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Buyer Beware / Caveat Emptor - Avoiding Buyer’s Remorse

Buyer Beware applies to YOU as the purchaser and means the property is sold “as is” or subject to all defects.


Conveyancers refer to this as caveat emptor.


Caveat Emptor

It is vital that YOU carry out searches, inspections, and survey to ensure that you are aware of any physical defects. From completion you will take the property subject to these.


The Seller must not misrepresent the position. However, they are NOT required to check things for you, and ONLY have to answer questions you ask.


If you don’t ask, don't obtain searches, survey or carry out a final inspection, then on your head be it. The seller is NOT required to volunteer information or help you.


Bear in mind that your Conveyancer does NOT visit the property or concern themselves with its physical condition or defects. You have a survey for that purpose.


Your Conveyancer is looking at legal or title issues. They will raise enquiries of the seller's solicitor but cannot offer any guarantee that the responses given are correct.  Your conveyancer can only report to you that which has been stated to them. You must check these issues with an expert. Obtain expert reports or get a builder out.


Further, your Conveyancer needs you to inform them about any alterations and you MUST arrange your survey. Do NOT rely on a lender valuation which is not adequate. They are not detailed enough.


Searches and Surveys are NOT the same thing. Your conveyancer obtains your searches and sends you a report on what is recorded on local authority registers. This is your local search. Road adoption is also covered. Other searches are drainage & water, which cover connection to water mains and sewers, and your environmental search. It is important your environmental search does not fail. That could indicate contaminated land. Where land is contaminated it is the land owners responsibility to remedy and NOT the party which caused it.


NB: Get the best and most detailed Survey you can afford. It will pay dividends in the long run.  


Anything that is not working once you complete falls to you. The seller is not obliged to do anything after completion. Any defects or legal title issues will be for the buyer to resolve and pay for.


Be thorough.


Do not leave yourself open to buyer's remorse.






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