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Caveat emptor is a Latin phrase meaning “let the buyer beware.”

The phrase stands for the commercial principle that the buyer alone is responsible for assessing the quality of a purchase before buying. This axiom or principle is sometimes understood to mean that, absent a warranty, the buyer assumes the risk of defects in the item sold. It is therefore incumbent upon the buyer to thoroughly inspect any goods or services prior to purchase.

“Under the doctrine of caveat emptor, the buyer was unable to receive compensation from the seller for defects on the property that rendered the property unfit for ordinary purposes.”