What to do if your buyers renegotiate the price because of a ‘bad’ survey

Not all buyers have surveys. Quite a high proportion of buyers rely on their lenders’ mortgage valuation report, which is primarily about what the property is worth, not really about its physical condition. But even in a mortgage valuation report, the surveyor may point out defects in the property and make recommendations for putting them right.

If your buyers, in addition, have a full-scale survey – either a homebuyer’s report or a full structural survey – they will receive a report on the physical state of the property, and this will highlight any problems or potential problems which the surveyor sees.

A survey report makes frightening reading. Inevitably, the surveyor will point out problems and make quite a big deal out of them, not necessarily because the problems are as big as they are described, but because the surveyor has to worry about being sued for negligence if he or she fails to point something out.

Your buyers may be genuinely concerned by some of the things highlighted in the report. If so, they may very well propose a price reduction. Some buyers are more unscrupulous and actually rely on the surveyors to come up with something that will allow them to have a second crack at negotiating the price, even though they don’t really think there is anything wrong with the property which they couldn’t live with.

Most of the time, you should be able to combat this strategy and stick to your price.