Today’s booming housing market is undoubtedly good for sellers, but it appears as though buyers aren’t taking the necessary precautions when viewing and inspecting properties.
Last year, home insurance firm LV= revealed that almost half of those who bought a property since the beginning of 2014 discovered unexpected damage after moving in. Click here to see the press release. On top of that, 29 per cent of buyers believed that the seller deliberately concealed serious problems.
Repairs and responsibilities
The total cost of repairing issues such as damp, rot and even structural defects came to £4,205 on average, with sellers using tactics such as painting over mould, moving furniture to cover problems and hiding damage behind pictures.
Although this is rather dishonest from a seller’s perspective, they do not need to disclose these kinds of issues, as it’s the buyer’s responsibility to investigate the condition of a property before agreeing to a sale. Therefore, it is crucially important to check a property for things like damp proofing, watermarked walls, cracks in the brickwork and damaged roofs.
But it wasn’t just repairs that needed paying out for, as several new buyers said certain items needed to be replaced, which they thought were included in the price. These mainly included fixtures and fittings such as curtains and light bulbs but integrated appliances like dishwashers, carpets, doorknobs and toilet seats were also often absent.
Given the current property market, several buyers feel pressured to make an offer without carrying out a thorough inspection. In fact, the survey found that 20 per cent felt coerced into a snap decision, as the fear and risk of losing a sale was too great. One in ten said they made an offer straight away while 39 per cent revealed they did not have time to comprehensively check the property.
“Buying a home is a huge investment and yet many buyers now feel pressured to rush into a sale without checking a property thoroughly,” said Selwyn Fernandes, managing director of LV= home insurance.
“Serious faults are difficult to identify and can be very costly to put right. It is worth getting the professionals in to survey the condition of a property before exchanging contracts to make sure you are fully aware of any issues with the property,” he noted.
So, while buyers should perform in-depth inspections of a property, sellers can also do their bit by having damp proofing or structural repairs carried out to increase the chances of an honest sale.
If you are a property owner with concerns about maintenance problems book a survey with us now.