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Should I be worried? Seller giving huge discount on price

(29 Posts)
PopsicleBopsicle Tue 14-Mar-17 17:13:06

We found a property that we fell in love with that was a grade 2 listed cottage. We are cash buyers and when we went to see it it looked like it would need about £100,000 of work doing to it, as well as some contingency to help with the upkeep as repairing it would be more expensive due to its listed status.

It was previously brought 3 years ago by a man who the agent says deals in listed properties and does them up. He said that he had brought it with the intention to dig out the basement but didn't go through with it for lack of funds. Planning portal shows no applications during his ownership. Whilst he has had it the property has barely been maintainted and allowed to follow to a little disrepair.

Anyway down to the question- it was listed for £1mil to £1.25.
After seeing it and liking it but knowing it needed repairs and with budget constraints we offered £910. Vendor countered £975 and we raised to £920 as the maximum we could go as cash buyers and still having the money to repair it. Vendor declined our offer and we left it at that and walked away.

Five days later we got a call from the agent who has said that despite having lots of offers he has offered to meet us at £925 as we have no chain and are buying in cash.

This is a huge discount and now I'm worried that there is something wrong with it?!! Or maybe he is just wealthy and the money makes no difference?!

Any thoughts greatly appreciated. We are choosing between this and another in Chingford and I'm fed up of the back and forth over which to choose.

lalalonglegs Tue 14-Mar-17 17:19:32

If he's a developer it could well be that he has no emotional tie to the house and just wants to cash it in to buy something else. Of course, there could be a more sinister reason - that he knows about a big development being planned right next door or something - but, if you like the house and are happy with the price, I'd just count your blessings. Of course, have a survey and try to protect yourself as much as possible from any unknown outcomes.

Do you know what he paid for it? It could be that he is still making a decent whack on a property that he has barely touched for three years.

CountMagnus Tue 14-Mar-17 17:25:09

You only have the agent's word that there have been lots of offers - they may have been lots / a few / none and may have been higher or lower than yours. Maybe he needs to sell quickly and you're in a strong position. And valuing a listed property can be a "how long is a piece of string" exercise as well.

Astro55 Tue 14-Mar-17 17:27:54

Yes to survey! Particularly structural - anything else should be in the searches

INeedNewShoes Tue 14-Mar-17 17:31:06

The only thing you can do is get a full structural survey done. Then you'll have a better idea of how much all the necessary repairs will cost.

Developers want to be moving on to the next project and he may just want to free up the cash to do that sooner rather than later.

Bluntness100 Tue 14-Mar-17 17:35:12

Do a structural survey, he probably just needs to release the capital.

Trollspoopglitter Tue 14-Mar-17 17:47:14

If he's a proper developer, see if you can look at the company records to guess if there's a cash flow issue. Otherwise, I'd think he came upon issues and was smart enough to take a small loss rather than invest massively and lose anyway. It's unusual a developer will renovate a listed property, unless they specialise in it and really know what they're doing (and well) so they can get top price. If he does specialise, I would think there's issues. If he doesn't, it may have just been too much time (for permissions) and he hoped for a quicker turn around. Agree, structural survey by a specialist in listed properties.

PopsicleBopsicle Tue 14-Mar-17 17:56:03

Yes will be doing a special listed building survey on it if we accept. We have had a specialist builder to look at it who thinks it's in good condition.

I know he paid 875 for it in 2014 so its probably made a loss for him if you include the stamp duty.
The only thing I forgot to mention was that it has only been on the market for 10 days!

lalalonglegs Tue 14-Mar-17 18:22:26

My very rough calculation is he will break even at £925k - he paid about £34k in stamp duty at the end of 2014, a bit more if he bought earlier in the year, plus solicitor's fees, maybe a few consultancy fees for architects, three years of council tax and some estate agency commission on the sale, £925k would mean it cleaned its face.

GrubbyWindows Tue 14-Mar-17 22:50:53

The discount may be a large sum, but it's not a big percentage- if you take 1-1.25 million to mean 1 million it's only a 7.5% discount, which is well within the norm.

