When it comes to buying a home you want to make sure you have all the facts before taking the plunge. However, Boiler Plan has uncovered the most common lie homeowners tell to sell their home.
Boiler Plan found that almost half of Brits admit that they wouldn’t share any issues with their neighbours with potential buyers. If you simply don’t like your neighbours you can get away with telling a little white lie. However, if any official bodies have been involved, for example, a noise complaint, you have a legal obligation to tell any would-be buyers.
The most common lies homeowners tell buyers
13 per cent of respondents also admitted to not telling buyers about an increase in crime sprees in the local area. This is another sticky lie that could land you in trouble with the law. While it is tempting to gloss over any local burglaries, you are legally obliged to tell a potential buyer.
The same number of homeowners also admitted to not making a buyer aware of surface damage in the property. For example, a broken fence or bad paintwork, which could leave the buyer forking out an average of £600 to fix.
More worryingly, six per cent of Brits said they wouldn’t disclose structural damage of their home. Structural issues can often cost a buyer upwards of £10,000. Which means unsurprisingly many buyers comes back seeking compensation for being misinformed.
Honesty is always the best policy. But if you’re wondering what the exact rules about what information you need to disclose when selling Zoe Kenworthy, Director of Sales and Lettings at Wardsmith & Co shares her expertise.
‘The 2008 Consumer Protection Against Unfair Trading Regulations requires a seller to inform their estate agent – and any potential buyer – of material information that may affect an average consumer’s transactional decision. Not only to buy a property but even ‘an omission that may affect a potential buyer’s decision to view a property,’ she explains.
‘This will include issues you may have with your boundaries or other disputes with neighbours. Notices of any developments nearby. Whether the correct approvals have been obtained for building works such as building regulations of the freeholder’s consent for alterations such as a loft conversion,’ she adds. ‘Any occurences at the property, such as a murder or a suicide. And details of any major defects you are aware of. White lies or vagueness can rebound even after you have moved out, as a buyer can still legally seek compensation.’
We know it can be tempting to tell a white lie to move your house off the market faster. But stick to the truth to avoid not just bad karma but any legal ramifications in the future.