Caveat Emptor no more

April 1st, 2020

Our Principal, Chris Curtis, attended a huge API webinar recently discussing the API’s Protocols dealing with valuing assets which are difficult/impossible to inspect physically given COVID-19.

Sadly, it’s an inside the square approach that could see asset values collapse.
Virtual will never replace actual inspections.

A fast paradigm shift is needed.

Banks will not lend on valuations disclaiming the number tomorrow because of “market uncertainty” today.

Credit will just freeze.

So too trying to get access to properties on sworn promises that no one has been in contact with a person subject to a quarantine order etc.

No AAPI or building inspector has a proper basis for such a statement making it misleading and actionable. As with combustible cladding, those are risks no PI insurer will touch.

We need to think laterally and mandate three long overdue changes:
1.  Expand vendor disclosure obligations. No more caveat emptor. If you want to sell a property with defects, disclose or be sued.
2.  No more confidential prices. Real time, mandatory reporting of all sales. If not, with fewer transactions and no ‘transparent’ auctions,
valuers will have no sales evidence so banks won’t lend and properties won’t trade.
3.  Use this new era to digitise conveyances and save trees.
#itsnotallbad