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All I want for Christmas…by John Graham

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2015 has been a busy year for everyone. We at HomeTimes want to know what industry heavyweights are thinking about as the year draws to a close. Some are concerned about buyers, others sellers, and still others society in general. But what is it that they would like to see in their Christmas stocking for a better 2016?

Welcome to All I want for Christmas according to:

John Graham, CEO of HouseCheck

John Graham, founder and CEO of HouseCheck.

John Graham, founder and CEO of HouseCheck.

“What I would like for Christmas is for all estate agents to embrace buyers’ home inspections as an essential part of all voetstoots property sales in South Africa. If agents did so, then their Christmas present would be enhanced credibility with buyers and sellers, and drastically reduced chances of unpleasant after-sales comebacks. Agents with a good reputation also benefit businesswise over the longer term from a growing reputation for fairness and professionalism.”

Leading East London agent, Jill Fish, has already claimed her early Christmas present by embracing home inspection. Below is a letter she wrote to HouseCheck.

Dear HouseCheck,

I was a little apprehensive at first at the idea of such an inspection. But, knowing that the buyers lived in Johannesburg and that they had only seen the property on the internet, I thought it would be the best way to expedite the sale. The doctor and family were also considering spending a large amount of money to fly to our city at short notice (no cheap seats), especially to view this home and wished to be reassured before they proceeded.

I found your report which they requested and paid for to be most comprehensive. I must also admit that even after 18 years as an agent, I also learned a great deal. Your independent opinion is fair and knowledgeable.

I look forward to being able to recommend you to future buyers even if they live in East London. Your report is empowering for both the buyer and the seller.


David A Steynberg, managing editor and director of HomeTimes, has more than 10 years of experience as both a journalist and editor, having headed up Business Day’s HomeFront supplement, SAPOA’s range of four printed titles, digimags Asset in Africa and the South African Planning Institute’s official title, Planning Africa, as well as B2B titles, Building Africa and Water, Sewage & Effluent magazines. He began his career at Farmer’s Weekly magazine before moving on to People Magazine where he was awarded two Excellence Awards for Best Real Life feature as well as Writer of the Year runner-up. He is also a past fellow of the International Women’s Media Foundation.

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