VOETSTOOTS VS INDEPENDENT INSPECTION?
Buyers should be aware of what “voetstoots” means
When you buy a house you are going to be asked to sign an offer to purchase. Included in that pre-printed “offer to purchase form” which you will be asked to sign will probably be a “voetstoots clause” or “as is” clause.
The implications of voetstoots are SERIOUS.
As a buyer you should be aware that the moment you sign that offer to purchase with the voetstoots clause in, you sign away most of your rights as a buyer.
Don’t assume that the property has been thoroughly inspected. In practice estate agents are NOT qualified or equipped to do a thorough house inspection. You can safely assume that neither the agent or the seller have not climbed into the roof cavity, nor onto the roof to inspect the property properly.
Don’t think that the seller has disclosed all the defects in the house. The seller is simply not qualified to know about all the defects.
Be warned: When you sign a voetstoots clause you sign away your rights. Voetstoots protects mainly the seller.
Here is how buyers can protect themselves
The only way you can balance your rights as a buyer is to get an Independent Property Inspector to conduct a Comprehensive Inspection of the property prior to finalising the offer.
In fact, we suggest buyers should make their offers conditional to a satisfactory home inspection report compiled by an ‘independent’ accredited property inspector.
Because this voetstoots practice has been entrenched into the South African market for decades does not make it right. Voetstoots is only fair if this clause in the agreement is counter-balanced with a home inspection clause. The voetstoots clause is there to protect the seller and you need the home inspection clause to protect you the buyer.
Let IPI give you a free home inspection quote. All you need to do is provide us with a few details of the property to be inspected by clicking here and complete the ‘Book an inspection’ page.