For Real Estate Agents

Avoid buyers pulling out or offering your client silly prices. We can provide pre-sale weathertightness inspections and find and fix defects, leaks and decay that will stop sales.
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For Real Estate Agents - Sell a Plaster Clad House

When you sell a plaster clad house, there are some challenges; setting a reasonable price expectation, plaster home stigma, pre-purchase inspections that put your buyer off, and the banks that won’t lend.  And then there is complying with disclosure rules.  How much should you find out?  What must you say to potential buyers? What happens if the house turns out to be a leaker and the buyer sues?

And where do you go when your buyer’s Pre-Purchase Inspection report recommends invasive weathertightness inspections (and they all should for plaster clad homes)?  Your vendor doesn’t want his house cut open and your buyer doesn’t want to take the risk.

Keep reading to discover how Moisture Detection have been helping real estate agents and homeowners to achieve a smooth, seamless sale at the right price.

The Problems for Sellers and their Agents

The main problems when you sell a plaster clad house (as I am sure you know) are:

  • Many purchasers are scared of plaster clad homes; scared that they might leak, scared that they might buy a lemon which costs them a fortune, and scared that they won’t be able to sell.
  • Even when you have an interested buyer, once they get the pre-purchase inspection, the sale often falls through because the report scares them off.
  • The pre-purchase inspector should recommend invasive weathertightness inspections, which normally means cutting holes in the gib or cladding.  And your vendor won’t want that.
  • Even if you get the house through the pre-purchase inspection phase, the banks often won’t lend enough, or won’t lend at all. Sometimes a specialist weathertightness inspection is required,
  • You are required to inform purchasers about the risks of buying these homes in general and the specific risks of the one you are selling.

We hear every week about sales that fall through because the vendor has not prepared their plaster clad house for sale.

Sure, some of these houses are in a poor state of repair but many are good, sound family homes but still tarnished with the ‘plaster home stigma’.

Invasive Testing Without Damage

Every Pre-Purchase Inspection Report on a plaster clad house must recommend invasive inspections.  If it doesn’t, it is defective and must not be relied upon by the vendor, the buyer or the Real Estate Agent.

Every competent Pre-Purchase Inspector knows visual inspection, surface scanning with a moisture meter, or thermal imaging cannot measure the moisture levels in timber, or see whether the timber is decayed.  These tools are especially compromised in the summer, or if your vendor has repainted recently.

They must cover their liability for missing critical defects with disclaimers and recommendations for further specialist inspection.

However, your vendor doesn’t want holes cut in the cladding or gib and your buyer doesn’t want to spend a fortune or cut open their future dream home.

Only Moisture Detection Company can invasively test at multiple locations with virtually no damage and at an affordable cost.  We test for decay and timber treatment, and measure the actual moisture levels.

Probably more importantly, we give the purchaser good reasons why they should buy the house.  Our inspection closely defines any issues in the house, and provides solutions, including on-going moisture monitoring.  The buyers risks are then quantified and they can proceed with confidence. 

If your sale is held up pending invasive inspection, Moisture Detection Company have the answer.  Discrete sampling and moisture probes that have been proven to work since 2005.

Invasive inspection cut out in a wall
Small and discrete Mdu Moisture Probe installed to help sell a plaster clad house

Destructive invasive cutouts           or

Small discrete moisture probes

Which would your vendor accept?

Build Long Term Relationships With Clients

Here is where the conversation gets more difficult.

As a Real Estate Agent, you know that your successful long term business really depends on repeat business.  You want to sell the same house over and over.  You want to work for the same vendors and purchasers when they are ready to move on again.

The reality is that a plaster clad house takes some time to prepare for sale. Sometimes the sales process has to slow down while this happens.  It takes time to gather evidence on the house condition, and make the repairs and changes needed to sell it smoothly.  But, by clearly acting in the interests of the vendor, you build trust, get results and secure your long term business.

Preparing to Sell a Plaster Clad House

Never mind the coat of new paint, and flowers on the table.  That won’t get the house through to a sale at the right price. Buyers, inspectors and banks just aren’t impressed with that.  They want to know what the house is really like.

Help your vendor to prepare for sale by getting expert help and evidence proving their house is safe to buy.

Before your vendors put their home on the market, engage us in a weathertightness assessment of their home.  We can write an independent report explaining our findings.

  • Prove conclusively that the house isn’t a leaker with our Moisture Detection Probe ‘leak early warning system’ installed.  These are verifiable ‘invasive inspections’ at dozens of locations around the house which can be provided to pre-purchase inspectors. 
  • Prove that the house is framed with treated timber with our Treatment Testing Service.  If it isn’t treated then we can treat in-situ with RotStop and provide a Treatment Certificate.
  • Find out what the pre-purchase inspectors are going to knock the house back on before it goes to market – then fix these first if appropriate or declare them so there are no surprises.

Hint – if you know the house maybe has a few problems then do your vendor a favour and direct them to talk with us.  It may take us a little while to get the house up to scratch, but your vendor will appreciate your honesty and integrity in putting their interests ahead of going to market straight away.

Expert Advice on Plaster Clad Homes

Every Real Estate Agent who wants to sell a plaster clad house, must be able to recognise and disclose the key risk features.

  • Moisture Issues. The only way to conclusively show what is going on between gib and the exterior cladding is to measure the moisture right inside the framing itself. Mdu moisture probes are doing this in thousands of plaster clad houses – invasive testing without the damage.We either prove the house doesn’t leak or we find the leaks and then fix them.
  • Homes built between 1992 – 2004 may have been built with untreated or under-treated timber – or they may be well treated.  This is information that purchasers and inspectors will want to know but they will always assume the worst. We discreetly take samples from behind light switches or power points – that way no-one will know where we have been. We test these for treatment and report back within three working days. A Treatment Certificate can be provided.
  • Untreated timber? Our in-situ RotStop process treats untreated timber, to kill decay and add durability with minimum disruption to the occupants.

  • High risk building features like high groundlines, missing flashings,  internal guttering systems, lack of eaves, flat roofs, no window flashings, etc are just some of the ‘risk features’ of the house that might scupper the sale. When you know what problems are likely to arise, you are prepared.  We have ‘fixes’ for many of these defects so they won’t appear on the pre-purchase inspection report.

At Moisture Detection we aim to be flexible to accommodate tight deadline for purchasers and vendors.  If you have a need, please give us a call.

Our office number is 09-271 0522 .

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