One of the most important things that a buyer needs to know is why the seller is selling his home. Properties change hands every day and people have a multitude of reasons as to why they want to sell. However, sometimes the decision is one that could end up affecting the new owner and, if it's serious enough, could have an impact on the future selling price.
Crime is a major problem in this country and although anyone would be hard pressed to find an area that hasn't been impacted by criminal activities, some areas do seem to be worse off than others. Sellers have to be upfront as to why they are selling a home. Being robbed a number of times is definitely something that needs to be disclosed.
Disruptive, noisy neighbours are another reason that people will decide that it's time to move on. Again, seller's need to inform the buyer of any on-going problems they are having with the folks next door.
Maintenance issues are another area that should be investigated as there are sellers who are aware of pressing problems that need to be addressed. Major maintenance is costly and deciding to sell because various things have reached their sell by date, is more common than most believe. Buying a new home and discovering that the roof is going to have to be replaced or a soak pit is going to have to be installed within the next year or two can be hugely problematic and end up costing the new owner a significant amount of money.
The Three Ds
Of course, not everyone who decides to sell has a hidden motive. Estate agents often refer to the reason for selling as the three Ds - namely debt, death and divorce. These tend to be the most common reasons a person chooses to put his home on the market, but there are numerous other, solid reasons for selling a home. The seller may have been transferred or be downsizing now that the family have moved on. A younger seller on the other hand may be intend on climbing up the property ladder and simply wants to buy a bigger, better property.
Assumptions should never be made when it comes to buying property. Buyers have every right to know why a seller has chosen to move on to greener pastures and should be wary of those who appear to be a little edgy when discussing something as basic as this.
Protection Offered by the Law
The Voetstoots clause, and under certain circumstances the Consumer Protection Act (CPA), may provide some protection in certain instances where it can be proved that the seller deliberately misrepresented certain aspects of the property or misled the buyer as to why he was selling the home. This however isn't going to help the buyer deal with criminal aspects or disruptive neighbours.
It's highly advisable for buyers to gather as much information regarding the property before they decides to buy, rather than to complain once they have taken occupation.