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House Survey near completion of the contract?!

(10 Posts)
mumjimmer Thu 13-Mar-14 16:43:43

Hi all,
We are in the process of selling our house.
We have accepted an offer from some 1st time buyers which was £10k under the original asking price.

Unfortunately the lenders surveyor would only give them £15k under this agreed offer. We were not willing to let the house go for this price and it would make our next purchase virtually impossible.
Our house is ex-council and there are no other houses in the near vicinity that have been sold in recent years. We understand that this would make a surveyor air on the side of caution and they would refer to an index for value rather than basing a price on a houses own merits.
The buyers have now been advised by our mutual Agent to try a different lender, this being Sa****der.
The agent first told us to expect a call from the new surveyor, this was over 2 weeks ago... after not hearing anything I have spoken to the agent this morning who has informed us that the survey will take place near completion!

For me, this has raised alarm bells, we could well be in the same position as we are now but with our house fully packed ready to go. My question is... has anyone else encountered this? I am worried that this is potentially another ploy to selling the house down-priced. If we are cornered near completion I imagine that we would feel obliged to accept the lesser offer although we feel begrudged. We do not want to miss the opportunity of buying our next property.

Is this a tactic commonly used?

I have had calls from other agents stating that they have buyers with large deposits on their books looking for properties like ours.

We would really like to sell it to the 1st time buyers, they are willing to to pay the price offered, it is just a case of finding a lender to give them the loan. They are mature teachers with intent to marry in August and start a family, the lenders could surely not find better clients to lend money.

Any experience, insights would be appreciated...
Regards J&J wink

LIZS Thu 13-Mar-14 16:49:49

Put it back in the market . What if the new lender's survey says the same, you will have wasted time and could well lose your purchase. The mortgage offer has to be in place before exchange so yes sounds like a tactic to reduce the price at last minute. Be wary of using other agents , your first could claim a fee regardless. Not sure what you mean by "mutual agent" , they are your agent not the buyers, make them work for their fee.

mateysmum Thu 13-Mar-14 16:56:12

That sounds really odd. Normally the survey is the first thing that gets done once the offer has been agreed - whether that is a valuation survey or a structural one. You are quite right to hear alarm bells. It puts your own purchase at serious risk.

I would tell the agents your concerns and say that this situation is not acceptable. Remember they are working on your behalf.

Whilst I don't think you should walk away from these purchasers yet you should be fair, but not sentimental in dealing with them. Be clear with everyone about how you wish the sale to proceed and make sure your agent and solicitor and pushing things forward.

specialsubject Thu 13-Mar-14 17:34:12

it seems you are talking about exchange, not completion. Exchange commits to buy and fixes everything, completion is payment and moving.

a survey after exchange, before completion would be daft. If that is REALLY what the agent said you are talking to a hair-flicker, ring back and ask to speak to a grown up.

HaveToWearHeels Thu 13-Mar-14 20:14:33

How can you have a survey near to completion, you can't exchange without a mortgage in place and I very much doubt any solicitor worth their salt would proceed with any legalities without seeing a mortgage offer.

cunningplan101 Thu 13-Mar-14 21:13:17

How big a deposit do your current buyers have?

Putting your house back on the market is unlikely to help you unless you think you can find buyers with a bigger deposit. The mortgage valuation is about your house, not really the buyers. Having your buyers do another survey is just as likely to come out at asking price as having another set of buyers do another survey. However, if you got another set of buyers with a bigger deposit, the buyers might be able to go with a lower valuation by increasing their LTV.

However, if I was you, I would continue with your current buyers. Like everyone says above, the survey won't be near completion, it'll be near exchange (unless you're exchanging and completing on the same day... which is generally not advised for the reasons you cite - you will be sitting with your boxes packed when you hear the bad news).

cupcake78 Fri 14-Mar-14 02:55:49

I have learnt through bitter experience the following things.

Firstly you want to add a clause to your agreement that asks, for example, 2 weeks between exchange and completion. This gives you time to pack etc and holds your buyers to your house and that agreement so they can't mess about or pull out at the very very last minute. Don't exchange and complete on the same day or even week. Set a date and ask for another clause to be added that any delays/stalling or renegotiating that halts the completion date after contracts are signed, not exchanged, will result in your buyers being liable for all cost incurred as a result.

Keep your house on the market. No under offer or sold subject to contract. It doesn't come off till exchange! This isn't negotiable. Still take viewings.

Insist strongly through your solicitor and agents that any buyers who want surveys get them done on your house within the first few weeks of initial offer. This will prevent them from doing what our buyers did to us. Two days before exchange/completion they came back demanding more and more money. We had to pay up or lose costs, house, unpack etc etc. Be very aware of people who refuse to get surveys done till the last minute. I'd even consider refusing to negotiate with them and find another buyer.

People who are keen will invest money and time into the purchase. Those who aren't or who are planning gamed will hold everything up till they have you caught.

cupcake78 Fri 14-Mar-14 02:57:44

Mortgage valuations are done at different times depending on loan company. There isn't a lot you can do about that.

mumjimmer Fri 14-Mar-14 13:36:46

Thanks all, I will call the agent again and insist on a gap between exchange and completion. Also, I am in a quandary as to why our agent is not using the same lender as we are using... I have already given them a printed copy stating that the house was surveyed and was worth 2.5k off the asking price in 2007.

mumjimmer Fri 14-Mar-14 14:29:12

When I say 'using the same lender' I mean suggesting to our buyers to approach them.

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