As a vendor is it reasonable to ask to see relevant parts of survey for renegotiation purposes?

(32 Posts)
JulieAnderton Tue 08-Oct-13 14:54:03

Our buyer recently had a survey done. I think it was a Homebuyer's Report, but originally the estate agent had said it was a full building survey, so I'm not 100% sure.

Our buyer wanted to bring a plumber over to look at something specified in the survey. No problem at all, except that she turned up with three of her friends, two of whom may or may not have been qualified plumbers (they didn't show any form of ID or business cards etc).

They spent half an hour or so having a general look around - both inside and outside the property and at our garage en bloc which we are also selling.

The following day I had a call from my estate agent saying that the buyer had contacted them and mentioned the following defects:

- Damp found in a wall, most likely caused by cracks in the grouting between tiles and water seeping through. The buyer has said that the wall needs replastering. We have actually rectified the problem (by regrouting) and the wall on the other side is completely smooth and not bubbled up.

- Rubber seals around the double glazed windows to be replaced.

- Unspecified work to the garage.

For this our buyer wants £10k off the price! But she is willing to "meet halfway", so £5k.

Am I being unreasonable to think that there is no way on earth the work she says needs doing will cost £5k (let alone £10k) so would like to see what the survey says? Before going any further with negotiations I'm also going to insist on specialist quotes written on headed paper so I can be sure she hasn't just plucked figures from thin air?

birdybear Tue 08-Oct-13 14:58:31

if you don't want to give any more money off them don't ! they may be genuine but they may not. what matters is do you want to sell at the price they offered or do you want to see if you say no to the proposed cut whether or not they say they don't want it then , and how would you feel about that?

blimey, that sentence is terrible grammar but do you get what i mean?!

lalalonglegs Tue 08-Oct-13 14:59:02

I think you're justified in asking, whether or not she will agree is another thing. People are funny about showing their surveys.

DorrisM Tue 08-Oct-13 14:59:15

Ask for a copy of the relevant parts of the survey, they may not want you to have the whole thing. Ask what the surveyor valued the property at, if it's the price they agreed then they don't have much argument unless it says subject to work being done. You don't have to agree to anything, but they could pull out. Your agent should be helping you.

I don't think unless your house is only a couple of years old that those are things that would mean the offer price should be reduced.

We moved into a house that was 6 years old and had to do more than that and took it as just general wear and tear and maintenance.

She is swinging the lead in my opinion.

JulieAnderton Tue 08-Oct-13 15:08:08

Our EA is being helpful - I asked him yesterday whether he could get hold of the relevant parts of the survey for us. He said he would try. I wanted to get an idea from Mumsnet whether it was a reasonable thing to ask for in this situation as I know that some people can be funny about revealing what it says in their survey and whether it was something I could insist on if she refuses. Even if our EA got to see it (rather than us) that would be helpful.

Good point about seeing what the surveyor valued the property at. I hadn't thought about that.

I'd be happy to reduce the price a little bit for any genuine defects, but I'm not prepared for a £5k reduction!

These are not defects that you need to reduce the price for Julie.

Snowgirl1 Tue 08-Oct-13 15:19:08

If there is damp, you may be able to claim under your home insurance to get any necessary repairs done, rather than reduce the price.

Buyers of our last house asked for a reduction in the price to get repairs done to the drains. We got our home insurer to send out a drains surveyor on the basis that if work did need done, we would get it done under our home insurance - we would not give a price reduction, we would get it fixed for them. Our drains surveyor said there was no work required. But if you go down this route, bear in mind that if there is work needed you may lose your home insurance 'no claims discount'.

JulieAnderton Tue 08-Oct-13 15:26:55

Thank you - we also thought that we could perhaps do any works ourselves/claim on insurance.

It has crossed my mind that she quite fancies having a new kitchen (ours is, admittedly,rather old and shabby, but you can cook meals and store food/crockery in there!) and putting patio doors in. I'm not going to pay for her to do these things; we could have done them ourselves years ago and got the benefit!

PestoSpookissimos Tue 08-Oct-13 15:30:31

I don't think it is reasonable, because the prospective purchaser has forked out for a survey for their own use. You are both on different 'sides' in the house buying/selling process.

If you want to disprove anything in the purchaser's survey, you should get one of your own.

mistlethrush Tue 08-Oct-13 15:33:18

It is a bit like saying 'we don't like your wall paper so you're going to have to knock £2k off the asking price to get it how we want it'. Unless there's something major or that needs remedial work pdq, its usually not something that you need to take money off for. Perhaps the rubber seals might be better replaced - but if they're doing their job now, that's all you need to worry about. Damp - you've dealt with. Unspecified works to the garage - well that's up to them if they want to spend it - if the door works and the roof isn't about to cave in....

Twiddlebum Tue 08-Oct-13 15:34:33

Christ, this buyer would have a heart attack if they saw the survey on our house!! The stuff they are quoting is surely stuff that you just accept?? A wall about to fall down, major cracks, rewireing needed ect etc ok, but seals around a window?? Seriously? Tell her to do one!! Has anyone ever has a survey where ther has been nothing at all on it? I very much doubt it! Even on a new build!

SpecialJK Tue 08-Oct-13 16:05:48

I agree completely with mistlethrush. These aren't major works and are really part and parcel of buying an older property. You have to accept it won't be perfect and always allow some budget to fix things. If the damp problem has been rectified it's up to her whether she cosmetically wants to improve it.

personally I'd only consider reducing the price for things like dry rot, roof problems, significant damp e.g. rising damp (and not something that would be fixed by e.g. repairing gutter) full rewire, central heating not working, structural issues etc

soverylucky Tue 08-Oct-13 16:12:55

You don't have to do anything. They have had a survey, they have identified things that they want doing, they have come up with an idea of cost. If I were you, unless they made you a very generous offer in the first place I would say that you are not budging on the price. It is up to them then. They can either walk away or buy and pay for any works themselves.

handcream Tue 08-Oct-13 16:24:27

Now that they have PAID to have a survey done they are serious about buying your house. Before then you just had to take their word that they wanted it and they could have pulled out at no cost.

