Caveat Emptor

Caveat emptor is an old Latin expression that basically means that buyers should be careful when buying (and that it is difficult to come back and make demands).

When you buy a home, you are generally well protected. The purchase agreement is standardised and refined over many years. The condition report and property insurance roughly safeguard you against any major financial surprises. The financing is transparent.

And yet unexpected circumstances can arise after you have bought and taken possession of the new property.

The condition report and title insurance scheme was a response to the many legal cases that accompanied home sales. The buyer, dissatisfied with both, took legal action against the seller.

With the scheme, the seller was (largely) exempt from liability and the buyer has a better basis for the decision with a condition report and a homeowner's insurance. And there is no doubt that the number of lawsuits in the wake of home sales has dropped significantly.

Condition report and property change insurance

The condition report is drawn up by a building surveyor, who goes through a villa or townhouse he has never seen before in a few hours. Most of them are good at what they do and will probably see a lot of the problems with your home. Grades are given to individual building components and the buyer gets an OK general feel for the home and future maintenance through the condition report.

The homeowner's insurance ONLY covers conditions not shown in the report, marked with a yellow or red highlight. In other words, you should know that all conditions that are marked yellow or red in the report are conditions for which you are 100% responsible.

We recommend that you spend the 3 - 4,000 DKK it costs to have your home inspected by your own advisor. He does not need to draw up a report. The best thing to do is to meet him at the home. He will have received the condition report before the meeting, and then he will be able to put into words the individual facts, so that you will be much better equipped to make the decision. The amount is minimal compared to the cost of the property, so don't let that put you off getting this advice.

Today, virtually all sales contracts contain a lawyer's reservation

Today, almost all purchase agreements include a lawyer's reservation, so the right time for the review with your own construction expert is after both parties have signed the purchase agreement and before the lawyer's reservation expires.

This is part of the duty of investigation that we recommend.

And then there's the more practical part:

Go through the home critically. Take the necessary time. Check that the installations work, that the windows can open and close. Feel if the home is going to work for you.

Is there mould behind the cupboards? Are there wall-to-wall carpets that mean you can't see what's going on under the carpet, so we have to take precautions?

Check noise. Check if the home is correctly positioned for the sun. Try to imagine that you come home to the dwelling.
Does it feel right?

Check noise. Check if the home is correctly positioned for the sun. Try to imagine that you come home to the dwelling. Does it feel right.

All this is part of Caveat Emptor: the preliminary research you need to do in order to make your decision on the best possible basis.

Everything else to do with the deal is taken care of by us.