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SEPTEMBER 2013

Check Thoroughly and Record Everything

What to do when buying a house

It is essential that when you first inspect a property that you may wish to buy you must check everything thoroughly. That way you know what you are purchasing (the good and the bad). There is no point in finding out about “the bad” after you have purchased.

In particular, your thorough inspection should include (but not be limited to):

  • Is the stove/oven/hobs are working?
  • Is the dishwasher working?
  • Are the heated towel rails and other electrical fittings working?
  • Are there stains or damage to carpet/ flooring?
    Is there any damage to the house (such as broken windows and holes in walls)?
  • Is there rubbish around the property?

It may seem cumbersome at the time but it is very important to make a list and check off everything so that there will be no unpleasant surprises later.

Getting the Negotiations Right

Our strong recommendation is that there should be a clause in the Agreement for Sale and Purchase to state that the vendor will repair or replace whatever is damaged or not working and remove all rubbish. The alternative is to offer a reduced purchase price to reflect the unsatisfactory situation.

Pre-settlement Inspections

On some occasions the purchaser client, when first looking through the property, notes there are no problems and the property is in good repair and order. However when completing their pre-settlement inspection they find a problem such as an electrical appliance not working or damage having occurred to the property since the execution of the agreement for sale and purchase. It is at that time that the real estate agents are normally able to confirm that indeed when the Agreement for Sale and Purchase was signed there was neither damage to the property nor non-working appliances. On these occasions we are able to bring these new issues to the attention of the vendor’s solicitors to have remedial work carried out immediately.

It is far better to be thorough when first viewing the property to ensure that there are no problems on settlement date.

Conclusion

We recommend when purchaser clients are looking through a property and before they sign the Agreement for Sale and Purchase that they consult with us so that such issues (if there are any) can be considered and we can ensure that an appropriate clause is inserted in the agreement. It may be too late after the agreement is signed.