Estate Agents & Property Managers
Independent Property Inspections and the Consumer Protection Act
Independent Property Inspections (ipi) is a reliable company which will assist you, the professional Estate Agent and Property Manager, to comply with the Consumer Protection Act and will also help agents fulfil their ethical obligations to both their buyers and their sellers – without compromising the sale!
We understand the needs of these agents who are looking for a quick, simple and streamlined inspection process which will enable the agent to provide an ethical and legally bullet-proof service – without bogging down the sale!
We Assist Estate Agents and Property Managers with Pre-Sale as well as Rental Inspections.
ipi has combined it’s experience in property inspection and the building industry with the best international practices to provide an inspection model which quickly, easily and seamlessly fulfils the needs of buyers, sellers, lessees, lessors, estate agents and property managers.
Our reports satisfy the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act and also provide definite advantages to professional agents who want the best of both worlds – fast, trouble-free sales and rentals as well as happy, satisfied buyers, sellers, lessors and lessees.
We understand the urgencies involved in the agent’s task to successfully bring buyers, sellers, lessors and lessees together. Each member of the ipi team is committed to maintaining the highest requirements of business / industry and ethical standards in all aspects of our business. So when the opportunity arrives to choose an inspection company which will deliver professional service designed to meet and exceed client expectations, ipi is the right match for you and your clients!
A Property Inspection Report may assist agents to counsel sellers who want to overprice their properties. Most agents experience sellers who may have an unrealistic view of the value of their property. An ipi inspection report in conjunction with a comparative market analysis will assist agents to counsel their clients to apply a realistic price to their properties. Correctly priced properties are most likely to sell quickly to the benefit of seller, buyer and agent.
Buyers Are Nervous
Besides being nervous at their largest purchase to date, research shows that buyers use defects as a negotiating tool on a ratio of 10:1. A buyer will generally over-estimate the cost of repairing a defect and may demand an unrealistic reduction in the selling price. With full disclosure, a realistic cost estimate to repair could be acquired and a far more realistic picture can emerge.
Every Consumer Has the Right to Receive the True Facts
With the new Consumer Protection Act implemented in April 2011, the tricky issue of latent and patent defect raises its head again.
The Act states that all defects must be divulged to the estate agent and the buyer.
This could raise a problem for the seller:
- Is the seller aware of all the defects of the property?
- Are they qualified to evaluate all the faults and defects?
This Act therefore imposes new responsibilities on property agents and sellers as they will be accountable for:
- Any action which on later investigation could be characterised as dishonest, unfair or misleading.
- Any aspects of the property which could be deemed of low or defective quality and/or of questionable value in terms of the price paid.
- Any documentation which could be deemed difficult to understand or insufficiently explanatory.
- Any statements in the advertising and promotion of the property which could be perceived as exaggerated or misleading.
- The singing of an ‘ Immovable Property Conditions Report’ can also become part of a long and expensive legal process.
If latent defects become apparent in the home within six months of its being transferred to the new owner, it could be argued that these have reduced the value of the property and the seller will, in terms of the Act, have to remedy them or pay compensation.
The Consumer Protection Act has the potential to stop high pressure selling, in which the buyer finds that he has signed for a home without being made aware of some implications and drawbacks.
The “Voetstoots” or “As-Is” clause is a thing of the past, and although the sales agreement contains a clause signed by the seller that exonerates the property agent from any liability of possibly concealing any defect from the buyer that was not reasonably expected for the buyer to have noticed when the property was viewed, can still result in unnecessary, lengthy legal processes.
Often the seller or agents are not necessarily aware of what may be serious defects in a property. The ipi inspector is qualified and experienced to identify such defects and with the use of specialised equipment, rate the gravity of such defects.
To avoid expensive mistakes and time consuming discussions and possible legal intervention, it is becoming increasingly apparent that an independent property inspection would be advisable for any property, in order for the following questions to be answered:
- Are there any problems with damp in the walls?
- Are there any problems with the roof?
- Are there any problems with storm water runoff?
- Are there any structural concerns regarding the foundations, walls and roof?
- Are the visible cracks in the walls serious – does this mean that the house will fall down?
- Are the geysers, plumbing and drainage systems all in order?
- Has the building been well maintained or just “patched up”.
- Are there areas and possible defects where one should get professionally certified contractors in for an in-depth evaluation?
It is for these reasons that Property Inspections in many parts of the world and more specifically South Africa are now an integral part of the property industry, and in the financial climate we are currently experiencing, the buyer and lessee are becoming more and more educated, demanding and street wise.
For independent property inspections on rental inspections, please refer to Rental Inspections.