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Pulled Offer Post Survey

Hello,

I've recently had an offer accepted. The house was pulled from the market and listed as 'Sold STC'.

The house is old, over 200 years old. I arranged a RICS level 3 survey of the property and it came back a week later with 8 elements falling into category 3. Most other elements fell within cat 2 and just 4 into cat 1 which details elements of the property with no issues.

For context, category 3 defects are defined as: "These elements have serious defects and/or need to be repaired, replaced or investigated urgently. Failure to do so could risk serious safety issues or severe long-term damage to your property."

For more context, I've put 3 offers on houses in my lifetime, and I've followed through with the previous 2 with minimum fuss. I'm not what I understand as what might be considered a 'difficult buyer'. I've been on the receiving end of a 'difficult buyer' who pulled the day before completion and I'd never carry on that to someone else needlessly. 

I emailed the estate agent so there was a formal proven communication logged whereas I pulled from the sale and let the estate agent know about the summary of defects by screenshotting that page from the report. I'm not providing the full report - I paid £834 for that. I offered should the vendor request it, they could have it for half the cost.

I didn't receive an email back but today got a phone call back where the agent was fishing for more details as to the findings. I told them they can purchase it if they want. They said it's fine they would just re-list it and, out of curiosity I asked them if they'd continue to advertise it as an 'immaculate example'. They said as they've not commissioned a survey they're not aware of anything that would suggest otherwise - so would be re-listing it as such.

I find this baffling and a breach of integrity - are agents not obliged to inform prospective buyers as to the truth? It all feels very used car salesman-esque. Are they not regulated? What would you do in this situation?

TIA


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Comments

  • Mark_d
    Mark_d Posts: 283
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    I believe that in this case the estate agents would be in breach of The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 however prospective buyers should all be aware of the need for a survey of the property, so ...

  • Gavin83
    Gavin83 Posts: 8,729
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    We the issues listed definite or suggested next actions? For example did it say "the roof is falling down" or did it say "given the age of the roof it could be falling down so we recommend a specialist survey"? What were the issues listed? Surveyors have a reputation of covering their backs and making problems sound a lot worse than they are.

    In answer to your question I'm not really sure why you're so invested in this. You aren't buying the house, it isn't your problem anymore. Move on and find another. Besides which, given you haven't given them a copy of the survey nor any detail I'm not sure what you expect them to advertise. At the moment it's just hearsay and them saying to a buyer we think there's problems but we don't know what doesn't sound particularly helpful.
  • Albermarle
    Albermarle Posts: 21,185
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    There are numerous threads on here about Category 3 defects being highlighted after a survey has been done.
    Normally most of the defects are not as serious/urgent as the surveyors language tend to suggest, although sometimes really serious defects have been identified. So without details of the defects I guess the EA is happy to press on with their property description, as they no details to say otherwise.
    Only that a surveyor ( notoriously over cautious and wanting to cover themselves) has pointed out some problems that may or may not be that serious.
  • Gavin83 said:
    We the issues listed definite or suggested next actions? For example did it say "the roof is falling down" or did it say "given the age of the roof it could be falling down so we recommend a specialist survey"? What were the issues listed? Surveyors have a reputation of covering their backs and making problems sound a lot worse than they are.

    In answer to your question I'm not really sure why you're so invested in this. You aren't buying the house, it isn't your problem anymore. Move on and find another. Besides which, given you haven't given them a copy of the survey nor any detail I'm not sure what you expect them to advertise. At the moment it's just hearsay and them saying to a buyer we think there's problems but we don't know what doesn't sound particularly helpful.
    I gave them the summary of the issues. I'll post them below:
    They know there are serious issues, but they do not know the context of those issues.
  • user1977
    user1977 Posts: 13,359
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    As above category 3 is not necessarily something which an agent would require to disclose, and it would be pointless for an EA to pass on the vague info they have from you, if you're not willing to elaborate on what the problems actually are.
  • user1977 said:
    As above category 3 is not necessarily something which an agent would require to disclose, and it would be pointless for an EA to pass on the vague info they have from you, if you're not willing to elaborate on what the problems actually are.
    That seems bizarre.

    If you were buying a used car and the salesman knew of several critical issues, as the original owner of the vehicle told the salesman the engine is knackered, the suspension is about to fall apart and the sub-frame shows signs of failure but still sold it as immaculate to you as the buyer you'd be a bit !!!!!!, no?
  • bluelad1927
    bluelad1927 Posts: 305
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    Also put yourself in the shoes of the vendor/ EA. If a buyer had dropped out of a sale of your property  based on a survey.how would you remarket your property to reflect this 
  • njkmr
    njkmr Posts: 106
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    As much as I don't particularly like estate agents I would say they only present the property for sale. They don't do the survey or any in-depth analysis of the property condition so it's not in their remit to point out lots of potential issues with something they are trying to sell.
    Buyer be ware. Is the term used and what has been highlighted to you as potential issues may well not be an issue to the next buyer so if the property is fairly priced it may well be acceptable in its current condition for the next potential buyer. Horses for courses I guess.
  • fullyrendered
    fullyrendered Posts: 15
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    A 200 year old property described as an 'immaculate example' isn't in my mind about the condition, I would expect that to relate to how it looks, it's layout, and setting.

    Being 200 years old I would expect to be taking on a building that need ongoing TLC. A level 3 survey is usually only visual, non intrusive, and won't test electrics, gas or water, leaving lots of category 3 outcomes, recommending further investigation.
  • user1977
    user1977 Posts: 13,359
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    edited 16 January at 3:27PM
    user1977 said:
    As above category 3 is not necessarily something which an agent would require to disclose, and it would be pointless for an EA to pass on the vague info they have from you, if you're not willing to elaborate on what the problems actually are.
    That seems bizarre.

    If you were buying a used car and the salesman knew of several critical issues, as the original owner of the vehicle told the salesman the engine is knackered, the suspension is about to fall apart and the sub-frame shows signs of failure but still sold it as immaculate to you as the buyer you'd be a bit !!!!!!, no?
    But as explained by others above, "critical issues" aren't necessarily critical in the slightest. Often surveyors will e.g. recommend electric/gas gets checked (because they're not qualified to do so) and will assign things like that "category 3" until proved otherwise. Doesn't mean there's actually anything wrong.
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