How to negotiate house price after survey

  • 18th May 2022
  • 5 minute read
  • Written by Maisie Eames
How to negotiate house price after survey

In this guide

What to do after bad survey results on the property you
What are the most common problems surveyors come across?
Let the vendor know
Negotiate the price of the house

Before purchasing a property, a survey is carried out to assess the condition of the home, as well as identifying any structural issues, defects and if the price you are paying is reasonable. There are several different types of surveys varying by type of property – find out more about them here.

In most cases, surveys will be done and returned with little or no faults and the purchase can carry on as usual. However, if the survey identifies some issues about the property you are planning to buy, it could be your opportunity to negotiate the house price.

You may wish to reduce your offer to cover the cost of any problems you will need to fix and you’re well within your rights – as your purchase is subject to contract – the offer isn’t set in stone until the final contracts are signed.

What to do after bad survey results on the property you wish to buy 

After receiving the survey results and noticing some issues, it might be worth talking with your solicitor and letting them guide you through, so you can fully understand and work out your next steps…

Maybe you will need to get in touch with a builder, speak to a specialist about an issue, or discuss and negotiate with the seller. Either way, there are lots of options.

It’s important to remember that surveyors have to identify any issues they come across, big or small. So don’t be disheartened straight away if you see a list of findings – just spend some time weighing up your options. Remember, it’s a personal choice whether you fix the problems or decide to walk away from the purchase – there isn’t a right or wrong thing to do!

What are the most common problems surveyors come across?

Some of the findings of your survey may be a lot more common than you think, and there are things you can do to solve them – here’s some of the most common problems to appear after a survey…

Damp (Rising, Penetrating, Condensation)Dampness and the cost to repair it depends on the extent – a small patch can be fixed with DIY at a small cost, but large-scale dampness can cost thousands. There are 3 main types;  
Rising: When water rises from the ground through a building’s walls – signs to look for are wet skirting boards or peeling wallpaper.

Penetrating: Caused often by structural issues, heavy rainfall, and broken roof tiles, allowing rainwater to seep into the home.

Condensation: This is a common one and identified as moisture built up on a surface when warm air meets cold walls/windows.
SubsidenceMovement of the earth caused by nature or human activity that provokes the sinking of land. This may not be picked up straight away, but it’s worth looking for signs to protect you in the future such as cracks near windows and doors and rippling wallpaper and in its presence, seeking expert advice will help you get the most suitable course of action.
Rotten Window FramesThis depends on the quality of the wood and is often cheaper to repair rather than replace completely.
Invasive Plants (Japanese Knotweed) Invasive plants such as Japanese knotweed can be very difficult to remove and cause lots of problems. It can even make a mortgage void! But, there are removal methods. requiring specialist treatment and they can cost thousands, so it is important to consider negotiation if you come across it.
Issues with the roofRoof issues picked up can be anything from cracked tiles, blocked guttering, or an unstable structure. You will need to get this looked at by a professional and depending on the extent it could cost anything between £100 – several thousand depending on whether it’s a few tiles or a whole roof.
DrainageSeveral things can cause faulty drains such as backlog of water, pondage etc. and it all depends on the extent of the blockage. You will most likely need a specialist to solve the issue, and this could cost £250+ to identify and repair.

Let the vendor know

It’s best to speak with your surveyor about any issues first, but once they have confirmed them, inform the vendor or their solicitor. Don’t walk away immediately, but also don’t wait until contracts are exchanged to raise your concerns. The vendor might not be aware of the issues, and they might be willing to negotiate a price or fix them before completion. 

Negotiate the price of the house

The condition a property is in is a big part of the house price – and therefore the results of a survey can affect it a lot, so if any issues are discovered, you, as a buyer, completely have the right to re-negotiate your offer. 

When facing the issues, the best thing to do is be honest with the vendor and be honest with yourselves: tell them what you want as a result of the survey findings and consider the extent of the problems you’re raising. Also remember to be patient, as this can be a difficult period for both parties and you ultimately want to come to an agreement. Finding your ideal home is a big decision to make, so remember, before final contracts are exchanged, you are welcome to walk away if you feel the issues are too significant or you can’t come to a mutual decision – that is completely fine too!

If you want to sell your home the easy way, simply book your valuation now or for more information, get in touch.

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