Disagreeing With a Prospective Buyer's Survey

What can you do if you disagree with the valuation and content of the prospective buyer’s survey?

When you sell your home it may be inspected by:

  • A valuer on behalf of the buyer for the purposes of a valuation report to support the mortagage application
  • A surveyor on behalf of the buyer if he/she commissions their own home survey report eg, a RICS Condition Report, RICS Homebuyer Report or a RICS Building Survey
  • A specialist surveyor or contractor on behalf of the lender and/or buyer to investigate and report on specific issues identified.

All, especially a survey and/or a specialist report, will provide the buyer information about the property which may not have been available when the purchase price was agreed (which is normally subject to survey). The buyer can then make an informed decision on whether to proceed with the purchase or to re-negotiate the terms.

Liability of the report for a lender and/or buyer

A report is the result of contracts between the lender and/or buyer and the surveyor and/or valuer who  will have ensured that he/she only has a duty of care or liability to the client (buyer and/or lender) unless he/she has specifically extended liability to another party.

The seller's rights over the survey report

The seller doesn’t have any option against the lender and/or buyer’s valuer and/or surveyor as regards their competence even if the seller feels that the report was inaccurate.

A seller doesn’t have any right to see a copy of reports unless the buyer chooses to disclose them and the surveyor/valuer must not discuss the report’s actual or likely contents with the seller without the buyer's knowledge and consent.

If this was to happen it could be in breach not of the contractual duties to the client but also the RICS Rules of Conduct.

What can a seller do to protect their interests?

If you consider a buyer is making unreasonable demands, you can refuse to sell at any price or on any terms and look for another prospective buyer.

If you consider a buyer is making unreasonable demands, you can refuse to sell at any price or on any terms and look for another prospective buyer. However if you commission your own survey such as our   Condition Report prior to putting your property on the market you can work with your surveyor and estate agent in either dealing with any issues found or sell as seen but priced accordingly to reduce the risk of further renegotiation or the deal falling through.

Our Buying a Home  and Selling a Home guides explain the buying and selling processes.

For  further information contact our library team.