What you should know about beetle and electrical inspections.
Beetle (or Woodborer) Inspections and Certificates of Clearance and Electrical Inspections and Certificates of Compliance are essential when a property changes hands. More often than not it is a condition of sale that the seller produces these certificates prior to or on transfer and unless the seller and buyer have agreed otherwise, obtaining these is for the seller’s account.
It sometimes happen, however, that transfer takes place without these certificates having been obtained from the seller or that inspections are only done after transfer took place or sometimes not at all. A bit risky to say the least, so always make sure you obtain the certificates from the seller before transfer takes place or you could land up with a nasty bill the day you sell your property.
A sale agreement could stipulate that the estate agent arranges for the inspection of the property on behalf of the seller, or it could specify that it will be the seller’s responsibility to arrange this, at his own cost, and to ensure that the certificates are issued prior to or on transfer. The seller might consider entrusting this task to the estate agent as it means having one thing less to worry about. He will also have peace of mind that most agents work with a reputable beetle and electrical inspection company such as Pestech who undertakes both beetle and electrical inspections and is registered with the Electrical Contractors’ Board, the Electrical Contractors’ Association and the South African Pest Control Association. Should the seller prefer to arrange the inspections himself, it is best to advise the estate agent of the intention to do so at the time of signing the sale agreement to avoid any confusion.
At what stage should the inspections be done? If the estate agent is instructing on behalf of the seller, he would normally wait until he has confirmation that the purchaser’s bond is approved. If it is a cash transaction, he will wait until the sale agreement has been signed by both parties. If the offer to purchase is subject to the sale of another property, he will wait until this property has been sold.
It might be worth your while to have the inspections done and obtain the certificates before you put your property on the market. Consider this part of the cosmetic work such as painting and cleaning the garden in preparation to selling your property to improve its marketability and increase your chances of receiving as close as possible to your asking price as soon as possible. This way you can establish the costs involved in obtaining the certificates upfront and also if any electrical repairs would be required. Any repairs should be done before prospective buyers view your property to avoid effecting changes to the property after a purchaser has seen it, and to eliminate possible future conflict with the purchaser once he has taken occupation.
If you’re selling an older property where the risk of damage by wood destroying organisms is higher, obtaining the certificates beforehand will hugely increase the marketability of your property.
This expert advice has been provided by Nicky Versfeld of Pestech.