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think our buyers are trying to take us for a ride!

(35 Posts)
canella Mon 02-Nov-09 14:29:50

house been on the market since April - we've moved overseas so the house is lying empty. House is on the market for £175,000 and at the beginning of October after much thought we accepted an offer of £160,000. The estate agent told us 2 weeks ago that the buyers were unsure now and wanted some time to think it over - house still being marketed all the time but no other offers.

They've now come back today and said they want to go ahead with the sale but they think the house needs £20k of work done to it and they've only got £15k so they want to reduce their offer to £155,000.

Now i know the house would benefit from a new kitchen and new double glazed windows but structurally the house is sound so could be moved into without the work being done - the existing windows & kitchen are fine (we lived there for 7 years quite happily!)

so emailed the estate agent back to ask what they wanted to spend £20k on - they say its some work on the garage and crutains,carpets and decor!!!!!!!

surely thats up to them if they want to spend money on decor - think they're trying to take us for a ride? what would MN'etters do?

Singed Mon 02-Nov-09 14:47:35

They are taking the piss.

I would say a very clear no way, and if they withdraw their offer then that's up to them but they're dreaming if they think they will find a vendor willing to drop the asking price to accommodate their desire for new carpets and paint!

Also check that your agents have been aggressively marketing the place (hard to do when you're overseas). They may have gotten lazy because you have an offer.

PrettyCandles Mon 02-Nov-09 14:52:10

Agree with Singed. If it was something major, then fair enough, but decor and things that aren't fixtures and fittings - nope.

It is reasonable to offer a reduced price based on work to be done, though. When we bought our house the soffits and gutters were in a very poor state. We got some estimates of how much it would cost to replace them and offered that much less, which was accepted. But that was a matter of £5k, on an important job, not on something which was a matter of taste.

theyoungvisiter Mon 02-Nov-09 14:55:29

Well bottom line is, do you want to accept an offer of £155K or not?

It's not a matter of whether you approve of what they intend to spend the money on, it's whether you think you can get a better offer.

They are not "trying to take you for a ride" - they are deciding that they offered too much for the house and don't like it as much as they originally thought. Which is not welcome news for you, obviously, but if you can't get more money elsewhere then you may have to accept.

My only concern would be that they sound quite naive and as if they don't have much experience of the buying process, it's not normal to change your offer at this stage, it's more usual to change it at the survey stage and I'm unsure why they didn't wait for the survey. If you do want to accept their revised offer you could always do it on the proviso that you won't accept any further negotiation over the survey AT ALL.

£5k off over the survey would be totally within normal limits IMO, unless the survey was completely spot on, which they almost never are, so you should be prepared for some bargaining anyway.

theyoungvisiter Mon 02-Nov-09 14:59:20

April - Oct without an offer btw suggests that your house was being marketed at too high a price in the first place, IMO. So possibly your buyers are correct in feeling they've over-offered.

Sorry, I don't mean to be unsympathetic because it's a pain in the arse when people mess around like this, but anger over what they want the reduction FOR is counter productive. It's a simple matter of whether you honestly think you'll get a better offer or not.

displayuntilbestbefore Mon 02-Nov-09 15:03:00

think they're taking the piss a bit but also agree that in the absence of other offers, you have no choice but to at least consider it. Decor isn't a good reason for knocking price down and your agent should be telling the buyes that curtains and carpets are not things that cost £15k but if you want to sell, you may need to find a suitable compromise or risk them pulling out. Nothing's fair in houseselling and buying but the end result usually makes it worthwhile in the long run!

canella Mon 02-Nov-09 15:04:19

no i dont really want to accept an offer of £155k - its a 4 bed detached house in a town in NW england but its in a really nice cul de sac with views over the country side.

We are not sat here desperate for the cash although obviously we want to sell since we dont need to be having an empty house in the UK when we're not there.

I've not had a chance to talk it over with dh but i think he'll just say no way - i agree with singed and prettycandles that its not up to us to accept a lower prive just so they can change things to their taste.

think i say to the estate agent that we want them to get a survey done and if there is work needing done then we will negotiate on that. Not negotiating on anything else since they could walk straight into that house and live there!

displayuntilbestbefore Mon 02-Nov-09 15:09:27

so the buyers are coming up with a cost for work done based on their own thoughts rather than that of a survey?
No way accept any knockdown on price without seeing on paper from a qualified surveryor the works required. Your agent shouldn't be coming to you with requests for price knock-downs without having a survery in front of him as proof that work is required. The carpets and curtains issue is a joke and should be treated with contempt but if there is genuine work required elsewhere then the buyers should be prepared to have reports done to prove it and if they're decent/got any brains, they won't expect anyone to just knock price of house down by such a high percentage without having a survey/timber and damp report/structural engineers report etc to back them up.

Fizzylemonade Mon 02-Nov-09 15:13:48

No offers doesn't necessarily mean the house is over-priced. There can just be a lack of people buying in that area.

Have they had a survey done yet? Would they want to reduce their offer even more if they can?

