We see an increasing number of properties being “sold as seen” and act for buyers and sellers of these properties. This phrase can cause confusion as it is used for other types of sale as well, but there is a huge difference between buying a second hand car “as seen” and buying a house.
1. MYTH 1: You can’t check anything out – this is not the case, you can still fully verify the legal title to the property and ensure that you take full ownership of it. Property is now registered at the Land Registry in the majority of cases. What you cannot do is ask the previous owner to tell you about the background of the house because they simply do not know.
2. MYTH 2: Someone is trying to hide a problem – In most cases the term “sold as seen” is used where the seller simply has no knowledge of the property. It could be a repossessed property being sold by a bank, or a probate sale for example. If the seller is an owner occupier though, be careful as they would typically be expected to provide responses.
3. MYTH 3: It makes it more difficult to sell in the future – if you are intending to occupy the property yourself, then when you come to sell the property in the future you will be able to answer questions based on your own period of ownership.
4. MYTH 4: It costs more to buy these houses – not necessarily. It is true that you may want to run additional searches to check some background information, but if you are buying with a mortgage most lenders require a survey anyway. Our conveyancers would always advise that a buyer takes the relevant searches anyway, regardless of whether a property is sold as seen.
We have experience of acting for buyers and sellers of sold as seen properties and understand the implications of this so as to minimize any delays in following standard routes of enquiry that simply do not apply to these properties. Contact us for a free no obligation quote or request this via our website.