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Should seller contribute to additional surveys?

(47 Posts)
Brian9600 Sun 21-Jun-20 16:07:12

We’re in the process of buying a house and have just had the survey back. The house dates from around 1700 so we were expecting some issues but unfortunately it has two very serious issues- there was apparently a botched renovation in the 90s during which the wrong sort of render was applied. As a result damp has become trapped in the timber frame which may have damaged it. The render needs removing and replacing. The septic tank also needs replacement and may need relocating.

Our surveyor has told us not to proceed without specialist reports on the render and drainage.

We will need to agree an adjustment to the price to take account of all this work- don’t yet know how much but substantial.

Haven’t spoken to the agent yet as the survey only arrived today. We really like the house so would ideally like to proceed but we do need to get to the bottom of these issues and adjust the price.

The specialist reports will cost a few thousand. Would you expect the seller to contribute To this cost at all? I’m worried that we might pay for the reports and then find the seller won’t move on the price, in which case the money spent on the reports will be wasted.

Obviously a lot comes down to how keen they are to sell v how keen we are to buy. The house has been on the market for a while and they do want to sell, plus these issues would come up again with another buyer. We’re not in a chain and could just walk away, but we do really like the house so would prefer not to.

Has anyone been in the situation? What do you think is reasonable?

OP’s posts: |
Alsohuman Sun 21-Jun-20 16:11:31

As the potential seller of a house that age (no septic tank), why would I pay for your negotiating tool which will mean my losing money? I’d be prepared to negotiate on the basis of three quotes for the work that might need doing but I definitely wouldn’t pay towards surveys. Not many people would.

smoodgy Sun 21-Jun-20 16:12:30

Seller should not and will not contribute towards something that will result in a lower house price. Why on earth would they do that?

You’ve agreed a price - if they are then buying somewhere they will need that money for their purchase also. Do surveys so you know how much you can expect to spend on the house.

GarlicSoup Sun 21-Jun-20 16:12:54

Alsohuman

As the potential seller of a house that age (no septic tank), why would I pay for your negotiating tool which will mean my losing money? I’d be prepared to negotiate on the basis of three quotes for the work that might need doing but I definitely wouldn’t pay towards surveys. Not many people would.

^
This

Brian9600 Sun 21-Jun-20 16:13:54

Thanks, that’s helpful. There’s no way we can proceed without an adjusted price- it’s that or walk away.

OP’s posts: |
Alsohuman Sun 21-Jun-20 16:19:06

Then you need to get quotes for removing and replacing the render and for replacing and relocating the septic tank and negotiate with the seller on the basis of those costs.

Brian9600 Sun 21-Jun-20 16:21:14

Alsohuman

Then you need to get quotes for removing and replacing the render and for replacing and relocating the septic tank and negotiate with the seller on the basis of those costs.

Yes, but we need the reports first, according to our surveyor.

OP’s posts: |
dontgobaconmyheart Sun 21-Jun-20 16:24:03

I'd just walk away OP to be honest. Getting tradesmen at the moment is very tricky and none of ours can get the materials needed to complete the job. If we go into second lockdown later in the year, you'll be just as stuck.

You can ask them to contribute but they are under no obligation to, legally or morally and I can't see why they would. It is up to you to weigh up how much you want it, find the surveyors and you still risk the seller refusing any adjusted offer nonetheless.

Could you do some digging with the vendor or estate agent prior to see what their bottom line is (they won't be likely to tell you the truth) but some indication might be helpful. You need to get several quotes for any of the works that would be required before you suggest a price drop. A survey by itself is not the same as quotes for the work and usually the way it works, when it works, is to take an average of the 3 or so quotes, then divide the cost up between buyer and seller.

Alsohuman Sun 21-Jun-20 16:25:52

Has it not occurred to you that the surveyor has a vested interest in this and is after more business, either for themselves or one of their chums? If the vendor decided to have the work done, they wouldn’t pay for an expensive survey first.

Queenunikitty Sun 21-Jun-20 16:29:03

I would just walk away now. Sorry.

IAintentDead Sun 21-Jun-20 16:30:20

Surveyors nearly always recommend more reports.
Much better, I think, getting prices to do the job.
You can then negotiate on this basis.
Getting more surveyors in is additional cost and you may still have to walk away if you can't agree a reduction

Brian9600 Sun 21-Jun-20 16:30:29

That’s very helpful- thank you, Bacon. I suspect we’d need to walk away even with a 50-50 split as the additional cost is likely to be really substantial.

