Query re planned works - any advice would be extremely gratefully received!

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    Query re planned works - any advice would be extremely gratefully received!

    Hi there,

    I have recently agreed a price on a grade II flat; all finance is in place. However, my solicitor has just produced a letter from the seller's solicitors pertaining to some planned works to the exterior, which I was not aware of (summary attached). The seller's agent is saying they expect this to cost £12,000-18,000 + VAT, with myself being liable for 32%. As a gesture of "goodwill", they are prepared to knock £4,000 off the sale price, and to leave £2,500 on retention. Out of this money they would contribute 50% towards the final bill. However, my solicitor is highly skeptical of the estimate that the agent has put forward.

    I just wondered what others would do in this situation, or indeed if anyone has any experience of these sorts of works? I have no clear idea of the realistic upper limit, but I am thinking tens of thousands is in fact not unrealistic. Would proceeding in the absence of any actual quotes be egregiously reckless? Many thanks in advance for reading, I truly appreciate it!

    BW
    Mike
    Attached Files

    #2
    Unless it was new and a complete shock to the seller, if this has turned up during conveyancing, I'd run a mile.
    They're having a laugh.
    That should have been disclosed when the place was advertised and certainly before any offer was made.

    And, to judge the seller's opinion of you, 18k plus VAT is £21,600, so your 32% is £6,912 and they're offering you £4k off the sale and £2.5k on retention, so their offer won't cover the top end of the possible cost.
    And the chance of work being done to time and to budget is remote.

    If this was somewhere I loved and had to have, I'd want 5k off the price (to cover the 32% of the lower figure) and at least £15k retained.
    With those two figures flexible if they want to swap the values because of tax or some other reason.
    Or I'd wait until the work had been done.
    When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
    Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

    Comment


      #3
      Either walk away, or re-negotiate the price, if you walk away the seller will have to lower the asking price to compensate for the works. I would also speak with the managing agent who operate the property, and find out if there are other things planned in the next 3 years, so you are aware of further expenses you will need to factor in.

      Unfortunately as more and more flats are being developed, this will be the reality for some, while freehold property's, it would be up to you if and when you carry out the works.

      Comment


        #4
        If the property is grade 2 listed then you're going to face these sorts of charges for years to come.

        Comment


          #5
          Sounds like a grade 2 money pit to which you chuck in 32% of whatever the agent can grab.
          By the way , how much is the buildings insurance ??

          Comment


            #6
            Many thanks for the replies - sincerely appreciated. I can't see how they can fail to entertain a renegotiation of the price, because if I walk away they'll have the same problem with the next buyer, as alluded to above. My solicitor wants a £35,000 retention, so there's a massive disparity at present. I also have no inkling as to how they arrived at their estimate of 12-18 K; maybe I should seek to have that clarified? Regarding the chances of that estimate being accurate being remote, do you base that on the nature of the works, in your experience? Or just the apparent underhandedness of the seller? I don't doubt you are right, just wondered what informed that view.

            Thanks for the suggestion re ascertaining if there are other works planned. They said not around the time of my initial offer, but this has since come to light so I guess that's not particularly reliable.

            Just to mention as well, the asking price was £250,000; they ultimately accepted £244,000, so that would now be £240,000 with the proposed reduction. The interior is pristine; it has had only one tenant since a renovation in 2019. They are claiming the external work did not get done at that time because of the COVID situation.

            Comment


              #7
              There will have to be a Section 20 process and estimates obtained but it sounds like their initial estimate is just guess work based on previous experience - but with a listed building , and current material price increases costs are only going one way.
              Town centre flats are not in great demand currently either .....so unless you love it and want to live there forever you should haggle hard , in my opinion.

              Comment


                #8
                Thanks again for replying. My solicitor is going to inform theirs that we are going to wait for quotes. Seems the only viable option, really. Not sure what the upshot of that will be - presumably they'll have to "suck it up", as it were, and accept the delay that's going to entail.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Not sure if anyone is still following this, but the seller is now guaranteeing that my maximum liability for the works will be £2,500; they'll pay 50% of any bill to me up to £5,000; anything north of that, my liability will still be £2,500. Which sounds good, except that the asking price reduction that they offered a priori, of £4,000, has been retracted. As such, if their estimate of £12-18K + VAT for the works, of which I would be liable for 32%, proves accurate, this new deal would actually be worse for me given the sale price increase from £240K --> £244K.

                  Comment

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