What happened when the survey arrived

You find a buyer, you negotiate the purchase price, you both agree on a figure that is slightly unacceptable to both of you (in other words, fair) and then the survey results come in.

Either he’s highlighted lots of work that needs doing (regardless of the fact you’ve lived there for 30 years without a problem) or he’s valued the property at less than the agreed purchase price, or both.  And now, you have a buyer that wants to renegotiate on the purchase price.

This week, this happened to me. For those of you who have read my post Putting my Money where my Mouth is, you’ll know that I was feeling rather chuffed with myself, having agreed a purchase price of £190,000 on a little cottage I had refurbished. The surveyor’s valuation report showed a valuation figure of £190,000. So far, so good. However, as it’s a 400 year old thatched cottage, I braced myself for any ‘works needed’ to be listed, and sure enough there were some suggestions that “the thatch may need replacing in the next ten years” and “the chimney may need to be repointed within the near future”. I breathed a sigh of relief; nothing particularly onerous there then, and after all, he’d agreed with the purchase price. All was well, or so I thought……

The purchaser came back straight away and dropped his offer by £10,000; the amount he said that would cover all the works ‘needed’. “But the valuation was £190,000” I protested. He would go away and think about it, he said.

The next day, he came back with a suggestion to split the difference, at £185,000. As I knew that interest in the cottage was still running relatively high, and I’d already cancelled two viewings, I refused, explaining that I wasn’t going to pay for works which weren’t urgent, and which would add value to his investment. I would however, in the spirit of goodwill, agree to pay 25%, and would therefore agree to sell him the cottage at £187,500. He refused. We reached a stalemate. He walked away.

I was pretty cross, but when the agent called me with two new viewings, I felt a bit better. The second of the two viewers asked permission to bring a thatcher round.  Here we go again I thought…. Then she called following his visit and offered £190,000. As it was her first offer, I decided to be bold. After all, she didn’t know that I’d already accepted £190,000, so I went back with a counter offer of £192,000, which she accepted. Hurray!

The survey is booked for next week. Watch this space……

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One thought on “What happened when the survey arrived

  1. Tim Sharp

    At Elite Property Search we always manage a buyers expectation before a survey by letting them know that a survey will always look at things half full and will look at the detail highlighting potential problems as well as any immediate problems.
    As part of our service we always report on condition of roof, windows, etc: before negotiating so this is reflected in any offer.
    Clients can then buy as seen and unless something major/structural is highlighted in the survey they are happy to proceed with the original offer.
    We have also come across some surveyors who do a major defect survey which is quicker and cheaper and only look at the potential major issues. Many clients have preferred this approach.
    Finally, I hope your buyer doesn’t see this blog until after exchange now they know they could of got it cheaper!
    Every success with your sale.

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