As if house buying and selling wasn’t stressful enough, unexpected issues can lead to extra negotiations like gazundering.
House buyers are more demanding than ever and while sometimes gazundering can be necessary if there are problems, sometimes it can be an unethical tool to reduce the price at a late stage.
As someone that has had buyers try to reduce the price of my house and had to renegotiate a house based on survey issues, I’ve been on both sides so I have some advice to share!
The official definition of gazundering is when homebuyers lower an offer on a house after a higher one has been accepted. If this happens to you then these are the things that you need to do to find out if it is legitimate or not.
What to if you get gazundered on a property
Look at the survey
If a buyer is concerned about points raised on a survey then ask for it to be sent to you. These issues might be serious but a buyer could exaggerate them if they don’t provide evidence. It can give you an idea about whether there are overarching issues with the property or just the normal level of snags here and there.
Find out if the quotes are realistic
I was sent a quote for some work on my previous house that turned out to be way too high. The quote said that the lead flashing on the awning would cost £200 to fix when the tape can be bought for £20 and replaced easily without a tradesperson. Use your judgement on whether the quote is realistic or not as if you’ve lived in the property a while then you’ll have an idea of what things cost.
Consider the importance of the points raised
If something that has been raised on the survey is not something that has affected your time living in the property then consider how important it actually is. A slightly wonky utility room countertop was mentioned on our survey and while it’s something that needs to be changed, it’s an aesthetic thing more than an actual problem. Buyers should expect to have a few snags until they’re paying a premium for a house in mint condition.
Provide extra paperwork if necessary
If issues pertaining to things like damp, the electrics, double glazing or the boiler for example, and you’ve had work done on them then show your paperwork. Guarantees like this mean that the buyer won’t need to spend more money fixing them for a certain period of time.
Get a second opinion if necessary
If quotes seem high or issues don’t seem that serious then get a second opinion from an expert or tradesperson. When someone is doing work for you anyway or you have a personal relationship with you then they should have some idea what fixes or necessary and whether quotes are too high.
Consider getting the work done yourself
If the issues with the house are genuine, like an asbestos roof or a crack in the pointing then these are problems you can address yourself. This could save you money and the hassle of negotiating, especially if you know good tradespeople. Once you’ve provided evidence of the fix being done to the necessary standard, then you can keep the original sale price.
Buying and selling a house is stressful enough and sometimes it’s better to let buyers go if behave very badly. That’s what we did in the end and we found much nicer buyers. Otherwise, it’s important to come to a mutually acceptable agreement so that both parties get a fair deal.
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