What should I do if a bad survey comes back on the property I’m buying? Alright, so you’ve had a survey come back, it’s got some rough things on there, maybe the roof needs replacing, or the electrics are shot. Our first suggestion would be to read the survey thoroughly, and try to put it into context. For example, if you’re buying a 1950’s bungalow that needs updating, a lot of that information is probably not going to be new to you. If you’re expecting to renovate the property, then what the survey has listed should probably be things that you’ve thought about already. If you find that it’s subsiding, of course that’s a big deal, but if it’s just general repairs and things that you could gauge from looking at it, we wouldn’t recommend trying to get money off, and hopefully if you’re entering the sale with plans to renovate, then you would have a budget set aside for renovations anyway. So in that case, we recommend moving forward, you know what you’ve got and your eyes are open.
The other thing to consider is that surveys are done to current standards. So if you buy a property that was built in 2000, and hasn’t had the electrics redone, they’ll likely fail a current electrics test. But unless you’re buying a newbuild, you shouldn’t expect new electrics and you shouldn’t expect a brand new boiler. It’s nice if you’ve got one, but it’s just about understanding what you’re buying into. And if there’s a big surprise in there, I understand wanting to renegotiate, which is definitely a question you can take to your agent.
From the seller's perspective, if you get a survey come in and the buyer wants to renegotiate, then it’s important to be honest as well. Did you know your boiler was actually faulty and that they would want a working boiler when they moved in? We recommend either paying to replace or fix the items, or you may want to negotiate some money off just to save you the hassle. The key is to be open and honest with your buyers, and not be offended when the survey comes back with different bits and pieces. Asking your agent or solicitor for advice is always a good idea if you feel lost.