For most people, buying a house is their most significant financial decision. It’s natural to worry about making the right decision when you’re spending so much on a property.

It is worthwhile for any prospective buyer to invest in a building survey. Viewings may not reveal all issues and defects. However, surveys can reveal issues and defects that may not be apparent to the naked eye, as well as future costs the buyer may incur.

A RICS surveyor’s report on your home may raise concerns, which may prompt you to back out of your offer or modify it to account for the remediation cost. It is common for renegotiations to take place after a survey. According to a study by the consumer group ‘Which?’ Revealed that 67% of buyers are able to adjust their offers or request repairs from sellers after negative results.

A purchase offer is ‘subject to contract’, including any survey results. The cost associated with repairs identified in the survey report will influence the value of the property.

What will the Estate Agent do?

  • Agents are used to this happening, so they won’t be surprised if you ask to renegotiate.
  • Survey findings can result in some people pulling out of the sale.
  • Other buyers will also discover the same defects, so the sellers and estate agent should not dismiss your concerns.
  • Additionally, since the agents would not have known about the repairs when valuing the property, a discount is not unreasonable.

What are the next steps?

  • You should not rely on the estate agent to convey a verbal message to the seller.
  • Provide an independent survey report from a RICS Chartered Surveyor along with your updated proposal via email or letter.
  • Clearly explain to the seller the situation and say that you love the house and want to move forward with the purchase. However, you cannot afford to pay the full price when repairs are clearly needed.
  • You can add a polite note that other buyers will face the same problem. Finding a new buyer will be very inconvenient, which will most likely encourage the seller to remain in the deal.

What should be included in your communication?

  • State the facts of the findings and what you require
  • Specify what defects need to be repaired and how much they will cost
  • Your Level 3 RICS Building Survey (Level 3) may have included a cost estimate for repairs.
  • You may need to hire a qualified builder or other professional to assess your damp report if you have had a Level 2 RICS HomeBuyer Report (Level 2).
  • Determine a reasonable discount off of your original ‘accepted offer’ price.
  • You should provide the estate agent or seller with copies of the specific pages in the report that mention the repairs, but not the entire report.
  • Include the names of the companies that have given quotes to strengthen your proposal.
  • Should the seller still wish to sell within a reasonable period of time, they will need to consider this.

When a seller refuses to renegotiate, you either compromise and accept their offer, proceed and cover the cost yourself, or back out. There is no right or wrong answer, and it will depend on what you feel about the house and whether you still want to buy it.

An inspection of a home serves to provide information about its structure. Especially for buyers of older homes and properties that require a lot of attention, these can be incredibly beneficial. When your survey indicates serious problems or issues you weren’t aware of, it’s a wise idea to renegotiate your offer. If the seller is willing to do the work, you could lower your offer. It is extremely vital that you carefully consider your options if the seller says no.

If you would like support with a survey or valuation, contact Carpenter Surveyors today.