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Buyer Beware – Caveat Emptor

We all like to imagine our dream homes being exactly the way we envisaged upon completion.

Being able to move in with no issues and taking our time to replace items such as the boiler and improve rooms such as the kitchen and bathroom. Unfortunately our dreams are not always a reality on completion.

The unfortunate reality of purchasing a property in England and Wales is that the risk is entirely with the buyer. It is for the buyer to inspect everything in as much detail as possible and for the buyers Conveyancers to raise adequate enquiries to eliminate as much of the risk as possible. This is really where your detection skills are put to the test.

We cannot stress enough the importance of inspecting the property as thoroughly as possible. Ensuring you not only view the property but test the items within it. Asking the seller to switch on the heating in the middle of summer can seem a bit excessive however it will reduce any doubt over the state of the boiler - a costly post completion situation we all too commonly see. Ask the seller, when was the boiler last serviced, if this was not within the last 2 years or if they do not have the report it may be worthwhile asking for it to be serviced prior to exchange of contracts.

Another equally important factor is to ensure that you commission a home buyer survey prior to exchange. It may seem daunting looking at the results but as your conveyancers we can view the home buyers survey and advise on any specific issues to be concerned with. If necessary we can then raise further enquiries with the sellers solicitors. Our recommended surveyors can assist and details can be found on our website: Surveys

Finally if there is anything that is of particular concern to you but you do not feel this has been dealt with during the course of the enquiries do let us know. Once exchange has taken place the seller is not obligated to respond to any further enquiries and it is therefore important anything you wish to raise is dealt with pre exchange.

Post completion issues really can hinder your enjoyment of purchasing a new property, do not be caught out inspection is the important key.

For further advice on post completion issues please do not hesitate to contact our dedicated team - completions@mjpconveyancing.com or sophie.goodman@mjpconveyaning.com

Sophie Goodman

Trainee Solicitor

01603 877066 or 01603 877067

Our phone lines are open Monday to Friday 9am-5pm. Please note our phone lines will however be closed for lunch between the hours of 1pm and 2pm.


company address
Greyfriars House,
18-20 Prince of Wales Road, Norwich, NR1 1LB
Phone: 01603 877066 or 01603 877067
FAX: (01603) 230125
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*MJP Conveyancing LTD is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority – SRA No. 590889 http://www.sra.org.uk/solicitors/handbook/code/content.page.

MJP Conveyancing Ltd is a company registered in England and Wales Registered No: 8026741 VAT Number: 157917571. A full list of the directors is available upon request. We use the word 'Partner' to refer to a Director of the Limited Company, or any employee or consultant with equivalent standing and qualification. Equality and Diversity Policy Equality and Diversity Policy Statement for Clients * - In calculating this we measure the average time it takes to reach the stage of exchange ( not the date you actually move in which is known as the completion date) from the date we receive the contract from the sellers solicitors or from when we send the contract to the buyers solicitors. This period can be longer when delays arise which are not within our control. We cannot guarantee that we can achieve this average turnaround time in all transactions. This turnaround time does not apply to leasehold and leasehold and new build transactions.