trying to increase the resale value of your home, there are probably more than a few side projects you want to finish before putting the house on the market for all to see. While some of these, like any kind of roof maintenance, are true renovations that likely require the help and vision of an expert, there remain some weekend projects that you can complete in a single weekend. Here are a few tips to help increase the resale value of your house.

Fix Outdoor Landscaping to Improve Curb Appeal

The first thing potential buyers will see when they walk up to your home is the landscaping. Do trees and bushes look overgrown? Is the lawn too long, or are there unsightly stumps and plants littering the yard? A little prevention in the form of weeding, gardening, watering, and trimming will have the front of your house looking immaculate and inviting to potential buyers. According to Home-Dzine, your lawn is probably one of the first things someone will notice about your house. Therefore, keep your grass trimmed, remove dead branches, and plant some flowers for a pop of colour.

Clean Your Gutters

Power washing the walls and the driveway is a great way to make your home look well cared for. This allows your house to stand out in a positive way from the rest of the houses on your street. Moreover, Gutters are often overlooked when cleaning up the outside of a home because you can’t see them from ground level. But rest assured it will make a big difference.

Make Any Necessary Repairs

Repairs can easily be completed in the span of a weekend. In addition, to ensure that there are no visible red flags, have a walkthrough or seller’s inspection. This will pinpoint any areas that need to be worked on prior to selling the home. Things that may be simply annoying to you might be deal-breakers for a buyer. In particular, leaky taps, mould damage, or a faulty light switch could be the difference between that SOLD sign and spending weeks or even months languishing on the market.

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Selling your home

property offer to purchase

Selling Your Property

estate agents selling property
This sign will not sell your property! Have a Sellers Inspection, fix the main problems and display a “Move-In Certified” board.
estate agents selling property
This sign outside your home will help to sell it!

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Selling your home

Getting an acceptable Offer to Purchase on your property can be a challenge in a buyer’s market! This is how you can make it work.

Estate Agents

Choose competent estate agents! Furthermore, the estate agents should preferably be part of a team of professional estate agents.

Check that the agents and agencies are registered with the EAAB (Estate Agency Affairs Board).

Agents can assist in realistically pricing the property by providing information based on comparative market analysis.

Agents should also have a support structure, and the means, to market and advertise your property.

Estate agents should be able to offer you professionalism, good timekeeping, be presentable, be prepared and competent.

They should offer you the best service, which entails an accurate property evaluation, marketing plan and excellent communication. Furthermore, they should keep you informed during every step of the process. Also, agents should also be honest with you and give you their professional opinion.

Ask the following questions:

  • Do you have a marketing plan for my property?
  • What is the time period that you think you can sell our house in?
  • Have you sold homes on our street?
  • What prices did you get for these homes?
  • Who do you think is going to buy our home?
  • What is your commission percentage/amount?
  • How long a mandate do you suggest?

Conveyancing

Your buyer receives ownership with the registration of the property into the buyer’s name from the Deeds Registry Office.

Conveyancing is the legal process that takes place when lawful ownership is obtained of immovable property. A new deed of transfer is drawn up and registered each time a property is sold. As a result, this ensures the security and certainty of an owner’s title to the property.

Three attorneys are involved in buying/selling the property:

Conveyancers (Transferring Attorneys)

  • They transfer the property from you to the buyer.
  • You appoint them and they represent you.

Registering (or Bond) Attorneys

  • They register the bond of the property for the bank financing the purchase of the property.
  • They represent the buyer and the bank granting the buyer’s home loan.
  • Appointed by the lending bank.

Cancellation Attorneys

  • They cancel the seller’s existing home loan on the property.
  • They represent the bank cancelling the seller’s home loan.
  • Appointed by the bank cancelling the seller’s bond.

What can you expect from your Conveyancer?

