Caveat emptor is a Latin phrase meaning ‘Let the buyer beware’. Caveat emptor refers to the principle that the seller of goods will probably know more than the buyer. Therefore the buyer must be careful, exercise caution, and thoroughly check the item before agreeing on the price and moving ahead with the sale. The Sale of Goods Act provides protection to consumers, permitting them to bring goods back to a store or return them online if they find that they are not up to the expected standard. However, this does not apply to property, but it may apply to goods inside a home.

Buyers will instruct searches to be carried out

Buyers should ensure there are no defects in the property and that it is of a high standard, as they will not be able to pursue the seller once the sale is agreed. Buyers will therefore look at the title and they will also have searches carried out, usually through their legal representative, to ensure the property is sound. It’s important to remember that the seller is under no obligation to disclose facts to the buyer.

There is one exception however, and that is if the property seller is aware of defects which the buyer could not reasonably uncover through a search. The seller must disclose these defects and failing to carry this out can entitle the property buyer to claim damages or even to nullify the sale.

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According to The Business Desk an English law firm said it has seen a 29% rise in residential property conveyancing matters since Britain left the EU.

Buyers will tend to lean solely on the mortgage valuation report as verification of the condition that the property is in. Many fail to understand that valuations only demonstrate that the property is worth its price, and it cannot uncover structural issues.

It is therefore important that buyers remain alert and conscientious throughout the buying and selling process. It is strongly recommended that they obtain a survey to ensure that they are aware of the condition that the property is in. There are many types of survey including a condition report, a homebuyer’s report and a structural survey.