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Survey Valuation Less Than My Offer-help!

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Hi, I am a buyer who offered 435K for a property on the market for a house on the market for 490K, to cut a long story short survey came up as a value of 385K (50K short) also numerous problems with timber/damp etc

I contacted EA to say that my offer has changed to 385K due to survey and was made to feel that I was 'trying it on' and that the valuer did not know what he was on about and didn't understand the local area etc etc

I did get the EA's back up a bit when I suggested that I would prefer to listen to the valuation of someone I have paid to carry out a survey rather than anyone else's valuation and suggested that maybe the problems identified by the surveyor were not picked up by the EA when carrying out the initial valuation. To which she did obviously agree.

I reiterated that my revised offer was now 385K however the EA insisted that she could not pass this on to the vendor as she would need to see proof of the lower valuation and details of the defects identified as if I was not telling the truth and the vendor later found out that the survey did not say this that the EA would be liable for the 50K deficit.

I did remember seeing on the survey that it was for my and my legal representitive's use only and I phoned the surveyors office and was advised that it is not recommended that I give a copy of the survey to anyone other than my representitive.

I am now confused as the EA will not pass the offer on but my giving them a copy of the survey I would be compromising my own position.

I would like to purchase the house but for no more than the market value of 385K. Any suggestions.

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Point out to the agent that they are LEGALLY obliged to pass on your offer no matter what they think/fell. You dont have to prove squat diddly to them.

Also tell them, if they do not do it then you will report them to trading standards, who will take a dim view of EA schenanigans like this.

Also, point out to them that you will send, them, your solicitor and the vendors a letter stating that the property is not worth what you initially offered and have revised your offer down. Make sure you actually do this too.

You might as well add that the offer will remain valid for 2 weeks at which point you will withdraw from the sale and purchase a realistically priced property.

Also, tell them you can no longer raise the finance for the higher offer and you the most anyone will now lend you is £350K. Take it or leave it.

That ought to do it.

Good luck.

P.S. Dont pay anymore that the official valuation (10% less would be more sensible ) as that's all the lenders will lend on it and the insurers will insure on it.

Edited by TheCountOfNowhere

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Point out to the agent that they are LEGALLY obliged to pass on your offer no matter what they think/fell. You dont have to prove squat diddly to them.

Also tell them, if they do not do it then you will report them to trading standards, who will take a dim view of EA schenanigans like this.

Also, point out to them that you will send, them, your solicitor and the vendors a letter stating that the property is not worth what you initially offered and have revised your offer down. Make sure you actually do this too.

You might as well add that the offer will remain valid for 2 weeks at which point you will withdraw from the sale and purchase a realistically priced property.

Also, tell them you can no longer raise the finance for the higher offer and you the most anyone will now lend you is �350K. Take it or leave it.

That ought to do it.

Good luck.

P.S. Dont pay anymore that the official valuation (10% less would be more sensible ) as that's all the lenders will lend on it and the insurers will insure on it.

Can't agree strongly enough with this and the comment from Dubai.

Don't take any crap from the EA - if they're obnoxious, bypass them directly. Remember, this is a business transaction, so don't get emotional about it.

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I would like to purchase the house but for no more than the market value of 385K.

Sure about that market value? <_<

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Hi, I am a buyer who offered 435K for a property on the market for a house on the market for 490K, to cut a long story short survey came up as a value of 385K (50K short) also numerous problems with timber/damp etc

I contacted EA to say that my offer has changed to 385K due to survey and was made to feel that I was 'trying it on' and that the valuer did not know what he was on about and didn't understand the local area etc etc

I did get the EA's back up a bit when I suggested that I would prefer to listen to the valuation of someone I have paid to carry out a survey rather than anyone else's valuation and suggested that maybe the problems identified by the surveyor were not picked up by the EA when carrying out the initial valuation. To which she did obviously agree.

I reiterated that my revised offer was now 385K however the EA insisted that she could not pass this on to the vendor as she would need to see proof of the lower valuation and details of the defects identified as if I was not telling the truth and the vendor later found out that the survey did not say this that the EA would be liable for the 50K deficit.