OP’s posts: |
milienhaus Sun 21-Jun-20 16:30:55

When we bought at the end of last year we split the cost of a follow up survey with the seller ... but the issue was something they already knew about so it wasn’t a surprise. We bought at a reduced price but the reduction was a compromise (ie not the full cost we had quoted).

Brian9600 Sun 21-Jun-20 16:31:22

Thank you, all.

OP’s posts: |
Brian9600 Sun 21-Jun-20 16:31:47

milienhaus

When we bought at the end of last year we split the cost of a follow up survey with the seller ... but the issue was something they already knew about so it wasn’t a surprise. We bought at a reduced price but the reduction was a compromise (ie not the full cost we had quoted).

Thank you

OP’s posts: |
Flyingagainstreason Sun 21-Jun-20 16:32:08

Did they do the work?

BlusteryLake Sun 21-Jun-20 16:35:52

It is a tricky one. All properties of that age are going to have some sorts of issues. If you are in the market specifically for a very old property, then I guess you need to weigh up how much you want this one. You will probably be recommended to carry out additional surveys with any old property so it's really a case of whether you spend the money on this one or the next one. They are absolute money pits!

Pipandmum Sun 21-Jun-20 16:40:04

Have to say I'm not impressed by the so called 'specislists'. I bought a basement flat a couple years ago and survey indicated damp, so I got a damp guy in to have a look. I wasn't too sure if I would use him to do the work, so we negotiated a fee (£85) which would go towards the cost of repair if I did. I got the seller to pay half his quoted repair (a few thousand). But you really do not know the extent of the work required until the plaster is off and you can see what's going on underneath, and the seller may not allow any damage to their walls - it turned out I had wet rot spread through half the place but most was hidden behind tiles, though actually the repair was cheaper than the original quote.
I'm surprised your specialist report would cost thousands, but is the house listed? Does that make a difference in that you need to get a historical expert in? As for the septic tank surely there's a ballpark figure for replacement and moving - just get a quote for the job, I shouldn't have thought that would cost anything.
As for your actual question: no, I would not expect the vendor to pay for any reports that you would use to renegotiate the price. Old buildings are real money pits.

WanderleyWagon Sun 21-Jun-20 16:40:14

As someone who has bought and sold a few times I would not expect to contribute to sellers' surveys (unless perhaps it was a crazy buyers' market, which I don't think it is atm)

I'd either walk away now, or invest the necessary money in doing the surveys. Think of the surveys as an investment to reduce your risk in buying the property - even if they are expensive, they should help you avoid buying a money pit.

fedupandlookingforchange Sun 21-Jun-20 16:43:06

As a seller I wouldn't pay for additional surveys for the potential buyer.
The issue with surveys is they list every issue and potential issue in a long list.
Old houses have problems, you can spend a fortune and cure one problem for another to appear. Some things you just have to live with and accept are part of old houses. Septic tanks/ small sewerage treatment plants can also be rather expensive to both install and maintain.

eurochick Sun 21-Jun-20 16:43:46

In my experience surveyors pretty much always recommend additional surveys. You take a view on whether you want to do them or not. If you do, you pay. As others have said, why would the sellers pay for something to help you negotiate against them?

BlueJava Sun 21-Jun-20 17:07:17

I wouldn't expect the sellers to pay for additional surveys, however if you get a survey done and quotes for remediating work then you could negotiate on price. However, if the timber frame of the house has become rotten in places I'd really be considering whether I liked it that much and would consider pulling out and looking at other properties.

Floatyboat Sun 21-Jun-20 17:09:17

Its a negotiation. One approach would be to request them to demonstrate that the work is satisfactory.

Floatyboat Sun 21-Jun-20 17:10:48

How much would rectifying the issue cost? Ballpark. 10k? maybe just take that off the offer price and see what they say.

KeepingPlain Sun 21-Jun-20 17:15:37

I'd run, not walk. Why would you want to buy a house with issues like that? There are plenty of other houses out there, that just seems like a ton of issues that could end up (and likely will end up) costing way more than you're quoted. You'll never be able to get insurance to pay it either, you will. Do you have the savings for that?

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