There is an age-old saying in the real estate industry – "caveat emptor." If you're about to buy a new property, you would be well advised to keep this Italian phrase in the back of your mind which, loosely translated, means "buyer beware." While most sellers (and their agents) are above board and honest, you will come across some that may not be. Furthermore, you may actually come across individuals who are acting in good faith, but not in possession of all the facts. This is why you must get a pre-purchase inspection report, without question.
It's easy to fall in love with a new house, especially if you come across one that happens to tick all the boxes and be everything that you were looking for. It's relatively easy for a seller to cover up any defects, should they have malicious intent, by painting or otherwise adding value right before your visit. This may mask any defects or problems with damp or hide any signs of pest infestation. You may be enamoured with the prospect as it is and even more impressed by the good value offered, but you can't see beneath the surface.
Helps With Clarification
While this may be a worst-case scenario, a pre-purchase inspection report will also help all parties to clarify points in the negotiation and get ready to draw up a contract of sale. You may be aware of certain defects and might want the seller to fix these before you take ownership, or you may want to negotiate the price to take this into account. Either way, you need to have a report compiled by an experienced building inspector, as a basis for this negotiation.
On the other hand, you may be buying a property for commercial reasons. For example, you might want to set up a restaurant and will want to ensure that the building is fully suited for that purpose. It's your responsibility to ensure that the building is "up to code" and you may have to get an inspection report anyway, to satisfy your insurers.
All parties need to be as transparent as possible to avoid any issues in the future. There is a lot riding on your investment, and you will need to gather as much paperwork as you can, to ensure this goes as smoothly as possible. Remember, you may not be able to do much after the contract is signed if you come across something that would have been revealed during such an inspection.