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Can I challenge an estate agent's valuation report?

I accepted an offer on a house for 220K,(15k) less than estate agents' valuation. Now surveyor has undervalued it by 25K. Very shocked, can I challenge it? My house is in a unique block of red brick houses built in 1926 and they come on the market rarely, so no sales to compere with. Valuer has compared with ex council houses and other much smaller houses, which I think is unfair. He also stated asbestos in rainwater goods when there is none.

Asked on Apr 8 2013, Selling in Barry | Report content

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  • Have the buyers tried to lower the agreed price then? If you had several surveyors value your property, all would come to different prices. If your buyers agreed an offer with you and now are trying to lower the price, they never really wanted the property. You could challenge it, or wait for the next buyer to come along.

    Answered on Apr 8 2013, Report content
  • Just to add, we were in the same position, we told our buyers to find another property if they felt ours wasn't worth the money to them. They backed out after agreeing a price with us, we think they had it in mind to lower the price all along, so we declined their cheeky lower price. We then got a decent buyer who actually wanted the property and they paid what we agreed in the first instance. A lot of buyers out there are sharks with zero conscience, they try to get you in a position where they think they can offer under what you have agreed. I wouldn't deal with such a low life!

    Answered on Apr 8 2013, Report content
  • If this is a mortgage issue, then the buyer might not be in a position to pay what you first agreed, in which case there is not much you can do. If your buyer is a cash buyer/buy-to-let investor, these people often have a surveyor and solicitor helping them all the way on each property they purchase and they do like to get the best deal they can. So they can offer what you want to hear in the first instance, and then lower the price once they get you in a position where you think it is all going ahead. My advice would be to tell them to get lost. There are some people out there who prey on ordinary people trying to move home, some will screw you all the way to exchange, drag their feet, lower the price, get you in a position where you have found a home and taken out a mortgage, all to let you down last minute. Best to always be prepared to go back on the market when this type of buyer tries to screw you into the ground. Also surveyors don’t always get things right, they often speculate and have every clause under the sun to make sure they cover their backs. They don’t ever want anything to come back on them, so they will scare some buyers off with maybes and might happens etc. They really don’t do any more than the average Joe could do themselves, unless it was a structural survey and/or drain survey. Most surveyors don’t see through walls and floors, they can’t walk down the foul drain, drag our electric cables. They give people a sheet of paper to fill in and go by what the house owner says. It is a money making scheme which never gives the piece of mind one wants when buying a property. But when selling, you often have to accept what the individual surveyor comes up with, and lose a buyer as a result if they get things wrong or are helping the buyer get a better deal. It is sometimes not what you know you who you know, if you know what I mean? I lose many sales due to these valuations.

    Answered on Apr 8 2013, Report content
  • Hi there, sorry to hear you are having issues at valuation stage. I thought I'd offer an insight from a buyer's perspective, as we were also affected by a down-valuation. We had our hearts set on a beautiful Victorian property and agreed to pay £265k for it, which was actually the full asking price - there were other offers to match it, so we felt very much that the property was worth the price. All was fine until we received the valuation report back from the surveyor. The property was down-valued by £15k to £250k. Our mortgage lender would only lend on this value but we tried very hard to find the extra £15k, as we had no intention of messing anyone around and still wanted the property. However, 15k is a lot of cash to have sitting around (on top of the deposit for the property, moving fees etc) and many people simply can't find that. There were also very few sales in the area to compare to, but in the end we were worried about purchasing at a price which could put us immediately into negative equity and we could not risk trying to get another valuation done, as this would mean transferring to another mortgage provider which comes with another round of credit checks and costs. We did ask the seller whether there was any way she would negotiate just a little to help us, but she wasn't able to, so we had no choice but to pull out. We hope for her that another buyer comes along whose valuation report is different or who is in a different financial position, but of course there is no guarantee of that. We are now proceeding with another property in the area which was valued at our agreed price. I can't speak for all buyers as I know that some will be looking for a deal, but there really are lots of valid reasons (especially in the current economic climate) why buyers may be being cautious. Mortgage lenders are being incredibly cautious at present, and therefore so are surveyors, and our lender told us that around 1 in 2 properties are currently being down-valued. As far as I know, if you really feel as though your property has been down-valued you should try to provide 3 examples of similar sales which have taken place within the last 3-6 months and send these to the surveyor. I know you mentioned that this might be difficult as you live in a unique property, but you clearly feel as though the valuation is incorrect that it has been based on houses which are not similar to yours. You could ask (or get the estate agent to ask) the surveyor how exactly they came up with the valuation figure - it may be that they have overlooked something - and which houses they used as comparisons. You could try to get an independent valuation done too (sometimes they are less cautious than surveyors whose clients are mortgage lenders), but it would be worth checking with the buyers that their mortgage lender would accept an independent valuation if it comes back at the full offer price. Anyway, best of luck with your sale and I hope that the situation gets resolved.

    Answered on Apr 8 2013, Report content
  • You can probably try to challenge the report, but unfortunately lenders often play it safe and under value property. You could pay for your own surveyor to give a valuation if there are no recent sales of similar properties in your area. It isn't a nice situation to be in, I wish you luck with it all.

    Answered on Apr 8 2013, Report content

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