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How to re-negotiate after a property survey

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

The process of buying and selling property can be fraught with stress and frustration.  As a seller, there is nothing worse than receiving a survey report for your property that is essentially a long list of expensive repairs. It can add additional stress to the process as you are likely to be worried that your buyer may pull out, but their first approach is likely to be an attempt to re-negotiate the price.

In some instances, where the report only shows minor repairs, you may be able to persuade the buyer to stick to the previously agreed price. However, survey reports don’t always make this easy to achieve.

The estimated valuation on a survey can often be confusing because the surveyor may value the property at the already agreed price but list numerous issues with the house. It is a surveyor’s responsibility to highlight anything that may affect the valuation of the property to the buyer; if they miss anything that does affect the valuation of the property the buyer may be able to sue them for damages. Therefore, surveyors will sometimes go over the top to protect themselves from any legal action the buyer may be able to take after completing the purchase.

A buyer may try to use the survey to re-negotiate the price down so they can cover the costs of the repairs highlighted by the survey. A homebuyer’s report will not provide cost estimates to complete the repairs and will usually recommend that further investigations are required. If a buyer is using quotes to complete the repairs from a survey or from tradesmen as a basis for their re-negotiation it is worthwhile getting independent quotes from qualified tradesmen so you can be sure these figures are accurate.

If the survey reveals minor defects that will not affect the property’s value it is worth trying to stick as closely to the previously agreed price as possible. However, you may have to compromise on the final price if the survey highlights major issues that will affect the valuation of the property. In this case you may have to renegotiate the price with the buyer in order for the sale to go through.

If you instruct a conveyancing firm to undertake the conveyancing process, any re-negotiations can be handled by an experienced team who will consult with you during the entire process. The conveyancing lawyers at Rollingsons work diligently to see that the process runs smoothly and will provide sound legal advice at the highest standards. The solicitors at Rollingsons are experienced lawyers who understand how important this transaction is to you. For more information or to arrange an initial consultation, please contact us on 0207 7611 4848.

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