I did remember seeing on the survey that it was for my and my legal representitive's use only and I phoned the surveyors office and was advised that it is not recommended that I give a copy of the survey to anyone other than my representitive.

I am now confused as the EA will not pass the offer on but my giving them a copy of the survey I would be compromising my own position.

I would like to purchase the house but for no more than the market value of 385K. Any suggestions.

Goodness me! You have a "valuation" which will save you a fortune! You should be jumping for joy!

The bank will only lend you the LTV against the valuation, not asking. Are you prepared to stump up the extra cash?

As a suggestion, offer them 385 LESS the cost of repairs.

As another suggestion, walk away and offer them 200 next year....

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I agree with the replies you have had so far.

You could ask the Estate Agent to put what they have said in writing to you and explain that you will be making your revised offer, with explanation of what has been said/done by the EA, in writing with copies to the EA, the vendor, the Ombudsman for Estate Agents and Office for Fair Trading (with note attached to the OEA and OFT questioning the actions of the Estate Agent). This should pull the EA up pretty smartly and stop the cr*p.

Don't ever accept any cr*p from an Estate Agent - you really don't have to.

If you really want this house £385k is the absolute maximum you should pay - as richyc suggests it would be well worthwhile estimating the costs of the work/repairs needed and deducting that from the £385k for your recvised offer.

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Hi, I am a buyer who offered 435K for a property on the market for a house on the market for 490K, to cut a long story short survey came up as a value of 385K (50K short) also numerous problems with timber/damp etc

I would look into the cost of repairs before making that offer, you may end up having to find a lot of cash to do the work.

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I've had two properties with damp issues. If you get it done properly it'll cost a small fortune.

I had it done by a local company on my latest property and was given 10 year guarantee. Of course when it re-appeared a year later the company had gone bust. But the guy had set up under a different name.

Had it re-done by somebody else who charged 3 times as much but it cured it. They said the first company hadn't done it properly.

Offer them £385 max. If I were in you I'd offer them £350 and say take it or leave it.

Remember there are lots of other properties out there.

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<SNIP>

I reiterated that my revised offer was now 385K however the EA insisted that she could not pass this on to the vendor as she would need to see proof of the lower valuation and details of the defects identified as if I was not telling the truth and the vendor later found out that the survey did not say this that the EA would be liable for the 50K deficit.

I did remember seeing on the survey that it was for my and my legal representitive's use only and I phoned the surveyors office and was advised that it is not recommended that I give a copy of the survey to anyone other than my representitive.

I am now confused as the EA will not pass the offer on but my giving them a copy of the survey I would be compromising my own position.

The EA has to pass on the offer by law. And BTW, if the offer is now lower its up to the buyer to accept it or reject it. I don't believe there is any onus on the EA to check you are telling the truth or not. However, if you want the property I'd show them the results as it would bring reality home. Don't feel guilty, you have just avoided being duped.

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Cut this twit of an estate agent out of the picture. If you have solicitors involved get your solicitor to send a letter with the revised offer in it to the other side.

If you don't have a solicitor involved yet then write to the vendor directly. Make it clear that the offer is open for acceptance for (say) 5 days and after that you will walk away.

The estate agent is just an agent for the vendor and has no special status beyond that. You have no obligation to deal with him.

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Point out to the agent that they are LEGALLY obliged to pass on your offer no matter what they think/fell. You dont have to prove squat diddly to them.

Also tell them, if they do not do it then you will report them to trading standards, who will take a dim view of EA schenanigans like this.

Also, point out to them that you will send, them, your solicitor and the vendors a letter stating that the property is not worth what you initially offered and have revised your offer down. Make sure you actually do this too.

You might as well add that the offer will remain valid for 2 weeks at which point you will withdraw from the sale and purchase a realistically priced property.

Also, tell them you can no longer raise the finance for the higher offer and you the most anyone will now lend you is ?350K. Take it or leave it.

That ought to do it.

Good luck.

P.S. Dont pay anymore that the official valuation (10% less would be more sensible ) as that's all the lenders will lend on it and the insurers will insure on it.

Such good advice. Can't agree more, im copying/pasting this into my house hunting strategy notes!

