Selling Your House? How You Can Influence The Surveyor Valuation!
Today was a very important day for our family, a surveyor has been to survey our house!
4 weeks ago we put our house on the market after years of debating. After putting an immense amount of effort into preparing our home for a viewing, last week we accepted an offer and sold our house! Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not counting my chickens just yet. Accepting an offer is the easy bit and is just the beginning of a process of technicalities and legal issues, all of which have potential obstacles to the sale of your house hidden within them!
One of these is the need for your buyer to have a home survey conducted on your property. There are 2 reasons why a home survey can cause problems for you when selling your house.
One problem which you have no control over are structural issues with your property. If structural issues exist in your home, a surveyor will have to correctly report these. If he doesn’t, his license to trade could be withdrawn and his reputation damaged permanently.
The other is the overall valuation a surveyor places on your home. If you play your cards right you might just have a chance of influencing this valuation and preventing the problems an undervaluation could cause. You may only affect it by a small margin but this margin could be enough to secure your house sale!
Is your house worth what you say it is?
So you’ve had an offer on your house and your potential buyer has found the right mortgage and had it approved in principle, great news! But is your house worth what you say it is? This may sound like a silly question, after all you had your house valued by an estate agent when you placed it on the market. Sadly though, this is not a guarantee that the valuation you were given is accurate.
Valuations Are A Matter Of Opinion
Property values can be highly debatable. Have you ever watched television programs like property ladder? Programs like these tend to have around 3 different estate agents value a property and you will often be shocked by the difference in opinion between the experts as to the true value of a property. Valuations can differ by tens of thousands of pounds depending on who is valuing it! You can see why a surveyor might have a different view to that of your estate agent regarding the true value of your property!
Property Markets Can Change Quickly
It’s not uncommon in these recessionary times for houses to stay on the market for several months, even years! The property market is constantly changing. If your home has been on the market for some time it may not hold the same value as it did when you first placed it on the market.
Does The Valuation Matter? It matters a lot!
When your buyer applied for a mortgage on your property, they will have done so on the basis that your house is worth what they are paying for it. When a bank gives out a mortgage loan they base the amount they are willing to lend on the stated value of the property. If you agree to accept an offer of £100,000 and the bank is prepared to lend up to 90% of the value of the property, it will lend £90,000 with the buyer funding the other £10,000 with a deposit. A problem might arise if the surveyor the bank has hired to value your property, only values it at £90,000. In this case the bank will now only lend £81,000 (90% of £90,000). Can you see how this might cause a problem for your buyer? If your buyer still wants to buy your home for the £100,000 they’ve offered they will now have to find a £19,000 deposit!
Could you easily place your hands on an extra £9,000? This is why the valuation placed on your property is so important!
A Happy Surveyor Is A Generous Surveyor!
As we said earlier unless you’re willing to do some home improvements, you can’t change the structural condition of your property and a surveyor will have to accurately reflect that. The true value of your home is much more debatable though and because of this a surveyor has much more flexibility in this area. There are some things you can do to make sure this flexibility is to your benefit meaning you receive a higher valuation, rather than to your detriment by getting a lower valuation!
This is the most important thing you can do and is the start of you being able to have a certain level of influence over a surveyors valuation!
Sweeten Him Up
Remember a happy surveyor is a generous surveyor! We can all get into a bad mood at work, especially when we’ve had a long day dealing with ignorant people. When you’re in a bad mood do you tend to feel happy & generous or angry & stingy? Surveyors are no different.
So what can you do to put him in a better mood? Greet him with a smile, offer him a drink and ask him about his day. Your personal interest in him will encourage him to take a personal interest in you and your situation! Don’t go over the top though, you don’t want him to think your only being nice to affect his valuation!
It can be tempting to try and explain away any negative aspects of your house. Don’t! Every house has its problems and most of them are things that only we notice because we see them day in day out. Again don’t go over the top but try to mention the positive aspects of your house to give the surveyor a positive mindset rather than a negative one. I assure you it will reflect in his valuation.
Mention Your Need To Move
By this point we’re hoping that the surveyor has taken a liking to you. You’ve shown a personal interest in him and you’re now hoping that he will do the same. If you have specific reasons for moving that seriously affects your life, if you’ve managed to develop some common ground he might just be inclined to help your situation by giving the most positive valuation of your home possible!
Mention Your Agreed Selling Price
This is a very delicate area you need to approach with care as no one likes to be told how to do their job, but surveyors might not always know the price you’ve agreed to sell your property for. As far as you’re concerned though, this is the most important piece of information they can have!
Imagine you’ve put into practice all the points we’ve mentioned so far and your surveyor is feeling happy and positive but doesn’t know your agreed selling price. Feeling positive, he values your house at a very reasonable £98,500. The agreed selling price though is £99,500, big problem! Had he known what the agreed purchase price was, and had taken a liking to you, do you think he would have hesitated to add a further £1000 to the valuation given the degree of flexibility he has? It’s a lot more difficult for a surveyor to justify a change in his valuation after he’s put it in writing than before, so discreetly make sure he knows your agreed purchase price before he leaves!
I hope this article helps you see how important a surveyors valuation is and how you can swing it in your favour!