Caveat Emptor

Caveat emptor is a Latin phrase meaning let the buyer beware. Today, caveat emptor is mostly used in property law concerning real estate deals after the closing date. Under this principle, a buyer cannot recover damages from a seller for property defects if the property is unfit for use. The only exception occurs if a seller actively seeks to withhold or conceal information prior to the sale, amounting to fraud. In the United States today, a new trend is arising concerning new homes. It is called the Implied Warranty of Fitness. It deems that if a seller-builder sells a home to someone, then the buyer has a reasonable assumption that the home will be fit for use. In all other circumstances, caveat emptor still applies. The principle caveat venditor, or let the seller beware, suggests that a seller can be deceived in transactions as well. It encourages them to make high-quality products to guard themselves against unreasonable consumers.