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How can a house be sold at one price and then a surveyor comes along and offers a lower price simply because he said that this is the going rate?

My house was sold to a potential buyer for £168,000 to be told after her surveyor came in that he would only price it at £160,000 as that was the cost of houses in this area. Can he do this and how can I dispute it other than putting my house back on the market and facing the same thing happening again? I feel so peeved over it all and don't know how I can dispute it other, than as I said putting it back on the market and having to go through the whole process again.

Asked on Aug 24 2009, House Prices in Bicester | Report content

Answers (1)

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  • I think we can all share your frustration - such easy decisions and "reports" can have a massive impact on people's lives can't they?! Unfortunately, it's understandable why surveyors do this ... the fear of being sued if things turn out wrongly, and with the market as it's been for the last 18 months or more they're more and more worried about that happening. So what this means is that WE need to take some control over the process ... most people just leave surveyors to reach their own conclusions ... and that leaves you open to the situation you've just suffered. We need to play them at their own game ... which means find ways of influencing their valuation decision. How to do this? Well sites like this one (Zoopla), and Rightmove are your main tools. You need to look for "similar" houses in your street / area ... look at what recent ones have sold for, and look at the SPREAD of prices being asked for on Rightmove when they're for sale. What you're trying to do is to find "comparables" ... houses that you can reasonably compare with your own. (If someone was willing to pay £168k for your property, then it's reasonable to assume that other ones in the area are / were marketed at higher prices). If you can find a good range of data that supports the valuation you want, then print all that out and get another surveyor round. Don't tell them your agreed price ... SHOW them what other houses are being marketed for, and what they've sold for ... and what valuation YOU think is appropriate (ideally, a figure higher than your agreed price, to give you some leeway). New kitchen? Newly decorated? Fresh bathroom? We all know the tricks, but these are all things you can then use to influence the surveyor when they come round - ie why yours is a strong valuation compared with the others you've printed out. Oh, and make sure you MEET that surveyor and ACCOMPANY them on their visit ... the main thing to do is to persuade and influence them ... so do your research, get your supporting evidence, prepare your case, and then "help" them come to the right decision. Be their helpful friend! If you can give them the data they need to "protect" themselves, then their decision (which is the outcome you want) can be seen to have been made on a real and relevant basis ... and if that decision later turns out to have been wrong, it's the data's problem, not the surveyor's. Take control ... make their job easier ... and get the outcome you want. Play their game to your advantage. I hope that helps. Best wishes

    Answered on Aug 28 2009, Report content

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