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Negotiating the house price after a survey

Congratulations! You’ve had your offer accepted on a house which is great news and means you’re one step closer to getting the keys to your dream home. Following the offer acceptance, it’s common for most people to have a house survey carried out on their new house-to-be, so they know exactly what condition it’s in before they go ahead and complete the purchase. But what are you expected to do once you’ve received this report back? Most commonly, if nothing is uncovered during the survey, the deal continues with the accepted price agreed, but occasionally, your report may contain items that were not obvious when you first viewed the property.

Can you renegotiate?

Yes – absolutely you can. Your offer to purchase the house remains Subject to Contract (STC) and you may change your mind at any time. The results of your survey may form part of the contract specifics, especially if you require that the vendor makes repairs or alterations as the value of the property is entirely dependent on the outcomes of the report.

It is very likely that neither the vendor, or the estate agent would have known about any problems beforehand, and it is entirely reasonable to negotiate a house price after a survey and provide a counter offer if things have changed.

Be honest with the vendor

Being upfront with the vendor about what your survey has shown, including any costs associated with fixing them is a perfectly fair reason for renegotiating on the price. This is made much easier if you're able to share your report with them so that they can see it themselves.

Finding a new buyer at this time can be very time consuming or costly for them. The sooner you can discuss this with your vendor (or with the estate agent usually) the better – your vendor is likely to also be buying a house and they will likely want a quick resolution so that they don’t lose out on their own purchase.

Be honest with yourself

If you change your offer price, are you prepared to lose this house if the vendor pulls out? If you’re genuinely not willing to part with the full offer and your vendor is not willing to negotiate, the deal may fall through. It comes down to the difference in perceived value or the cost of fixing any problems. Is saving £500, £1,000 or £10,000 enough of a reason to go back on the deal? A house is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it.

Gazundering

Gazundering means lowering the previously agreed sale price, just prior to the contract being signed. It's not illegal to do, but it is an unscrupulous way of saving money as the offer is usually changed at the very last minute.

Changing your mind about the price you’re willing to pay after performing a survey is not deemed to be gazundering. It's the reason surveys are completed in the first place, and you're well within your rights, both legally and morally to act upon their outcomes.

For further advice about moving house, please get in touch with us today and our friendly team will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have. 

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