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Can I renegotiate an asking price after a surveyor's findings?

  1. Nancy C from Birmingham
  2. Surveys questions and answers

Question

I agreed a price for a property, however after the surveyors survey I want to reduce my initial offer. Is there any reason I can not reduce my offer price? I understand I did make this agreement, and do not want to be seen to going back on my word. I just was not expecting the surveyors findings to unearth any problems, can I now reduce my offer? If I could renegotiate my initial offer I could use the money to help with repairs.

Answer

Absolutely.

Your offer to purchase is ‘subject to contract’ and this includes the results of any survey that is undertaken. If your survey report has identified defects in the construction then these will have a cost associated with the repairs and will therefore affect the property value.

The estate agents negotiating the sale see this on a daily basis so will know how to advise both parties. It is very often the case that sales completely abort due to a bad survey, so the vendors should not dismiss your concerns.

If your surveyor has priced the cost of repairs, I would suggest you email a list of defects and the associated costs of repair. The vendor will then need to consider a reasonable discount if they want to sell within a reasonable time frame.

It is also worth noting that the agents would not have known about the repairs when they valued the property, so a discount is not an unreasonable request.

Good luck.


reallymoving comment:

This is why it is so important to have a house survey, it shows you the whole picture. You can use the information in the survey report to renegotiate the asking price. These issues will be the same for anybody buying the property, so you're more than in your right to renegotiate the purchase price.

Oliver Trice

Oliver Trice

Wilde Trice Consultancy Ltd

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Comments (2)

  • Wayne Norcliffe MRICS

    posted on 30 Sep 2012

    I'd like to add. This is one of the most important reasons for having a survey, it provides the buyer with an independent negotiation tool. A powerful one if you remind the vendor that the next buyer will likely also find the same problems and that now they are aware of them they are duty bound, as is their estate agent, to inform potential purchasers of the problems identified. Worth noting this also. Independent research shows that 1 in 4 people who don’t have a survey find they have repairs costing an average of £2,500, for 1 in 10 it is over £10,000. The type of surveys we undertake could also help you achieve an asking price reduction on average of £2,000 (Source: Building Research Establishment, Aug 2010). Best of luck Wayne Norcliffe BA (Hon's) DipHI Reg. Valuer, MRICS MIPP

    very helpful, eyes opening for first time buyers

    posted on 21 Apr 2016

    we have offered full asking price to house we like , but however after Survey we had damp inspection which is going to cost up to £2000..I have contacted my estate agent , who wasn't very amused by me trying to negogiate price because we already said asking price as offer..not sure what to do :(

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