Brackenfell - 021 982 0965
  Eersteriver - 021 902 0246

Clients for life.

This is FPS.

Bank evaluations vs home inspections - get the facts

Home buyers should not confuse a bank’s valuation of a property with a home inspection. Bank evaluations are performed to see whether there is sufficient value in the property to secure a home loan - not to identify possible defects.

“In the US, evaluation and home inspection are combined in one process termed appraisal - and by law, all homes have to pass appraisal before a sale can proceed,” says Gerhard Kotzé, MD of the RealNet estate agency group.

“However in South Africa the functions are separate, and the sale is usually not conditional on the home passing a professional inspection for faults or defects, unless the prospective buyer writes that into the sale agreement.

Kotsé says the bank evaluator works for the bank, not the home buyer, and in fact many evaluations are performed electronically these days, so the evaluator may not even visit the property.

The purpose of a home inspection, on the other hand, is to protect the potential buyer against the high cost of repairing unforeseen or unknown problems.

And, he says, such inspections are especially recommended for elderly buyers living on fixed incomes, parents with young children, and first-time buyers with minimal experience of the property market.

“Inspection can also help buyers decide between newly-built or pre-owned homes because the general quality of homes cannot be evaluated purely on age. With new homes there is the advantage of having the builder's warranty, as well as the fact that new construction must comply with the National Building Regulations covering safety, structural stability and sustainability,” says Kotzé.

“With preowned homes, there are more variables. But in all eras of home construction, there have been those that reflect quality workmanship and others that do not. And all homes, new or old, harbour some defects not apparent to the untrained eye.”

Kotzé says it is only once these are identified by a professional inspector that buyers can make a properly informed decision about which home to buy.

Meanwhile, Kotzé says, buyers taking their first look around a home they are interested in should keep an eye out for the following problems, which are the ‘Top 4’ found on most home inspectors’ lists:

  1. The wires

    This includes electrical hazards and deficiencies, including amateur wiring jobs and old distribution boards.

    These problems should be attended to, and the seller should obtain an Electrical Certificate of Compliance from an independent and accredited electrician before you sign an offer to purchase.

  2. The roof

    This includes roof problems such as rust, loose or missing tiles, leaks and rotted timbers.

    Roofs can be very expensive to fix, so once again you will want to make sure that these problems are attended to before you take transfer of the property - or get a professional estimate of what the repairs would cost and deduct this amount from your offer.

  3. Water damage

    This includes water leakage and damp from interior sources such as bath or toilet surrounds, or pipe-joints in the walls.

    Once again, you may want to get an expert opinion on these problems before you proceed. The full extent of water damage or rising damp is often difficult for the layman to see, which is why a plumbing certificate is now required in addition to an electrical certificate in some provinces.

  4. The foundation

    This includes poor site drainage or clay conditions, which can cause foundations to swell or crack.
    If you have any suspicion that the foundations of a home are damaged, your first reaction should be to walk away. However, if you really like the property you should insist on a professional inspection of the foundations, preferably by an engineer, before you make any offer to purchase.

8A Gert Kotze Street,
Western Cape,
South Africa, 7560
021 982 0965
021 982 2509

23 A Plein Street,
Grand Central,
Eerste River,
Western Cape,


021 902 0246

021 982 2509


Founded by Freddie P. Steyn in 2015, FPS Properties is one of the newest estate agencies in the Northern Suburbs of Cape Town. We are professional, dynamic and fully accredited estate agency. We strive to give all our clients professional and cost effective services to ensure that your property is rented or sold within the amount of time.

FPS Properties is supported by FPS Attorneys who will ensure that all transactions are correctly executed and furthermore will gladly assist with any and all legal queries to give you the added peace of mind.

Our agents are friendly and efficient and will gladly do free property valuations and provide sound property advice.

In short FPS Properties’ philosophy is simple… that by working closely with the client and becoming attuned to their business ethos, we can deliver pro-active and effective solutions thus creating ~ ”Clients for Life”