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Vendors not allowing workmen over to give quotes

(48 Posts)
ThePartyArtist Wed 06-Apr-16 12:48:58

DH and I are first time buyers. We've had a cash offer accepted, then got a survey done. The survey indicates the roof needs major work, and the cavity walls need inspecting by a cavity wall company because they may have problems. So we've gone back to estate agent, said we want to get tradesmen out to do quotes. We haven't mentioned yet that we will be knocking this amount off our offer to see if we can pay less to the vendors, to allow us to afford to get the work done.

The estate agent has been slightly obstructive about arranging for these workmen to get in. They agreed to let the cavity wall people come over because their inspection is all external. However they are now saying the vendors won't allow the cavity wall people to drill into the wall. I have told estate agent that they'll do 4 holes per wall (so total of 8 holes) and will make them good before they leave - so no damage to the house. I don't know if the agent hasn't properly explained to the vendors why we want to do this. What do I do? Feels like a battle to just get the quotes done and am beginning to give up on it!

NewLife4Me Wed 06-Apr-16 12:53:05

I'm not surprised tbh.
You have had your report and now it's up to you whether you want to go ahead or not.
You get your quotes once you have bought the house, not before.
We always estimated the cost, but unless the survey came back as less than the value you offered then it's unlikely anybody would agree to give a discount.

Either walk away from the house or get some estimates based on the survey, a good tradesperson would do this for you.
It isn't your home yet, so of course you can't expect people to agree to drilling, I know I certainly wouldn't.

PurpleWithRed Wed 06-Apr-16 12:57:03

The agent knows very well you'll be revising your offer based on the quotes.

And as a vendor I wouldn't rush to let a prospective buyer drill holes in my walls. You just have to estimate, or pull out.

Wineisfinebyme Wed 06-Apr-16 12:57:27

I can understand this drilling, but I can't understand why they wouldn't allow the roof to be looked at? Surely any buyer would want that checked following a worrying survey

Our seller was obstructive in lots of ways. We ended up saying 'let them in or we are pulling out'. Was tough saying it but it worked

ThroughThickAndThin01 Wed 06-Apr-16 12:57:58

It's difficult. I don't think I would let random people drills holes in my walls. What happens if they bodge it up? You might withdraw and leave them with work to do on their house.

ThereIsIron Wed 06-Apr-16 12:59:28

I would definitely not agree to the drilling if I were the vendor.

pitterpatterrain Wed 06-Apr-16 12:59:30

It's not your house. There is no reason they should agree to this, I wouldn't.

Also, what is the rationale to decrease the price offered? They are well within their rights to say no and find another buyer.

IronicallyGlitterball Wed 06-Apr-16 13:01:03

There's absolutely no way I'd allow potential buyers to drill holes in my walls - why would I?! To be completely honest I'm not sure I'd allow lots of tradesmen in to price for things either. You do all that once you actually own the house.

I'm assuming the house was marketed at a price that reflected its condition and you offered an amount based on that? You can't then get lots of quotes for various things and knock them off the price. Buying a house is a risk, if you're not comfortable proceeding without detailed quotes based on various tradesmen inspecting the property, then I would suggest this house perhaps isn't the right one for you.

Kirriemuir Wed 06-Apr-16 13:01:40

As an estate agent I would tell you to go away.....in the nicest possible way.

NewLife4Me Wed 06-Apr-16 13:08:02

If you can't afford the work without trying to negotiate a lower price then you can't really afford the house.
If it is old or in need of renovation it could cost thousands to put right and be a money pit in terms of maintenance costs.
What other things turned up on the survey and how old is the house.

We had cavity wall insulation in our Edwardian semi, now we are pulling it out because it has caused damp issues.
The companies were happy enough to do it, doesn't make it right.

Do your homework, look at other properties that are similar, look on rightmove when they sold, look at pictures of the house when previously sold if this is applicable.

YouSay Wed 06-Apr-16 13:10:34

Agree with the above. You get quotes after the sale. No way would I let anyone drill holes in the wall of my house.

sparechange Wed 06-Apr-16 13:20:26

You are surprised that they don't want holes drilled in the walls by people who may or may not buy the house?!

I'm afraid buying a house just doesn't work like that. You can't present a bill for your works and expect that exact amount lopped off the price.
You can negotiate if you find something that means the house is worth less, but when you're buying a second hand house, which will need maintenance and upkeep, it is inherent that you'll have to spend work on maintenance and upkeep.

Has the house been priced as a do-er upper, or in top condition, or somewhere in between?

Your approach is fairly typical of first time buyers, and sorry if this is rude, but it's the reason I will never, ever sell to a first time buyer again. I imagine the estate agent has also seen it all before, and knows what you are planning, which is why they aren't being overly helpful.