You do not have to prove anything to the EA, he has no choice but to take the risk as he is obliged to pass on your offer. You are free to modify your offer at any point prior to exchange of contracts without warning, for whatever reason you consider appropriate... and a 3rd party valuation is a damn good one. Did I hear gazumping is back? ah no, must have been gazundering... sighs. :rolleyes:

Edited by Old_Traveller

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To the OP, with all respect mate your OP reads like you are embarassed that you have wronged the EA and that you dared to challenge the ridiculous asking price.

As others have commented, the valuer has saved you a fortune.

If the owners still live in the house, knock on their door one night, explain who you are and hand them a written note explaining what is going on and that the valuation came in well below their asking price. Then...

Not your problem anymore - it becomes their problem, the EA's problem.

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Excellent news!!

PUll out NOW

There will always be another house. Considerably cheaper in 6 months time!

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Hi, I am a buyer who offered 435K for a property on the market for a house on the market for 490K, to cut a long story short survey came up as a value of 385K (50K short) also numerous problems with timber/damp etc

I contacted EA to say that my offer has changed to 385K due to survey and was made to feel that I was 'trying it on' and that the valuer did not know what he was on about and didn't understand the local area etc etc

I did get the EA's back up a bit when I suggested that I would prefer to listen to the valuation of someone I have paid to carry out a survey rather than anyone else's valuation and suggested that maybe the problems identified by the surveyor were not picked up by the EA when carrying out the initial valuation. To which she did obviously agree.

I reiterated that my revised offer was now 385K however the EA insisted that she could not pass this on to the vendor as she would need to see proof of the lower valuation and details of the defects identified as if I was not telling the truth and the vendor later found out that the survey did not say this that the EA would be liable for the 50K deficit.

I did remember seeing on the survey that it was for my and my legal representitive's use only and I phoned the surveyors office and was advised that it is not recommended that I give a copy of the survey to anyone other than my representitive.

I am now confused as the EA will not pass the offer on but my giving them a copy of the survey I would be compromising my own position.

I would like to purchase the house but for no more than the market value of 385K. Any suggestions.

Now that bit (in bold) is really bizarre - I'd love to hear the opinion of another EA as to whether this is, in fact, the case. It sounds very unlikely to me - for one thing, how is the vendor going to find out about the survey later? I think this woman is either (i) telling calculated lies in an attempt to bully or confuse you, or both or (ii) is a genuine fantasist who has lost touch with the reality of her job or (iii) desperate to save the sale at the original price and just saying anything that comes into her mind to get you to do what she wants. The other possibility is that she is in some way connected to the owner and might be in personal trouble over this. You may be in a position to judge which of these is true.

If she is remotely trained she must know that she must by law pass on any communication from you. Not any communication which the vendor wants to hear. Not anything which she has personally verified, but any offer. And given that you are part way through the negotiations, refusing to contact the vendor is an extraordinary position for an EA to take. So we have established that she is lying to you or is deluded.

Now as to the "if I don't verify I'm personally liable," line. I can't imagine that any EA would take on a sale of house under those sort of conditions - "If your vendor lies to you, and I don't know then I'm liable for the entire damage?" Come on - how likely is that? If your solicitor does not see a major flaw in a document he vetted, or did not ask for a document which he should have asked for, then you can sue him for negligence. If he doesn't tell you that he knows the vendor would have taken 50 grand less, then that's his privilege. And solicitors are held to much tighter codes than EAs. No, that's delusion or bluff.

Please do not believe what this EA is saying, she is just desperate to see the survey - possibly because her client will be very cross with her. But that is her problem, not yours.

If you still want the house, then (i) speak to a builder or whoever and get an estimate for the work that needs to be done, (ii) work out how much you think you should be paying for that house in the light of that estimate and (iii) cross-check with your mortgage company what they would be prepared to lend you.

Then write to the vendor directly. The EA may be so far gone in whatever trouble caused her to lie so badly and so stupidly to you that she would not pass on the letter. Be careful what you say in the letter. Don't slag off the EA, that will just make matters worse. Don't go into details; they will be used as a distraction, so that you can get into a "Well, I think it will only cost £5K to do that, not £10K," type of argument. Don't try justifying yourself - you are not there to defend what you are doing to a head teacher. You are making an alteration to the terms of a proposed business agreement.

