In relation to property sales, when a transaction is ‘sold as seen’ conveyancers can only advise on the legal title – the ownershipof the property. Property transactions that are said to be ‘sold as seen’ refer to properties being sold by a company, repossessed properties or those sold as part of a deceased estate. These transactions have one thing in common in that the seller may not have any personal knowledge regarding the property.

Property knowledge may be limited

A property that is being ‘sold as seen’ means that it is being sold without knowledge of any potentials faults such as damp issues, subsidence, water damage, rodent infestation, faulty heating etc. Equally, any other relevant information such as who are the utility providers, when an extension was built, or details of any other work that has been carried out on the property, will not be readily available.

Inspections and surveys

For property that is being ‘sold as seen’, the seller will generally be unable to answer any additional enquiries relating to the property. It is, therefore, essential to ensure a thorough inspection of the property, and that a comprehensive survey is carried out. Gas, electricity and water supplies should also be checked as they may have been disconnected since the property was last occupied.

It is strongly advised to inspect the property again before exchange and completion to ensure that no fixtures or fittings such as doors, fireplaces or radiators etc. have been removed or that any additional, new damage has occurred since the property was last viewed.

Seller disclosure

The property seller is not under any obligation to disclose details or information regarding any property defects or its condition. In this instance the buyer is said to be purchasing the property subject to ‘caveat emptor’which is the principle that the buyer alone is responsible for checking the condition and state of the property before the purchase is completed.

Buying from an owner occupier

A ‘Sold as seen’ purchase is very different than when buying directly from an owner occupier. The buyer has the opportunity to ask questions, raise queries and request relevant information which the seller is obliged to answer truthfully to the best of their knowledge.

For more information or advice on the topics above, please don’t hesitate to contact us