‘Sold as seen’ generally means that a property is sold without knowledge of faults such as faulty boilers or damp patches. There are a number of types of transaction where a property is said to be ‘sold as seen’ such as repossession properties, properties being sold by a company and properties being sold as part of a deceased Estate.
When a property is ‘sold as seen’ conveyancers can only advise you on the legal title therefore, information such as whether there are any disputes with neighbours and if there has been any work carried out on the property would not be available.
The seller does not have to tell you about any defects with the property because the buyer has bought the property under the principle of ‘caveat emptor’, which translates to let the buyer beware. The seller may not be able to answer questions about the house therefore, it is always a good idea to have both an inspection and a survey carried out on the property. Checking gas, electricity and water supplies may also be a good idea as they may have degraded since they were last used.
If the time between viewing, exchange and completion is going to be a while, then you could consider further inspections closer to the completion to check that more damage has not occurred in the time since the last viewing.
‘Sold as seen’ is very different to buying directly from an seller who has physically lived in the home because if you had any questions about the property, the seller must answer truthfully and to the best of their knowledge. Ultimately, it’s important that you are ok with the state and condition of a property you are buying.