We have all been assuming that so far no money has changed hands. I hope that is the case. If so, under English law, you have the absolute right to back out of this deal altogether. (Scots law is different) All you will then be liable for is the fees for the surveyor and your lawyer's time and the legal expenses (search charges etc). If you've started packing or paid a deposit to removers then you will forfeit the money you spent there. If you're unlucky you will be a couple of grand out of pocket. That's it.

At this stage these people have no claim on you at all, under English law. The EA is trying to make you feel that you have responsibilities towards her and her client, and that she has rights over you. She does not.

I am suggesting that you write to the vendor directly bypassing both the EA and your respective solicitors - this is to save time and money (letters from solicitors often cost money). If you still want the house, then send a brief letter saying that after seeing the survey and the mortgagee's valuation, you have no option but to revise your offer to £385 - or some lesser figure. I would leave it at that, and wait a while - the time limit on the revised offer sounds a little too confrontational if you still intend doing business with this vendor. Make sure you keep an exact copy of the letter - in hard copy as well in case your hard disk crashes!

Then after a week (to give the vendor time to talk to his/her solicitor and the EA), if you still haven't heard back, send another letter, this time by registered delivery, enclose a copy of the original letter, and say that the offer will stand for a further x days (5 if you're feeling mean, 14 if you're feeling generous) and after that you will assume that the offer has been rejected and the process of the sale has therefore been terminated. Once again, do not defend yourself (it's not a matter for discussion after all) or explain any more than you already have. Once again, keep a copy of the letter and the receipt from the Post Office.

If you hear back by letter, read whatever is said carefully. Ignore any bluster or threats. Also ignore any suggestions that you "discuss" what needs doing. You have one very simple fact that you need to hang on to - the surveyor's valuation and report give you a good reason why you must lower your offer. No amount of "discussion" is going to change that. If they accept your lower offer, but very grudgingly, then you have to think hard - do you really want this house? I say that because if there is a suspicion of real ill-will then the process of moving can be much worse. (Been there). Otherwise if the offer is accepted, then whatever goes on between the EA and her client is not your business.

If you get any communication saying that you must communicate via the EA, then send the letter to the EA, via recorded delivery with the same contents. No discussion, no apologies, no justification - but stay polite, and make no accusations against her (however justified they might be). Keep a copy.

If they get difficult, then you should probably terminate the sale. If you really want the sale, then turn the letters etc over to your solicitor.

But I would go first back to that survey. Do you still really want a house that needs that much work?

db

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To the OP, with all respect mate your OP reads like you are embarassed that you have wronged the EA and that you dared to challenge the ridiculous asking price.

As others have commented, the valuer has saved you a fortune.

If the owners still live in the house, knock on their door one night, explain who you are and hand them a written note explaining what is going on and that the valuation came in well below their asking price. Then...

Not your problem anymore - it becomes their problem, the EA's problem.

I always get a phone number from the sellers on any house we have ever bought. This way you can see if the EA's are lying to you, or at least have a chance to see who will be lying to you. They always do somewhere along the line because there is money involved. It's human nature.

No-one does deals like me on a handshake any more. I once shook on a deal, was then offered 10k more but refused because of the handshake. I waited about 3 months iirc, only to find out that my buyer had lied about his land & the deal fell through. He had sold some of his back garden with planning permission for a house & not told the EA or me. This obviously came out when the searches were done & his buyer pulled out.

what a tw4t.

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If you're serious about buying the place let the vendor and agent know that you'll need specialist survey before you can make a new offer (withdraw the current one) to determine what you will need to spend on repair work & be able to adjust your offer accordingly - you really need to know how much it's likely to cost to sort out the damp and timber problems - it could be a couple of grand for minor issues like damaged flashing, or it could be a lot lot more.

Up until the point of exchanging contracts there's nothing legally binding so you're free to adjust your offer as you see fit. The agent is also legally obliged to pass on the new offer unless the vendor has explicitly instructed them not to pass on offers below a certain level. If they refuse to do so ask them to confirm in writing why they won't pass on the offer. As for the vendor needing to see proof, that's rubbish - they don't need to see anything.