Deal being if they only £15k then they only have £15K so they will have to wait to save up the other £5k when they are in. Jesus, everyone just wants it all NOW rather than waiting grin

We have just had an offer on our house which is a joke but someone is just trying their luck. We are a 3 bed detached and they have offered what a 3 bed semi with no en-suite, no dining room, no utility and a teeny 3rd bedroom would fetch.

canella Mon 02-Nov-09 15:18:42

thanks for the support - just spoke do dh - he's fuming so i phoned the estate agent and told them we were sticking to what we said originally - we accepted the offer of £160,000 and if they want to proceed at that we want them to have a survey done. if the survey comes back with significant work needing done then we can discuss that at the time. He thinks they'll withdraw now! i think they're bloody stupid - thats a bargain for a 4 bed house!

fizzy - still dont think the house is overpriced - think its not selling cause its empty! if this offer falls through we've started to look into getting a house stager in to furnish it - will cost us a few grand but might get us that sale!

displayuntilbestbefore Mon 02-Nov-09 15:22:55

to be honest, your agent should have asked what proof your buyers had for asking for such a significant knock-down on price before he came to you with it. If they do now pull out then you've probably saved yourself hassle of taking on buyers who might have pulled out later anyway as they sound pretty unreliable. If they go ahead with a survey however, just be prepared that there might be something that comes up but at least you'd know why you were reducing the price and can negotiate to just pay half of costs rather than them expect you to pay for it all - after all, the house is valued as it is, not as it would be if everything was perfect and I think a lot of buyers forget this so they see a glitch or some wear and tear and assume they are entitled to money off to rectify it when in fact the agent has taken it all into account when valuing!!

theyoungvisiter Mon 02-Nov-09 15:48:35

"i agree with singed and prettycandles that its not up to us to accept a lower prive just so they can change things to their taste."

Well that's true, but equally it's not up to them to pay X because you've decided that's what it's worth. A house is only worth what someone wants to pay for it - and at the moment they are the only people who want to pay even £155k, let alone more.

I get the sense that you are annoyed at the reason they've given for lowering their price - which is understandable but not really the issue.

If they'd given a different reason, or if they'd offered £155k from the outset would you still be annoyed? Are you ok with the idea of them walking away and possibly having to accept £155 from someone else, further down the line

I think you need to step aside from your understandable irritation over the idea of 15K for rugs, and look at the real issue which is will you get more for the house? Have other properties in the area been selling?

The fact that it's empty shouldn't really be standing in the way, unless it's in very obviously poor condition. Normally houses look bigger when empty, and the fact that they are vacant possession is a plus too.

Ask your estate agent honestly - does he think it's priced right? Have comparable houses in the area sold? How many valuations did you get when you put it on the market and where was this one - middle or top?

janmoomoo Mon 02-Nov-09 15:54:14

They are clearly gazundering! The estate agents should not be tolerating this behaviour. You have done the right thing (IMHO!).

theyoungvisiter Mon 02-Nov-09 16:07:25

They are not gazundering. Gazundering is where you wait until the last possible moment when everybody is committed to moving and has spent a lot of money on the process and THEN demand a refund.

Proper gazunderers wouldn't be so naive as to offer, straight away announce the fact that they are dithering for two weeks, then ask for a fairly paltry discount for a crap reason.

These people simply sound naive and undecided. I don't think they are trying to take you for a ride - if they were they wouldn't be so cack handed about it.

MillyMollyMoo Mon 02-Nov-09 16:40:16

I think it's a buyers market and I would have taken the £5k to keep the buyer personally.

nickelbang Mon 02-Nov-09 16:44:53

isn't it gazumping?

gazunder is a chamber pot shock

nickelbang Mon 02-Nov-09 16:46:03

and unless they have had a survey done, they can't just agree to a price and then decide it's not worth it!

tell them to get their survey then come back with reason. FFS, why on earth would they think that you'd jsut change your mind?
that's extreme piss-taking.

clam Mon 02-Nov-09 16:47:58

So you're prepared to pay a few thousand to a house stager to get a buyer when, actually, you already have one who wants a few thousand off.

I know it's annoying that they're trying this wheeze, but think about it in terms of what you get out of it. The house sold, done and dusted. You don't need the money for another purchase, by the sounds of it. Think I'd take the money and run, myself.

ABetaDad Mon 02-Nov-09 16:56:09

canella - its a market. They made an offer and you kept the house on the market hoping for a higher offer. They then thought about it and decided they needed to offer less. Don't tell me you wouldn't have dumped them in an instant if a higher offer if it came along.

They are not behaving dishonourably. No one has signed anything and you are still mareting the house. You have the right to walk away and and they have the right to change their offer.

You have not had a better offer and that indicates your buyer really has offered top price. No one is willing to beat it. Now you just have to decide to accept or keep marketing it through the winter.

Maybe the buyer just cannot get a big enough mortgage and they really are offering al they can. Its happening a lot in the current economic climate.

canella Mon 02-Nov-09 17:05:37

a mix bag of responses! we already dropped the price to £175k because it wasnt selling in the first few months.

