Do I have to tell buyers about a failed home buyers survey when selling?
Ross from Manchester
17 April 2015
Surveys questions and answers
I’m selling my home and have just accepted an offer. It’s been on the market for a while and I had previously found a buyer, but they pulled out after getting a home buyers survey, which brought up a few structural issues. Do I need to tell the new buyers about the failed survey? I’m worried they will pull out too.
Since recent regulatory changes, property sales are under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008, meaning everything that may affect your buyer’s decision to buy must be disclosed.
Agents must not make any misleading omissions when providing buyers with information about a property. If your agents are aware about the previous failed house survey, they are obligated to make that information available to your buyers. It is an offence for them to withhold material information or give any misleading information.
If you were using a different agent when the first buyers pulled out following their home buyers survey, and your current agents do not know about it, you, the seller, will have to disclose the information or it may be seen as misrepresentation. You will also have to mention what the survey identified.
The principle of ‘caveat emptor’, buyer beware, has no legal basis, and you are required to tell your buyers about any structural defects or findings in the survey report that may affect their decision to continue with the purchase or their enjoyment of the property. If you give incorrect information, you could be liable for damages through misrepresentation.
You should also note that your current buyers may wish to have their own HomeBuyer Report or Building Survey, so if you don’t mention something before this, and they find out about the information of the failed home buyers survey, this may affect the level of trust your buyer has for you.
It is important that you do tell the buyers about the previous failed survey, as this is considered something that can affect their decision to progress with the purchase.
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Hannah, 09 April 2017