ThePartyArtist Wed 06-Apr-16 13:26:08

The thing is this is not a 'do-er upper'. It appears on the face of it to not really need any work. The house is priced high for comparable properties in the area. It was advertised as 'offers over' and we went over by £3,500 even though this now makes it the most expensive price for a house of this type on this street and several others around it, by about £5 - £10k. Having already offered over the odds we don't want to take on a further £10k of work because that would mean we'd paid way more than it's actually worth. I thought it was fairly standard to get quotes for work needed and knock these off your offer - this is what plenty of people we know have done?

ThePartyArtist Wed 06-Apr-16 13:26:35

Major structural work I mean, not the moderate to minor stuff in the survey!

wowfudge Wed 06-Apr-16 13:28:07

Has your survey valuation matched the sale price agreed? If so, good luck negotiating a reduction.

iMatter Wed 06-Apr-16 13:29:15

If you haven't exchanged then you haven't got a hope.

Would you let random strangers in to your house to drill holes? Thought not.

Until you exchange you have as much right to damage their property as I do.

wowfudge Wed 06-Apr-16 13:30:03

Also, it may be useful to see exactly what your survey stated on the roof and wall ties/cavities because they often make minor things sound horrendous.

Curioushorse Wed 06-Apr-16 13:31:05

Well you need to say that your survey has revealed major work needs doing. You need to be up front about it- not least because, in order for the vendors to agree to your proposed lowering of the price, they need to understand why it needs to be lowered. It does need to be a partnership in that respect.

ThroughThickAndThin01 Wed 06-Apr-16 13:32:22

It can be quite normal for workman to have a look. Not to start knocking the property around though!

FemaleDilbert Wed 06-Apr-16 13:32:28

The drilling request is unreasonable. Wanting to look at the roof is reasonable, although the vendors know full well you will want to knock money off, hence the obstruction. Buying houses is stressful and a gamble, good luck

CheeseAndOnionWalkers Wed 06-Apr-16 13:32:36

How long has the house been on the market? Some people are not desperate to sell and can afford to turn your offer down.

Curioushorse Wed 06-Apr-16 13:36:43

To give examples....over the past five years, we have attempted to buy three properties:

1. The surveys of the first property revealed that it needed underpinning. We asked for a corresponding £90, 000 reduction in the price. Unsurprisingly, the vendors disagreed, but understood that the work did need doing. They've now had to take it off the market to get the work done themselves.

2. We tried to buy one with an extension which had been built without planning permission. We asked for a corresponding reduction in price, but ended up having to pull out as the legal stuff was too complicated. The house has, now, also had to be taken off the market and it looks like the extension is coming down.

3. In our current house (and, dear god, the last one I am ever buying) our survey revealed that it needed rewiring. We got electricians in to confirm this, after communicating with the vendors that this was the case. They saw the results and knocked some money off the price.

Thenadish Wed 06-Apr-16 13:45:33

I'm an agent and I must say I've never come across anyone being allowed to drill holes before exchange/ completion.

You should be allowed access for visual quotes or inspections if needed. This is more good practice rather than a rule.

Ultimately any obvious wear and tear may well have already been taken into consideration with the price so you may not be able to pay less for the property. The reality is owning a home is not a one off expense. It's ongoing and you should be prepared for future annual expense which you may or may not be openly aware of.

That said every time I have bought I've felt like I'm paying too much, work has come up and I've gone ahead but always been worth it. More recently our lender put a retention on the house we bought and said works he to be done in between exchange and completion (and the sellers did it).

Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

sparechange Wed 06-Apr-16 13:48:09

It really isn't standard to do this.
It is known as 'guzundering'

It sounds like you've offered too much, and realised your mistake too late, so are now trying to get a discount. You need to be a bit more upfront with the agent about this, because the first thing they are going to do is ask to see the survey and the valuation they put on the house. Assuming it is the same as your offer, you aren't going to have much leverage for negotiating, especially as you are cash buyers.

Phoning them up and saying 'look, we have already made a toppy offer, and now the survey has thrown up a lot of work. We need to negotiate on price, because if we pull out and you put it back on the market, any buyer needing a mortgage is going to have the exact same issue, and we'd rather not let the chain get too established if we can't find a mutually-convenient solution to this' is going to get you further than presenting some estimates for work that the vendor will say is optional and you'll say is essential.

Whatthefreakinwhatnow Wed 06-Apr-16 13:49:30

I'm inn the process of selling my house and buying another, not a chance would I agree to this request, not would I ask it of the vendors of my new property. Just because they've accepted your offer, it doesn't make it your house, and if you chose to pay over the odds for it I'm afraid that is your problem.

Ask builders for estimates based on the size of the property etc; if you can afford to get the work done, proceed with your purchase. If you can't, pull out. If your survey valuation matches up to the price you paid, it's incredibly unlikely you'll receive a discount, they'll just take the house off the market and re-market it.

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