The house across from it sold in the summer after being on the market for a year at the full asking price of £135k. It was a semi with 2 bedrooms, no garage and a much smaller garden. Our house has got 4 bedrooms, a conservatory, an integral garage and its in fairly good condition (was there 4 weeks ago so i know this!)

would feel gutted to accept only £20k more than the house across sold for.

abetadad - would have taken the house off the market in an instant if they had been committed from the start. but we accepted the offer 4 weeks ago and still no survey!and now this! taking the piss in my eyes!

theyoungvisiter Mon 02-Nov-09 17:09:35

"By nickelbang Mon 02-Nov-09 16:46:03
and unless they have had a survey done, they can't just agree to a price and then decide it's not worth it!"

Er, yes they can! Until you have exchanged contracts they can do anything they damn well like. You don't have to agree of course, but that's another question.

Gazumping is different, it's the original term and means someone coming in with a higher offer at the last minute, and teh vendor ditching the original buyer along with all their surveys etc.

Gazundering is a new term that comes in in a falling market - it's where the buyer waits until the whole chain has everything in place and then demands a rebate on teh price at the last minute. Rather than lose £000s on surveys, searches and removal fees etc, the vendor agrees because they have you over a barrel. It's a form of extortion really, and sometimes the whole chain bands together to agree a small discount each to avoid losing a large sum on all the searches they've done.

BUT it's not usually done at this stage in the process, and it's not usually done to a vacant posession, ie someone not moving themselves. In this case the vendor has no money to lose so they aren't blackmailing you at all, just asking nicely (or not nicely, depending on how you look at it!).

Fizzylemonade Tue 03-Nov-09 09:38:06

Having read that you would consider paying a house stager a few thousand I think you should accept the £155k on condition that a survey is done within X amount of time and that there is to be no reduction on survey.

Your house is sat empty, money tied up in it.

Maybe the person who paid £135k for the house over the road paid over the odds for it, maybe a south facing garden swung it or the possibility to extend, who knows.

It is a buyer's market. Push for a fast exchange then it is guaranteed what they will pay.

Sometimes people go away and cost stuff up, like we did (didn't offer) but worked out cost of new extension, new kitchen with appliances and new double glazing which is a real outlay. Figured house wasn't worth what the vendor was asking when we had all that to shell out.

I always remember someone on here saying to a friend "would you pay someone £5k to take your house off your hands" she replied "yes" so MN person said "well drop your bloody asking price by £5k to get the sale." Wise women (and men) on MN.

Doodleydoo Tue 03-Nov-09 09:55:37

Have you thought about whether it is worth Renting it out for a while? If you don't want to sell at that price then it might be worth renting it out unfurnished for a year to have a think about it?

I am not sure if you are being UR or not tbh, I know that sounds strange but the buyers may have been to their mortgage company and not been able to raise any more money or some other reason, what I do think is ur is the excuse they have given you - if they had said actually we can't afford any more as we are at our limit it puts a different sway on things, you are pissed off because they want to redecorate and this is the reason they have lowered the price (I personally would be just as pissed off for this reason as it isn't structural or any major issue and frankly we all live in houses that sometimes don't have exactly what we want in them and then aspire to do the work......could bang on forever about it!)

Anyway hope you come up with a solution that works for you - you could change agents if you wanted but bear in mind that nothing is likely to happen now until well into 2010 as it is v quiet time of year.

scaryteacher Tue 03-Nov-09 12:26:10

Rent it out - I rent mine out whilst overseas and so I have the advantage of the house being lived in whilst the property market sorts itself out, and somewhere to live when we go back. I employ an excellent agent to oversee the house for me and we have had no hassles in three years. It's worth doing - I let unfurnished and without white goods (as the agent recommended) and we have had 1 month without a tenant in three years.

If your mortgage interest exceeds your rent income, and there are all sorts of other things you can offset to reduce the tax bill, there isn't always tax to pay. As I have no UK income, if there was a taxable profit on the rent, then I could use my tax allowance to reduce it as well.

canella Tue 03-Nov-09 12:56:57

fizzy - had to do a lot of persuading to get my dh to accept £160k - i want it off our hands but he thinks they would be getting it for a total bargain. We had lots of chats where i said to him that although he thinks we should get £175k for it, we're not getting any other offers so its obviously overpriced. He is the one who thinks we should get a house stager in and then we'll get nearer £175k for it. He's not getting a house stager in then accepting£155k!!! i understand they want to do all that redecoration (i couldnt care less what they do to the house after they buy it) but as i said before the house is structurally sound so anything they want to pay for doesnt have to be done immediately! the house we live in now needs a new kitchen cause the one isnt to our taste but i would never have expected money off the house!

We were intially going to rent it out but it was advertised for a few months with no interest - not many families in that area renting 4 bed houses!

spoke to the agent and told them we were rejecting their offer of £155 - we were sticking at £160k unless they had a survey done that indicated more work to be done. I know some of you will think we've been stupid but if they are trying to take money off it now, i dont trust them to not try it again!

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