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When buying a house, would you hope to recoup the cost of the survey by finding ways to lower the asking price?

(37 Posts)
fliptopbin Thu 07-Dec-17 08:51:46

We are currently selling our first house and buying a new one. We gotvthe standard home buyers survey, and it came up with a few niggling things, e.g. decor a little outdated in some rooms, a crack in one of the small interior panes of glass in the porch, but nothing major, so we are happy to proceed. Our buyers are going for the structural survey, which is fair enough as our house has been substantially renovated.We know that there will not be any nasty surprises as we have renovated the house to a very high standard.
However, when I spoke to my mum about this, she said that because the structural survey costs £750 the buyers will probably want to recoup that cost by using the survey as a reason to drop the asking price. For example, we know that a tile came off the roof two weeks ago in the bad weather. We are having it repaired next week at a cost of £40 (we couldn't get it repaired any sooner due to bad weather.)There will probably be a few other niggly things which we could have sorted out if we had more than 2 days notice of the survey, but that is another story.I guess my question is: would they be being cheeky fuckers if they recouped the cost of the survey by finding reasons to knock the price off the asking price, or are we being mugs for not lowering the asking price on our new house due to a cracked tile on the front of the house and a cracked pane of glass?

LaBelleSausage Thu 07-Dec-17 08:54:34

Absolutely not. You choose what level of survey you want and I assume you're comfortable to pay that price.
You have to be prepared to write off the cost fully if you walk away so you'd be a real CF to start quibbling over cracked tiles etc.
It's just one of the costs of home buying

Amanduh Thu 07-Dec-17 08:56:44

Everyone pays for the survey they want. I've never known anyone want to recoup the cost. It's just that, a cost for everyone.

MiraiDevant Thu 07-Dec-17 08:58:54

Depends on the people, the nature of the defect and the price.

In the end the house will sell for whatever someone will pay for it.

The survey is really just to make sure that you are not buying a pig in a poke but there will be some who will use it to try and negotiate a better price.

If they want the house they will pay what it is worth to them.

If they are difficult buyers they'll always find something to bring up as an issue. Agree to fix the problems if they ask.

They are small things I wouldn't worry. (If it brings up a huge problem like poor building work then I would get your own surveyor in for a second opinion before agreeing to any discounts)

Rebeccaslicker Thu 07-Dec-17 09:00:12

If the survey is clean enough, they'll either be the kind of people who try to chip you, or they won't. It won't be the cost of the survey, it'll be their nature!

thecatfromjapan Thu 07-Dec-17 09:00:27

We didn't. Nor did the people we sold to.

It probably depends on what the housing market in your part of the country is like. And what the people you sell to are like.

Basically, if the market is quite strong in your area, and you have no pressing need to sell, people are probably less likely to do anything to make you pull out and put the house on the market again.

If the market is very sluggish, and you're desperate for a sale, and you were lucky getting a sale, some people will use that as leverage to push the price down further. Only some people, though.

RadioGaGoo Thu 07-Dec-17 09:00:39

I payed £500 for a structural survey and pulled out on the conclusion of the report. The report just confirmed concerns I had. It's irritating to loose £500, but no where near as bad as the cost associated with buying a bad property.

LIZS Thu 07-Dec-17 09:02:06

It is an incidental cost of house buying, so should be budgeted for.

ChocolateButton15 Thu 07-Dec-17 09:06:30

No the thought would never occur to me to do this. Getting a structural survey is just to make sure there's no nasty surprises, I wouldn't expect to recoup the money. But as others said there's always cheeky/difficult buyers.

Lunenburg Thu 07-Dec-17 09:06:31

Absolutely not.

I would be pricing my house to sell, fully aware of any defects and factoring them in.

If they tried to reduce the price based on survey it would go straight back onto the market.

Unless, of course, the survey picked up something serious that I wasn't aware of. In that situation I would probably offer to do the work to rectify, rather than reduce price.

I have been in this position twice and both times stood my ground. If a buyer wants to play that game it normally hints at further price reduction games later in the process.

hamptonhangingpork Thu 07-Dec-17 09:06:42

I wouldn't expect a vendor to sub my survey, nor would I expect to sub someone else's.

However, the defects found within said survey may for the basis of negotiating the house sale down (depending on the defects and area). If the survey says there is condensation on a wall, I wouldn't reduce. If a survey says there is signs of rising damp and wet rot, you may need to investigate and price accordingly due to the potential costs of rectifying it. Again, depending on the price of your house and how fast sales move in your area.

If a buyer came in demanding I pay their survey costs, you know they are going to mess you around until completion trying to get money off or free things thrown in. And then they would inevitably be in touch months after sale. "Oh, we've had the boiler serviced. Pay it." etc.

