A latent defect is a potential problem that may be invisible at the time a buyer purchases a property. This is the primary reason that a potential buyer should have a thorough inspection of the property done prior to purchasing. It is advisable for the buyer to use a professional home inspection company to avoid any problems after the sale. In order to protect themselves from any latent defect such as termite damage, the buyers should insist on including a clause in the sales contract prior to purchase. This protects the buyer from any defect not disclosed by the seller and allows for recovery of damages. The buyer can only expect to recover damages if the seller knowingly misrepresents the property condition, blocks an inspection or lies about problems. If a buyer suspects problems but goes ahead and completes the transaction anyway, the seller will not be held accountable.