Can my mortgage valuation surveyors be influenced by my estate agent?

Q: My estate agent called me yesterday telling me the man who's coming in to value the property has been "undervaluing properties" in my area. Instantly alarm bells are going off in my head as it seems she trying to justify the price (which I have already increased once, and suspect the Estate Agent instigated it). Is there anything I can do? Should I be worried? I was under the impression the valuer was independent.

 

The surveyor’s report is produced for the lender who wants to know the property is worth at least what they are lending you. This surveyor is therefore independent from the estate agent and vendor. If the vendor and agent have over-priced the flat (which could explain why the agent is saying what she is saying) then this valuation will expose that. A so called “down valuation” may effect the amount the lender is willing to loan you, in which case the sale could be at risk of falling through because you can’t secure sufficient funding. The options then are to :

a) challenge the valuation. Put the onus back on the agent. If they’re selling the flat at a certain amount they must have comparable evidence of similar properties selling at that amount. If they could provide this to the lender, the valuer may re-consider. If this doesn’t work you can ask a senior surveyor to look over the case but this may come at a price.

b) re-open negotiations with the vendor with the aim of getting a better price. Haggling over the price again, in your excellent position as a first time buyer, may be a quicker and more effective option.

In the meantime no, there is nothing you can do. Let the surveyor do his/her job and see what comes of it.

 

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