The Daily Telegraph - Your Money - - How To Sell Your Home For More -

WHEN I agreed a price to sell my buy-to-let flat in North Lon­don, I did not ex­pect the mort­gage val­u­a­tion sur­vey com­mis­sioned by the buyer to come up with a com­pletely dif­fer­ent fig­ure.

Yet af­ter ac­cept­ing a £412,000 of­fer for the twobed­room flat in June, the sur­veyor from char­tered sur­vey­ors e.surv de­cided it was worth only £360,000, de­duct­ing a chunky £52,000 based on “eco­nomic en­vi­ron­ment and lo­cal area”.

Luck­ily for me, the buyer did not im­me­di­ately head for the hills. We both knew that an al­most iden­ti­cal flat in the same listed build­ing sold for well above this amount, at £385,000, at the end of last year. My buyer chal­lenged the val­u­a­tion, sup­ported by the es­tate agent, Fox­tons, who sent off ev­i­dence of sim­i­lar prop­er­ties that had sold re­cently in the area, to jus­tify our opin­ion that the flat was worth sub­stan­tially more.

Af­ter a cou­ple of weeks and a lot of chas­ing, the sur­vey­ors re­con­sid­ered their view, and upped the val­u­a­tion to £395,000. Al­though not quite as high as the orig­i­nal price, it was near enough for the buyer and me to meet some­where in the mid­dle. This meant he could keep the same mort­gage rate, with­out look­ing for a new deal, and I did not have to start all over again seek­ing a new buyer.

Paul Sparks, tech­ni­cal di­rec­tor at e.surv, said: “Where a val­uer in­spects a prop­erty, he will take into ac­count the con­di­tion, lo­cal area and state of the mar­ket, and will al­ways ob­tain com­pa­ra­ble ev­i­dence of other prop­er­ties, to pro­duce a val­u­a­tion re­port.

“On oc­ca­sion, th­ese val­u­a­tions are chal­lenged, and when re­view­ing the file we would re­quire ev­i­dence that will sup­port the view of a dif­fer­ence in val­u­a­tion.

“In the light of ad­di­tional ev­i­dence and any re­search we have car­ried out, if a dif­fer­ent val­u­a­tion was ap­pro­pri­ate, we would con­sider chang­ing the fig­ure. Our tar­get is to deal with chal­lenges within two days, al­though some­times this can take longer.”

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