Buying a new property is a very exciting time, whether you are a first-time buyer or a seasoned house purchaser, starting with the initial viewing of the property through to the day of completion.
There is a very important point that buyers should consider, especially when viewing the property, to make the process and moving day as stress free as possible.
House sales are subject to the legal principle of “let the buyer beware”. You are purchasing a house at your own risk and therefore you should satisfy yourself as to the suitability of what you are buying by examining the property for defects. To help satisfy this point it is always recommended that you arrange for a survey to be carried out which would potentially find problems that you had not seen.
If, upon inspection, you or the surveyor find any issues that need remedying then it is important that this is negotiated with the sellers before exchange of contracts, whether this is an agreement for the seller to carry out remedial works or a negotiation in the purchase price of the property.
Once contracts are exchanged, a completion date (moving day) is fixed and you are legally bound to complete on that date. In addition, on exchange, you are bound to buy the property in the condition it is in at that time including any defects unless you have negotiated remedial works with the seller beforehand.
Upon moving into the property, if you then discover a fault, which would have been found by conducting a reasonable inspection of the property beforehand, you have no legal remedy against the seller unless the fault would not have been picked up by such an inspection or if the seller misrepresented the property or actively tried to conceal the defects.
Even carrying out checks such as making sure all the taps and sockets work and the toilets flush, when you initially view the property, will help avoid aggravation later on when you move in and discover some don’t work.