The Conveyancer should:

  • protect your interest at all times and these interests should outweigh all other considerations;
  • inform you of the conveyance procedure and keep the seller informed of the progress of the transaction;
  • advise you on the content of the Offer to Purchase, especially regarding suspensive conditions;
  • advise you on the cancellation of the bond, any penalties, notice periods and other administrative charges;
  • obtain your instruction before issuing any guarantees in respect of the transaction;
  • do everything in his power to register the transaction as close to the date in the offer to purchase;
  • ensure no delay of the transfer advising you on your obligations in the offer to purchase;
  • meet with you to explain, as well as sign the necessary documentation in order to conclude the transaction;
  • take care of the preparation of the deeds for lodgement;
  • inform you of the transfer on the day of registration;
  • account to you for finances relating to the transaction within two days after registration.

Your current bond on the property

Many home sellers fail to give the banks the obligatory 90-day notice, resulting in penalties.

The usual penalty charge is 1% of the outstanding amount of the bond, for the full 90 day period.

Giving notice of an intention to sell does not mean the sale has to take place within a specified period.

The bank’s attorneys will freeze your bond account, and all money in it when instructed to cancel the bond. This can become problematic if you need cash, e.g. for the deposit on your next home. Draw sufficient funds prior to your attorney requesting the bond cancellation.

Be aware that your cancelled bond will pay out after, on average, ten weeks.

Pay all rates up to date

In order to obtain a Rates Clearance, you will need to pay all outstanding rates and services. In addition, you will also pay an additional advance (up to four months) on rates and services.

Without a valid rates clearance certificate your property cannot be transferred.

Financials of sectional title property schemes

A copy of the financial statements is required if the property is part of a sectional title complex. Furthermore, ensure that you have a copy of the management and conduct rules of the body corporate.

The buyer’s bank requires these documents before the loan is granted. The buyer may also want these documents before making an offer. There have been cases where sales fell through if the financial statements of the body corporate were not up to date.

Therefore, do your homework before you sell!

Resolve HOA or body corporate property disputes

If your property is a sectional title unit, it is important to sort out any issues with the body corporate, e.g. levies or certain living and design guidelines, before you sign an Offer to Purchase.

The homeowners association (HOA), or body corporate, will provide you with a clearance certificate to transfer the property. In addition, you will have to pay 3 months of levies in advance.

Often a title deed requirement is that such an association must consent to the sale. However, the association may withhold consent if there is a dispute.

Therefore, before you sell, resolve disputes with the association.

FICA information

FICA requires that the attorney verifies the identity and obtains the requisite documentation in respect of every seller. Furthermore, this is applicable to every purchaser of property on whose behalf funds are invested.

You need to provide the following:

  • Copies of ID’s
  • Marriage certificates
  • SARS income tax numbers
  • Proof of residence.

Additional documentation required for transfer

You need to provide the following documents for your property:

  • Approved building plans that are up to date including all alterations including occupation certificates.
  • The latest municipal accounts with respect to rates and taxes, electricity, water and other consumption charges.
  • The latest levy and/or Homeowners Association accounts.
  • Your current bond account (if applicable)
  • Your Seller’s Disclosure (this provides protection from future legal claims). The certified home inspector‘s report can be your disclosure.

Property Compliance Certificates

Prior to transfer:

The duration of the registration of the sale depends on the complexity and individual requirements of the sale. However, a rule of thumb is that it will take approximately three months.

Occupation of the property prior to registration

Do not allow a buyer to start renovations or makes changes to the property before the transfer is complete! However, you may give the occupation of a property once all the suspensive conditions have been met.

Where applicable, the Conveyancer may hold the balance between the bond and the purchase price in trust.

You can protect yourself from the buyer making any changes to the property before the transfer has taken place. Therefore, you will need to include a clause in the Offer to Purchase prohibiting this. This is often a standard clause.

If the buyer starts making changes, without any form of security, you must immediately inform the Conveyancer and the agent. Thereafter, the buyer either has to halt making changes or provide collateral funds. You can then return the house can to its original state if the sale fails.

Finally, your agent will be able to advise you on procedures regarding occupation, handing over of keys, etc.

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THE HOME DETECTIVE » Home seller » Home selling