What does it mean to purchase a property that is “sold as seen”?
There are a number of types of transaction where a property is said to be “sold as seen” such as repossession properties, properties being sold by a company and properties being sold as part of a deceased Estate.
All of these transactions have one thing in common in that the seller may not have personal knowledge of the property. As such, they are unable to provide any information relating to the property itself and as conveyancers we are only able to advise you on the legal title. Therefore, more personal information relating to the property is not available, for example has there been any work carried out at the property, are there any agreements or disputes with the neighbours and who are the utility providers?
In any property transaction, the seller is not under an obligation to disclose any defects in the property as the buyer is said to purchase the property subject to the principle “caveat emptor” (let the buyer beware) and so you must ensure that you have satisfied yourself as to the state and condition of the property. When purchasing a property directly from the owner occupier you will have the opportunity to find our more information by raising relevant enquiries, which the seller is obliged to answer truthfully to the best of their knowledge.
In instances where the property is being “sold as seen”, the seller will be unable to answer any additional enquiries relating to the property. Therefore, it is even more important to ensure that you have carried out a thorough inspection of the property and arrange for a comprehensive survey to be carried out. You may also consider arranging for the gas, electrics and water supplies to be checked as they may have been disconnected since the property was last occupied.
It is also advisable to inspect the property again before exchange and completion to ensure that there has been no damage since you first viewed the property.
Ella Snowdon is a specialist in Residential Property and is a Solicitor in our Hinckley Office
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