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Important Checks to Make when Buying a Property

Property transactions can involve significant outlay – and if you aren’t diligent, you could end up buying more than you bargained for.

What are the risks of buying property?

If you enter into the transaction with a mistaken impression of the quality of the asset (in this case, the property), then you risk regretting the decision later on. Unseen problems might take many forms, even in new-build properties. Mould, structural problems, and gas leaks might not be detectable when you come round to visit – which is why professional checks are often worthwhile. If a rewire is necessary, for example, then you might adjust your asking price to reflect the extra costs you’re assuming.

What should I ask the agent?

There are a few questions you might pose to the estate agent, like chinneck shaw estate agents portsmouth. By asking them, you won’t guarantee that the problem in question isn’t present – but if the information you’re given is not accurate, you’ll have a reason to go back and challenge them afterwards. Ask whether there are structural problems, or signs of damp, and confirm that all of the appliances work. Ask about the history of the property, as well as its current condition. Bear in mind that enquiries will slow down a transaction, as it takes time and resources to collect the information you need. In many cases, however, this information is worth the cost. For more insights on making informed property decisions, read more here.

What could happen in the worst-case scenario?

Let’s consider the worst possible outcome. You’ll buy a property that’s not what you expected. Worse than that, you’ll buy a property that’s unfit to live in, or comes with significant financial liabilities attached. Negligence experts Been Let Down advise that new regulations regarding septic tanks mean that homeowners could be charged up to £100k, or face up to three years in prison, for failing to comply.

In many cases, the cost of upgrading the septic tank might be similarly burdensome, at nearly £20,000. If you aren’t aware of the responsibility you’re taking on, this might make the transaction particularly painful.

What can you do if you purchased a home with major flaws?

If you find yourself in this situation, or one like it, where you’ve been missold a property and been faced with unanticipated costs, then you might hold your conveyancer, or estate agent, responsible, through a conveyancing negligence claim. In the case of septic tanks, Been Let Down reports a 112% increase in claims of this kind. Ignorance isn’t an excuse, since it’s the conveyancer’s job to be informed!

Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should avoid buying properties with septic tanks – even if the tank needs to be improved. But it does mean that you should determine what your likely expenses will be, and adjust your offer.