JoJoSM2 Tue 14-Mar-17 23:04:30

I don't think it matters what they put it on - it clearly wasn't worth 1.25 if he's happy to get 925 and be rid of it. If you think that's good value for money and love the property, then just be happy ;) and obv get a survey.

Astro55 Tue 14-Mar-17 23:05:02

10 days is ok - it's expensive and a specialist market - not many in that price range look for a project!

It's a limited market and the seller recognises it - it may have beeen listed before without success

EnriqueTheRingBearingLizard Tue 14-Mar-17 23:10:03

I'd play hardball as you'll need deep pockets and remember, it's not a huge discount if it's been marketed at a ritzy price. If anyone else was offering much over what you offered then they wouldn't be coming back to you.

Asking prices are the vendor's wish, no more and no less. Price achieved is the actual market value and not just offers based, prices that people actually stump up.

I'd counter £915 with a view to going up to £920 and only pay the new asking price if you absolutely couldn't live without this property.

User006point5 Tue 14-Mar-17 23:12:23

Are you local? If not, I'd check with neighbours and local websites, in case there's something eg about to be built in the vicinity that might affect the property, just in case.

TomHaverford Tue 14-Mar-17 23:14:51

What are the implications of it being listed?

Astro55 Tue 14-Mar-17 23:20:13

Just another thought!

There was a property listed locally which brought by developers but when applying for planning permission discovered some habitat or other of protected animal and it made the properties worthless!!

Just worth checking to see if any plans have been submitted and over ruled

Only an issue if you want to add rooms

PigletJohn Tue 14-Mar-17 23:21:53

I wonder why he's so keen to get rid of it quick.

Emily7708 Tue 14-Mar-17 23:29:49

I think I know the property you mean as I live very close by. Lovely looking house but it needs way more than £100k spent on it, I would double that. It's been neglected and hurriedly tidied up to sell. Having lived in the area for years, I have to warn you that the builders always seem to add a few zeros when quoting for this area. Add the listed building issue and you are looking at spending a fortune.

The vendor may possibly be in a hurry to sell due to a couple of current building projects which many locals believe will be detrimental to house prices in the area.

Also are schools a consideration because it is in no mans land so you would have to look at private school, certainly for primary.

PopsicleBopsicle Tue 14-Mar-17 23:39:46

Thanks for the advice everyone.

Emily-I'm amazed you could figure out where it is! I think it could have an unlimited amount spent on it but I don't really think it will be approved so we would plan to do a couple of small projects. I spoke to the conservation officer and you basically need permission to do anything to it which is also in the cons column!

Lots to think about!

Emily7708 Tue 14-Mar-17 23:44:40

Only because I walk past it twice a day to get to and from the station and keep a nosy eye on all the local houses!

mainlywingingit Wed 15-Mar-17 01:05:11

My family house of 37 years is grade listed. Beautiful, historic but a nightmare to run and expensive. Any planning applications will be hideous on grade listed and yes you have to apply just to change your door colour.

Double if not treble what you think it will cost.

Assume vendor patched over main areas. Roof, chimneys and damp are the worst contenders.

I think you have to be hideously in love to consider buying a grade listed. Or hideously rich!

We've just bought a house as our forever home with a similar budget. My main stipulation were 2 things. Not too big a garden and NOT grade listed! We have a house with bundles of character without the hassle.

I would avoid!!

mainlywingingit Wed 15-Mar-17 01:10:02

The agent or someone is lying.

Someone who specialises in old properties thought he could excavate and build a basement on a grade listed house??

I smell a rat here!!! That would be an impossible request... odd

InfiniteSheldon Wed 15-Mar-17 06:40:00

Stick to your original offer

Bluntness100 Wed 15-Mar-17 06:45:50

Huh? I live in a grade two listed house, and you need permission only when making structural changes and you need to maintain the character clearly, not remove original features but you do not need permission to do the normal things, like put new carpet in, paint it, replace kitchen or bathroom.

Bluntness100 Wed 15-Mar-17 06:47:00

I'm also not sure what a special listed building survey is, we had a structural survey and I've never heard of a special listed building survey,

Is there a typo in the op and it's not grade 2 but grade 1?

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