Use your discretion as a seller when negotiating basically.

listsandbudgets Thu 07-Dec-17 09:07:12

Our buyer tried to drop her offer verysubstantially after her survey. We asked to see a copy of the report which she refused. We told her in that case she should walk away and we would keep the house and rent it out. It was a gamble but it paid off and she paid her orignal offer. We were in an unusually strong position though as the bank had given us a bridging loan over 3 years at fairly low interest so we had already bought the property we wanted.

We later found out from the estate agent that the reason she didnt want us to see the report was because the valuation said the price was right evem given the repairs required.

So in short yes it can happen but if you can bear to stand firm

FlouncyDoves Thu 07-Dec-17 09:10:30

I think it depends how you look at it.

I wouldn’t look to recoup the survey costs as such, but if, for example, the boiler was condemned I might ask for a contribution by way of a reduction in the price towards a new boiler.

The seller would be within their right to refuse this, and then you’d have to negotiate.

As a seller I wouldn’t reduce my price for a cracked tile that needs replacing.

pilates Thu 07-Dec-17 09:10:38

In the circumstances you have described, no I wouldn’t.

thecatsthecats Thu 07-Dec-17 09:14:05

This is why I got homebuyers insurance. If our survey had revealed defects that we didn't know about, that would require significant work, then we could recoup the cost of the survey through the insurance if the vendors wouldn't budge on price.

A house that would be worth £200k with a functioning roof isn't worth £200k if the roof needs replacing, and that hasn't been taken into account when pricing and bidding.

A survey is supposed to pick out things you couldn't necessarily see for yourself, or understand the implications of. Dated decor is only a problem if a) you don't like it or b) it's worn out (or c) it indicates nothing else in the house has been looked after).

FlouncyDoves Thu 07-Dec-17 09:16:02

Yeah. I don’t see how you could reduce the price because you don’t like the wall paper. Cracked pane of glass? Maybe. But would you bother for the £50 it’ll cost to replace?

I got the price of my house reduced due to damp issues. Still trying to put those right now. And so far it’s cost more than the reduction we got anyway.

CotswoldStrife Thu 07-Dec-17 09:17:37

Well perhaps your mother would look to recoup the cost but I've not known anyone else who would do that hmm

If the survey is because they suspect issues with the house then they may well ask for a reduction if work is needed, but not to get the money back on the survey!

LoveYouTimMinchin Thu 07-Dec-17 09:20:58

Why don't you wait and see what happens rather than listen to your mother (who doesn't know what she's talking about).

newmumwithquestions Thu 07-Dec-17 09:26:23

We got a structural survey on the last house because we knew there’d been shoddy work.
We offered knowing that there was work to re-do it, but that it should be largely cosmetic.
The survey flagged roughly £15k worth of work. Most we knew about. Something we didn’t and I negotiated £2k off to do that specific thing (it’ll cost us a bit more than that to do it, maybe 3 or 4K max).

An odd tile wouldn’t make me bat an eyelid. I wouldn’t even expect you to fix it (but it’s nice that you are).

fliptopbin Thu 07-Dec-17 12:22:22

OP here. My mother has some rather odd views on many things. Its good to hear from impartial people that this is one of her weirder views. Just have to see what happens now. I spent the morning sitting in a cafe while the survey was happening.

Rebeccaslicker Thu 07-Dec-17 13:16:13

If they find anything significant you'll hear in the next couple of days. Otherwise expect to hear nothing as they read it and get their searches and report on title done. It's rather nail biting if you're keen to sell!

Lucisky Thu 07-Dec-17 13:42:05

I pulled out (at the speed of light!) after a really bad survey on a potential property, and I still breathe a sigh of relief as it would have bankrupted me if I'd bought it. It was money very well spent. I would never buy any property without a full survey, which can be expensive, but also very illuminating. It is not a cost I would expect to recoup.

IF362525 Thu 07-Dec-17 14:01:27

Someone tried their luck on this with me once!. was totally pissed off with them as their were no valid reasons. They were just trying it on. I just agreed on a reduction and then pulled out 4 weeks down the line before exchanging contracts. Served em right for taking the piss.

Rebeccaslicker Thu 07-Dec-17 14:05:51

You might not need a full structural survey on a flat in a well maintained block where the landlord would be responsible for things like the roof. But for a small block where you'd be paying a large proportion of any repairs or for a house it's an absolute must!

Coloursthatweremyjoy Thu 07-Dec-17 14:10:34

When we bought this house we paid for the full survey...apparently (according to their estate agent) most people just pick the cheapest survey.

We didn't recoup the cost of it. The house price was lowered due to the problems it highlighted! They thought everything was done to a high standard as well...

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