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Down-Valuations and How They Impact House Sales

When buying a property, it is likely you will need to pay for a valuation to prove to your lender that the property is worth what you have agreed to pay for it. If this report comes back stating that the asking price does not equate to the value, then this is known as ‘down-valuation’ and can jeopardise the sale.

What Happens?

If a down-valuation happens, the surveyor who carried out the report will base their findings on the market value of the property, and then the lender will only agree to lend that amount to the buyer. If it is less than the buyer needs in order to complete the purchase, then unfortunately the sale may fall through and time and money will be wasted.

What Causes a Down-Valuation?

Although previously quite unusual, the past two years has seen an increase in down-valuations. It has been suggested that this may be because since the Brexit vote the market has been less stable, and therefore it has become harder for surveyors to value a property as there is less movement – so less data to compare with.

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Bucking the trend is Scotland, where house sales are at an eleven-year high according to new figures reported recently.

Another reason for a down-valuation can be where the surveyor has been appointed by the lender and is not familiar with the area. For example, if being within the catchment area of a desirable school or living on a particular road increases the value, this may not be factored in by a surveyor who doesn’t know the desirable locations.

A home buyers survey Oxfordshire from companies such as https://www.samconveyancing.co.uk/Homebuyers-Survey/Home-Buyers-Survey-Oxfordshire can be provided by experienced surveyors who can assess the correct market value.


If a buyer feels a valuation is wrong, they can appeal the decision. It can also be possible to get a second opinion, but this can take time and, depending on the seller’s situation, could result in the property going back on the market.

If the buyer really has their heart set on the property, then they can of course consider alternative ways to raise the capital required to complete the purchase. However, depending on an individual’s personal circumstances, this does come with obvious risks so should be considered very carefully before making a commitment.

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