Personally I'd be tempted to pull out completely and write to the vendor telling them; (1) about the problems with the property, (2) that the agent refused to pass on a revised offer, and (3) that they should very seriously consider engaging an estate agent that isn't a complete numpty.

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There are so many houses at the moment going up as SSTC and then a month or so later coming back on the market.

And this is a fine example of the lenders directly pushing house prices down. I bet they would not have had any problem in 07 giving the nod to this mortgage deal.

I cannot remember doing a historical house price check and seeing anything sold last half of 08 and 09!

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Hi, I am a buyer who offered 435K for a property on the market for a house on the market for 490K, to cut a long story short survey came up as a value of 385K (50K short) also numerous problems with timber/damp etc

I would like to purchase the house but for no more than the market value of 385K. Any suggestions.

I had a similar experience fourteen years ago when we bought our current home. The valuation and survey came in at a very significant percentage reduction of £7500 less than our offering price (it was a lot then) - with additional requirements for a proportion of the mortgage to be held back until satisfactory completion of building and maintenance work rewiring etc. We asked the estate agent to pass on our revised downward offer as per the valuation which was rejected by the vendor. After several conversations via the estate agent which were very unsatisfactory and of the type our client wishes. I eventually phoned the vendor directly. He suggested we supplement the mortgage offer with a bank loan in order to increase our offer . I declined. However, I explained that I did not want to pay more for the house than the detailed survey suggested and that we would need a bridging loan to cover the retained portion of the mortgage anyway. I also agreed to send him a copy of the survey. Three days later after receiving and reading the survey he phoned to accept the reduced offer and we bought ourselves a lovely family home which will serve our needs until our two children leave the nest in (hopefully) about seven years.

The survey was crucial to the negotiation. Neither of us have any real skill in haggling etc – our strengths are else where. So the valuation should be seen as an opportunity to buy the property at a more realistic price - but be prepared to walk away. Good Luck.

Edited by grasshopper

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Hi, I am a buyer who offered 435K for a property on the market for a house on the market for 490K, to cut a long story short survey came up as a value of 385K (50K short) also numerous problems with timber/damp etc

I contacted EA to say that my offer has changed to 385K due to survey and was made to feel that I was 'trying it on' and that the valuer did not know what he was on about and didn't understand the local area etc etc

I did get the EA's back up a bit when I suggested that I would prefer to listen to the valuation of someone I have paid to carry out a survey rather than anyone else's valuation and suggested that maybe the problems identified by the surveyor were not picked up by the EA when carrying out the initial valuation. To which she did obviously agree.

I reiterated that my revised offer was now 385K however the EA insisted that she could not pass this on to the vendor as she would need to see proof of the lower valuation and details of the defects identified as if I was not telling the truth and the vendor later found out that the survey did not say this that the EA would be liable for the 50K deficit.

I did remember seeing on the survey that it was for my and my legal representitive's use only and I phoned the surveyors office and was advised that it is not recommended that I give a copy of the survey to anyone other than my representitive.

I am now confused as the EA will not pass the offer on but my giving them a copy of the survey I would be compromising my own position.

I would like to purchase the house but for no more than the market value of 385K. Any suggestions.

Surveyors do not have a crystal ball... they do not have access to any other data that would help them understand what the price of properties might be, a valuation by a surveyor is NOT any comfort at all in this market that you are paying market price.

Surveyors use the comparables primarilly to value houses (mortgage companies insist on it).. where volumes are low there are no comparables, where this is the case the surveyor needs to use their best judgement. As they risk being sued if they get it worng then in a falling market they are all massively cautious.

What you could find here is one of two things.. either the surveyor is more correct or your offer is more correct... either way wat I would do is as follows:

1/ Pass the survey to the agent ( the guff about being for your use etc etc, just means that no one else can rely on it in court)

2/ Ask the agent to talk to the valuer and if he can persuade him to re-do his price then fine, go with it.

3/ If not tell the agent you like the house, want it but can't buy it without a valuation at the offer price, and so if the price can't fall, you can't buy and will need to reluctantly find something else.

4/ If it falls over there will be other houses around.

