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Tell me, how usual is it to do this - renegotiate the price

(16 Posts)
Goodwordguide Tue 29-Jan-13 09:35:51

We had an offer accepted on a house late last year. It's a big old house so we had a full survey which noted lots of issues - some urgent (crumbling wall, broken guttering, woodworm), some not. We've had several tradesmen round to quote for the work, which, in total would be ££££. We want to ask for the cost of the most urgent work off the agreed price (which was under the asking price) - this will still be thousands. It's all building/remedial work, no decorative stuff.

Is this reasonable? Will it really irritate the vendors ie, will they think we are trying to gazunder them at a relatively late stage? I think we are in a strong position as they are very keen to sell for various reasons plus we are reaady to exchange once this issue is decided. I don't want to piss them off though.

wendybird77 Tue 29-Jan-13 09:53:52

Of course you can renegotiate. That is why you get the survey - if it throws up issues not visible on the viewing it is perfectly reasonable to renegotiate. As ever though, the vendors don't have to agree. I'm sure they will be annoyed, but not your fault they haven't kept the house up to a good state of repair and you will have to do these necessary works straight away.

lalalonglegs Tue 29-Jan-13 09:54:27

Completely reasonable but remember (a) the vendor doesn't have to reduce the price (b) they may only part-subsidise the work - so if the urgent work costs #10k, they might offer #5k reduction. It's hard to know how irritated the vendors will be, in older houses there is always going to be work needed so it depends how realistic they are being. They might ask to see the survey and they might want to know how much the house has been valued at. If it is as much as your offer (and you tell them) then they could say that they aren't going to reduce. If you have a lender and they retain some money until urgent work is completed, that puts you in a stronger position, it is seen as less of a tactic to get money off, iyswim.

lalalonglegs Tue 29-Jan-13 09:55:02


ValentineWiggins Tue 29-Jan-13 09:58:51

There are polite ways to do it and the way our buyers did (demand the money off 30 mins before close of business on day of exchange)...don't do that! As a seller what I would have preferred would have been if our buyers had come round with a bottle of wine/cake/whatever, showed us the survey and the quotes and then said something like "I'm sure you understand that we can't afford to do this now unless we reduce the price, would you consider splitting the cost of this work with us?". But don't say it unless you are REALLY willing to pull out over it!

This would have worked much better with us (they would actually have got more off the price than they ended up with)...

Toomuchtea Tue 29-Jan-13 10:02:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Goodwordguide Tue 29-Jan-13 10:16:15

It's tricky - most of the work is not visible eg, to do with the roof. It was the surveyor who picked up on the work though we weren't very surprised as it is old. The owners have done no maintenance and so it's in a worse state than it might have been if they'd done some basic upkeep. Guttering you could see, roof & brickwork less os as it's way above eye level.

We got under asking but it's a very stagnant market (this paticular town) and there's no comparable properties so it's difficult to say how fairly priced it is.

I'm rubbish at confrontation and the vendors seem very nice so I don't want to be difficult - at the same time, we're makling a substantial purchase so I'm trying to be pragmatic.

specialsubject Tue 29-Jan-13 10:18:28

it is a house purchase, not a charity gift. If you buy it you will need to spend this money. The place is worth what you are willing to pay.

your call. but whatever you do, do it quickly.

NinjaChipmunk Tue 29-Jan-13 10:22:41

I would renegotiate as pp's have said above. Maybe reiterate that you will be ready to exchange as soon as this is resolved as it reinforces the fact that you want it.

Toomuchtea Tue 29-Jan-13 10:26:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Goodwordguide Tue 29-Jan-13 11:42:26

Good point, thanks - the surveyor didn't value it, the mortgage people did, at the price we offered I assume, though he was rubbish as he didn't note the very obvious signs of movement - both the engineer and the surveyor reckoned it was a drive-by.

Valuing it is very difficult as this house is of a different age/style/size to the surrounding streets. The vendors are also very keen to sell and they have already acquiesced to our below-asking price offer - I'm just not sure whether this is enough to account for all the ££££ we're going to have to spend immediately.

sheeplikessleep Tue 29-Jan-13 11:46:04

We did this with our first house.
The survey came back saying it wasn't worth what we were paying for it, hence we couldn't get a mortgage for that amount.
The vendor dropped to what it said it was worth in the survey.

I know different situation, but I do think it helped that we had it written down on 'paper'. Can you give the vendors a copy of the survey and ask to renegotiate on price. I think that's totally acceptable. But, they don't have to agree. Depends whether you're prepared to take the risk?

lalalonglegs Tue 29-Jan-13 11:50:56

As a rule of thumb, you can renegotiate on things that weren't obvious when you put in your offer so (unless you're buying the house as a complete wreck and the price reflects it), I'd say you should have notices broken guttering (which isn't a huge repair unless it all has to be done in cast iron) but you don't have the expertise to recognise woodworm or that wall is structurally damaged in some way. Do you know a reliable builder who can give you a quote so that you can have firm figures to work with rather than say guestimate amount.

Goodwordguide Tue 29-Jan-13 12:01:51

Yes, builder has given us quotes and we're happy to share the survey. The guttering would be £2.5k for cast-iron replica plastic, full replacement, though this doesn't include cost of scaffolding (which would be used for roof and brick work as well).

I don't think we'd ask for guttering costs.

I'm very tempted not to ask for anything in case it rocks the boat but I think would be foolish really given the sums involved.

Mamf74 Tue 29-Jan-13 12:04:19

We did this with our current house; made an offer (subject to survey) then renegotiated it once the survey had come in.

The survey said that the house was at the top end of the expected price, and needed a lot of work doing to it, mostly structural & rewiring. We asked the estate agent if the vendors would allow builders to come in & quote which they did (to a point; there is an issue with a floor and they wouldn't allow carpets up etc).

We provided the estate agent with a revised offer, we wrote it all down in an email, showing how much the builders had quoted for the work and literally only took that money off - eg the whole place needed redecoration but that wasn't part of the renegotiated price as we could see that when we made the initial offer.

The biggest shock was that it became clear the Agents hadn't kept the vendor informed as to what we were doing OR they were playing a fast one and thought we would end up paying more than the new figure as they were quite unhelpful. It was only when we told them we were pulling out and asked for details of rentals etc that they advised the vendor to accept our offer. I still think that the builders came in without the vendor's knowledge!

Mosman Tue 29-Jan-13 12:07:01

The biggest alarm bells in the world should have been ringing for me when the agent told me that our offer had been accepted but that it was final and there would be no post survey negotiation. How I wish we'd run for the hills !!!!

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