How do we negotiate after survey?(29 Posts)
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So we had an offer accepted on a house and our survey has come back with things that they recommend need to be fixed, and a valuation lower than the amount we offered (not significantly but more than £10k). How do we begin negotiations with the vendor? Through our solicitor or the estate agent? It all seems a bit odd here, having no one to represent us, the buyers...in the US both parties have representatives. We are totally unfamiliar with the process here as it's 20 years since we bought here! Thanks!
Give us some idea of what the surveyor has said as quite often it can read as if work NEEDS to be done but in fact they may be just suggesting that you get something checked out by a professional - such as the roof - but it may well be that the roof will be fine. It is very common at the moment forcsurveyors to value less than you have agreed to pay - it is a sign of the market being stagnant and prices generally dropping. If it is your dream house and somewhere you plan to live in longterm the lower valuation may not matter as long as you can still afford the house.
If it’s been valued at less than you have offered I would expect the vendors to meet you in the middle. Contact the ea who will handle this.
Bilbodog - I really struggle to understand this argument that buyers should disregard potential defects, ignore a surveyors down valuation and effectively over pay for a house just because it's somewhere they (hopefully) intend to live long term.
(An argument usually put forward by people who are heavily invested, both financially and emotionally, in high property prices remaining high).
It doesn't matter whether the buyer intends to stay there 3 years or 30 years if they can save themselves a five figure sum on the purchase price they'd be mad not to re-negotiate.
If the valuation is less than the agreed price, would you really want to spent your own money making up the shortfall? It’s worth what the surveyor has valued it at.
I didnt say they should ignore what the surveyor has said - i asked what the he had said, as we have no idea at the moment.
If the valuation is lower, you really need to negotiate downwards on price via the estate agent. You presumably want to put right what is wrong so you want to recoup this from what you are paying unless you have more money available. The mortgage company might down value it too so you might need a bigger deposit if you don’t negotiate on price. I wouldn’t pay top whack for a house with faults. That’s why you paid for a survey!
@wowfudge technically it is worth what someone is prepared to pay for it. Which is why I personally would agree to a 50/50 split
Thanks folks! It's mainly recommendations to get the electrics certified, but there is also tree that may need to come down and for the chimney stack to be secured. The alarm also doesn't currently work. The surveyor says his lower valuation is due mainly to the number of student houses on the road (we know this and it doesn't bother us). We offered £407,500 and his valuation is 'around' £395k. I will not pay over a valuation- there's always a better house. The vendor is likely to get the same feedback from another buyer so I'm not too concerned--we weren't clear on how to go back to them but it sounds like it's through the EA. We're totally reasonable and happy to share the survey report with the vendor.
Also we are chain free and pre approved and the vendor wants to move quickly so we have that in our favor.
Those items are fairly minor and I think all surveyors would say that about the electrics.
I reckon you'll be lucky to get much off, but good luck!
There's always standard advice included to say check the electrics and gas. Just call or email the estate agent to say that you've had the survey back and the valuation is lower, and is the buyer prepared to adjust the price because you won't pay over the valuation. Be prepared for the agent to argue like crazy. There's been lots in the news about surveyors conservatively valuing houses, but if you don't want to personally make up the shortfall then it's a take it or leave it situation for them.
Sounds like a typical bottom covering survey. i think surveyors are usually conservative in their valuations anyway.
If the vendors are desperate to sell they may be willing to negotiate.
Worth around £395 so no not really much lower than you have agreed at £407. The only thing in that list that stands out to me is the tree, how close to the house is it? If it's affecting the foundations you could ask for it to be removed (subject to no preservation order). As a seller I might go down to £405
If the surveyor says 395 or around 395 then my offer would be 395 take it or leave it.
Why pay more the it's worth...
It’s such a tricky one. We asked for a reduction of the cost of fixing the chimneys (£8k) which they said no to. This was because everything else that came up at survey we sort of knew about from viewing or we expected with a Victorian property.
My parents were horrified that we asked for a reduction as this is apparently “bad form”. But my veiw was that the house needed nearly £30k of work that we had anticipated most of. We couldn’t possibly have known about the chimenys!
I think it's utter stupidity to pay more for something than a professional has told you it's worth... especially in a stagnant/falling market
Is there a mortgage involved? That could be a bargaining position.
Otherwise, you could ask for the works to be done and then a repeat survey though. ..
it sounds like he has valued the property based on the surrounding properties in which case the changes might not improve the valuation.
Are you prepared to accept the property at the offered price and take the impact of the valuation when it sell it?
If not... then negotiate... say the valuation is lower than your offer and you withdraw the offer and replace it with an offer of X. Be prepared to walk away if this is your walk away position.
@alexalee. Genuine question but does a surveyor really know the true value of a house better than someone who is prepared to stake hundreds of thousands of pounds of their own money on it?
Yes a surveyor does. They look at the house without emotion, buyers don't. They have a feel for the market, buyers don't tend to. There are many houses I would walk away from that people buy because they love the house. In a rising market that is relatively safe. Not so much in a stagnant market.
Surveyors also always cover their arses recommending an electrical and gas report. Mainly because they aren't qualified to comment on either, they are surveyors not electricians or gas engineers.
See I would say buyers have a much better feel for the market. I do agree emotions are involved for the buyer. But is that because they can see more potential than a surveyor?
They turn a blind eye to things surveyors don't. A road full of student accommodation might not bother you now but when prices are falling and you are trying to sell it, that decision might bite you on the arse.
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