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I would do is as follows:

1/ Pass the survey to the agent ( the guff about being for your use etc etc, just means that no one else can rely on it in court)

2/ Ask the agent to talk to the valuer and if he can persuade him to re-do his price then fine, go with it.

3/ If not tell the agent you like the house, want it but can't buy it without a valuation at the offer price, and so if the price can't fall, you can't buy and will need to reluctantly find something else.

4/ If it falls over there will be other houses around.

That is the last thing I would do.

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Surveyors do not have a crystal ball... they do not have access to any other data that would help them understand what the price of properties might be, a valuation by a surveyor is NOT any comfort at all in this market that you are paying market price.

Surveyors use the comparables primarilly to value houses (mortgage companies insist on it).. where volumes are low there are no comparables, where this is the case the surveyor needs to use their best judgement. As they risk being sued if they get it worng then in a falling market they are all massively cautious.

What you could find here is one of two things.. either the surveyor is more correct or your offer is more correct... either way wat I would do is as follows:

1/ Pass the survey to the agent ( the guff about being for your use etc etc, just means that no one else can rely on it in court)

2/ Ask the agent to talk to the valuer and if he can persuade him to re-do his price then fine, go with it.

3/ If not tell the agent you like the house, want it but can't buy it without a valuation at the offer price, and so if the price can't fall, you can't buy and will need to reluctantly find something else.

4/ If it falls over there will be other houses around.

matters not whether the surveyor is fair or not, the LOAN is based on the surveyors valuation.

No LOAN no OFFER.

simples.

the rest of the advice is fine, the house has been valued, its lower than when the offer was made, so the buyer, either find the extra cash and have an instant loss, or deal with the new circumstances.

and just tell the agent in no uncertain terms he's pissed you off. should clear the air a bit.....he needs the sale as much, if not more, than either you or the vendor most likely.

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This gem was the most outrageous part of the EA's 'advice':

"I reiterated that my revised offer was now 385K however the EA insisted that she could not pass this on to the vendor as she would need to see proof of the lower valuation and details of the defects identified as if I was not telling the truth and the vendor later found out that the survey did not say this that the EA would be liable for the 50K deficit."

This is utter, utter sh1te, and I can't think of any legal reason that this would be the case (there's no way in hell that an EA would sign up to terms like that, and it's certainly not the default position in law).

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Agree with all that has been said so far.

I wanted to add: you have no obligation to share the valuation report with anyone, but it seems to me that in this case it might be in your interests to do so...

I certainly did so when I bought a home in 2002 and the valuation came in a few grand under my offer because of damp.

Showing the vendor the survey result was then a starting point for further negotiation.

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I would look into the cost of repairs before making that offer, you may end up having to find a lot of cash to do the work.

Agreed; the surveyor might be willing to give an informal estimate of costs if you have a friendly chat, assuming it's not already listed in the report. Or get a friendly builder to look around the property with you. Well worth following up on this IMO ... while also being aware that problems with damp and rot might be much more extensive than a surveyor can see without ripping floors and partitions apart, which doesn't happen even in a full structural survey.

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Just imagine - if the recovereh had really happened you would have had to bid the full £490k to get the house and the mortgage company would have been happy to value the house at that price.

Recovereh! Pah, who wants it?

If you really want this house and dare not risk missing out then go ahead and buy at the lower price indicated by your lender.

But, on the other hand, if you are happy to sit back and try to get it for less money it might be worth telling the agent you wish to pull out for the time being to 'consider your position'. Then go back in a couple of months with a 'new improved offer with blue whitener!'

Its a bit of a gamble, cos if a buyer with a bigger deposit comes along, you risk losing out as their mortgage company may be willing to advance the amount they need.

For me its a no brainer. Mrs D and I have seen a house we both like. But if you knock 12% off the asking price (I reckon the average buyer sticks about 10-12% on the price they want to achieve) its still 25% overvalued in todays market. Its a debt trap to anyone who buys at anything like the advertised price . And in 12 months time that trap will be even bigger!

Back to you though. Ultimately its your decison. Maybe your circumstances are more urgent than mine & Mrs D and those of many on here. But if you do step back - without killing the deal off completely - and play a waiting game, the seller will know that any other 'would-be buyer' will have the same problem with the mortgage company. They may just start chasing you.

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