So, you have got an advantage. If you refuse to reduce then they have effectively lost the cost of their survey but I agree with others. No survey comes out saying nothing needs to be done!

It also surprises me just how many people come to see a potential new house (or for a day out to look around other people's houses!).

When we were looking to sell the highest number was 10 in one visit (I joke not!). They were just everywhere and the poor agent didnt know who to follow around.

JulieAnderton Tue 08-Oct-13 17:20:58

I think our buyer (first time buyer, if it makes a difference) might be panicking a bit about every single thing that the survey picked up on, regardless of whether it is urgent/imperative to the house staying up!

She does seem to be all over the place - originally she said that she wanted a plumber to look at something, so I fully expected the bath panel and/or the cupboard under the kitchen sink to be taken off or opened for a specific issue to be looked at in detail. Neither of those things happened and instead they had a mosey around. One of the things our buyer seemed concerned about during her visit wasn't even mentioned to the estate agent when she presented her list of supposed defects.

She very much seems to be clutching at straws and can't quite decide what, if anything, is wrong with the place.

I have asked the ea to see if they can get a copy of the parts of the report that detail urgent things that require further investigation and following on from that written quotes on headed paper from qualified/specialist tradespeople.

handcream Tue 08-Oct-13 17:35:00

First time buyers are a nervous bunch. They have a survey and then presume that they need to knock some money off because of all the 'defects'. Most of us who have done it more than once recognise that when a boiler is stated as needing replacment in the future that it doesnt mean the next day or even the next year!

I often watch Location, Location. It staggers me that people look for years dissmissing properties as 'too expensive' and then wondering why there is nothing around.

Also, there are people on the selling side who dismiss all offers under say £150k because they need £155k for the new house! What has that got to do with any of your buyers! Your house will sell for the price it will sell at.

BellaI Tue 08-Oct-13 23:28:27

We tried to re-negotiate after survey but mainly because the valuation was a lot lower. We attached the surveys as proof. It's fallen through now though and I've noticed they are doing done if the repairs our survey identified!

mistlethrush Tue 08-Oct-13 23:52:50

Our survey told us we needed a new fusebox. We sorted that out last year - 9 years after moving... blush

iamusuallybeingunreasonable Wed 09-Oct-13 06:43:51

Oh my gosh, are you me, same scenario here, we are being driven insane by out ftb's wants and needs... So on Sunday after receiving a huge email detailing her wish list we went back to the EA and said ultimatum time, buy it as is, or we remarket, house is now back on the market and still had no response from her on what she is doing but we do have 4 viewings for Saturday.

I'm at tipping point, these people have a brass neck as long as your arm and font mind taking liberties, you have to wrestle the situation back, your not giving your house away to them are you, good luck x

Longdistance Wed 09-Oct-13 06:59:40

She sounds like she's trying it on. I'd be tempted to tell her to bog off, but I'm not desperate to sell my house...yet.

iamusuallybeingunreasonable Wed 09-Oct-13 08:04:29

Ps, I asked for the survey and after much in the way of charades we got it, and like we thought its a case of trying it on, unless there's something to hide I wouldn't have a problem sharing it, ask for it

Mandy21 Wed 09-Oct-13 08:46:11

I agree, she is trying it on. You can say you were well aware that the house wasn't in pristine / newly renovated condition and that was reflected in the original asking price. It also depends what you're marketing the property for, and what she has offered (i.e. how much of a "hit" have you already taken). A 35k reduction on a £1 million house isn't much of a reduction at this stage smile but £5k of a property on at £100k is obviously different!

It also depends on how much interest you had previously / any previous offers and how desperate you are to sell. Are prices going up where you are? If she walks away for the sake of £5k, will there be another buyer to jump in her place, or will it cost you more than £5k in the long run if you lose a property you're buying / there might be a delay of a few months and your next house might be a bit more expensive? Subject to all of that, I'd tell her to take a running jump. I'd be tempted to get your estate agent to do his job – tell her that any property will come with defects – some (such as the ones she's identified) are simply down to wear and tear and on going maintenance.

RCheshire Wed 09-Oct-13 09:16:55

It's all pretty irrelevant what the buyer's supposed reasons are, just what price the two of you are finally willing to agree on.

If the surveyor's valuation is actually lower The you potentially both have a problem. If notnot them one of two things are happening: the buyer is freaked by the survey in which case you may be able to reassure them, or they are simply trying to renegotiate on price, in which case it's down to the game of how much they want it vs do you want to sell.

JulieAnderton Wed 09-Oct-13 09:20:52

Luckily our EA seems to be very much on our side - when I spoke to him yesterday he said that he is always astounded when people vastly overestimate how much small repair jobs cost. He also said that he almost fell off his chair when she initially requested the £10k reduction.

We're just playing it cool for now and have asked the buyer (through the EA) to back up her claims as to what needs doing with evidence from the survey and/or written quotes.

Prices are going up in our area (SE London), we had loads of interest when it was first on the market back in July (10 or 11 viewings in less than two weeks and three lots of people putting in offers/counter offers).

We want to move asap, but don't actually need to. The vendor of the house we're buying isn't buying anywhere else at the moment so we're in effect the end of chain, so we won't be messing anyone else around if we do decide to re-market.

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