The Daily Deceit In The Home Buying And Selling Process

We only have to watch the news for a short amount of time to understand that the world is full of lies and deceit. This is not always a bad thing; I will always wax lyrical about my wife’s outfit choice for the day, even if her jumper resembles Harry Potter’s favourite house elf’s smock.

However, can the same be said for the housing sector? Should buyers and sellers conceal the truth during such a huge purchase?

According to the law, the seller cannot lie about the condition of their property prior to sale. If they do so, they will be in breach of the 2008 Consumer Protection Against Unfair Trading Regulations (CPR’s). Claims made by the seller can be settled, even after the purchase is complete.

Despite this fact, a recent report of 2,186 people, carried out by Thomas Sanderson interiors, has found that the majority of both buyers and sellers lie during the process of buying or selling a property.

According to the report 59% of the respondents lied about selling their home at some point in the process.

Whereas sellers were more likely to lie about the condition of the property or local area, buyers were more inclined to lie whilst going through their mortgage application in a bid to secure a mortgage. Lies that have the potential to invalidate a loan agreement if the lender looked into the finances once the property purchase was complete.

29% of buyers lied about their spending and outgoings each month and 21% inflated their ability or intentions to pay off their existing debts. Some even lied about the amount of people living in the home once it is purchased.

31% of sellers admitted to glossing over minor faults and repairs that needed doing. 20% of sellers lied about the work that had been done on the property. Many lied about the local area; often exaggerating or creating benefits about the location.

Over a quarter minimised the references to a nightmare neighbour if at all possible and the potential noise pollution that the property is exposed to.

Whilst a seller is entitled to sugarcoat the sale by highlighting the positives, they have a legal obligation to provide all evidence of faults.

Have you experienced property sales that have been forced to deal with deceitful buyers and sellers? What impact can lies like this have on the conveyancing process?


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    Simple lie by a seller that they knew of no disputes. Turns out the large collection of barking dogs next door had been the subject of years of ongoing disputes, recorded by police and local authority. Buyer client decided not to pursue the seller, as advised they’d not get much compensation, so spent over a year pursuing – in turn and without success – the seller’s conveyancer, the estate agent then their own conveyancer!!
    The system failed the buyer and cost all involved except the lying seller

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    I shall be please to hear of the authority for saying that a seller has a legal obligation to provide all evidence of faults.

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    I regard title insurance encouraging non-disclosure of want of building regulatins approval as anti-social. We should be grassing up cowboys – not covering up for them

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