When the price isn't right: what to do if your property devalues
by Housesimple on 11th November 2016
You've found a buyer for your property and they have agreed to a price: surely it's time to pop the cork and celebrate? However, for those of you selling property, your home value is not quite set in stone just yet.
Frequently the buyers’ report will come back from the lenders’ surveyor with a lower valuation, which means going back to the drawing board with your figure and bringing it down a notch or two. Revising your property price downwards can be frustrating, what with the added paperwork for both you and the buyer, and the added possibility of the sale derailing.
If you are faced with a devaluation, here are our top tips for staying cool, calm and collected, and keeping your home sale on track.
It’s the surveyor's job to raise every small detail, so the first thing to do is investigate the reason for the lower valuation. Have a look into how serious the situation is and fully address it with the buyers.
Get as much information about the issue from the surveyor as possible and find out how quickly and easily the problem can be repaired.
You could also commission a new report to get a second opinion, especially if you give the buyers a good enough reason for doing so (or if you offer to help foot the bill).
Whether you proceed with the sale to the same buyer, or move on to seek someone else to buy the property, use the report to remedy any issues that were raised.
That could mean getting quotes to see about removing troublesome Japanese knotweed, or having a certified tradesman investigate suspected damp issues. Whatever the issue, remember to get several quotes for a clear idea of costs before attempting to push your home value back up to where you think it should be. The cost of repairs, or of finding another buyer, may not be worth your while.
Sometimes homes are devalued simply because the surveyor disagrees about the market price of a property. If you can’t convince the buyer to get a second opinion on this, you may have to accept the opinion of the surveyor and renegotiate the house price.
Try to be considerate when weighing up the impact of the surveyor's report on the value of your property. Consider any new offers carefully, and weigh them up against what you believe is the fair value, as well as the cost of finding a new buyer, before you decide.