Unwittingly purchasing a house with a horrible history is every homebuyer’s worst nightmare, but some people still find they are met with some form of unexpected surprise after they move into a new home.
While a seller must honestly answer any specific questions a buyer may have about a property, they don’t necessarily have to disclose information that they are not queried about. As a general rule, estate agents must also avoid misleading buyers by failing to give information, but at the same time there is no “right” to it.
Essentially, your best protection against any unwanted surprises is to work with a professional solicitor or licensed conveyancer who can help you carry out a thorough and detailed ‘search’.
Defined as a set of standard enquiries about a particular property and the surrounding areas, a property search can reveal crucial information about a house that may not have been immediately obvious during the viewing. A solicitor will usually carry out a search by submitting enquiries to various authorities (for example local councils, the environmental agency, and water authorities) to ensure you know as much as possible about a property before you agree to a purchase.
Standard enquiries raised as part of the buying process can reveal a number of things including past disputes with neighbours, developments in the surrounding area, or the general history of the property.
If you are particularly concerned about a certain issue, you should get your conveyancing solicitor to ask the question. It is often the case that questions raised by a solicitor will carry more weight, so if you want to make an informed decision about any aspect of your purchase, it is definitely worth the added formality.
For more information about searches, how much they cost and how long they take to complete, visit ‘what are searches when buying a house’.
We would not advise going ahead with a purchase until you have completed a search. Peter Robinson & Co. can assist you in all aspects of property law and with a dedicated team of friendly experts we will ensure your purchase is as straightforward as possible. If you are considering a purchase, call us now on 0161 678 7996.