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Matt Jones
Matt Jones, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 671
Experience:  I am a qualified and practising Solicitor with over 7 years post qualification experience
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Hi, I am trying to buy a house in Potter Bar, EN6. Valuation

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I am trying to buy a house in Potter Bar, EN6. Valuation was done based on which Woolwich issued mortgage offer - no problem whatsoever!
Then solicitor did searches were done and environmental search showed " moderate ground instability" which was sent to Woolwich and their surveyors.
We are now in a situation that Woolwich wants solicitor to take a decision on this, solicitor is saying that they can't as they are not experts on ground stability and the original surveyers who done valuation don't want to get involved!
I don't know what to think and do... If we need an additional expert at additional cost, how do I know that this will be ok by Woolwich ...they are not confirming anything... Who can help in this situation?
Matt Jones :

hi i will try and help

Matt Jones :

i have been in this position unfortunately as a legal advise and it isn't the easiest situation unfortunately as no one wants to take the the blame/responsibility.

Matt Jones :

have you had the costs of a further survey advised to you ?

Customer: Hi Matt,
Customer: Hi not yet...I have asked so
Customer: I have asked my solicitor to check with Woolich if the external person needs to be on their idea how to go about finding such person!
Matt Jones :

just to clarify, what are your solicitors saying. Are they saying they wont proceed at all?

Customer: Correct...they won't because they are saying that they won't take that risk ...they don't want to go to exchange and for me to put deposit and then lose it in case Woolwich changes their position and won't pay...
Matt Jones :

Ok. very difficult when you have that situation. i will tell you a similar time i had with a client and see if this helps.

Matt Jones :

I did an environmental search that revealed a moderate ground stability. it was somewhere near the south east of England, near the coast. I faxed the mortgage company (they happened to be the Woolwich i remember !). They basically replied it is up to you, if you can certify that the property is OK they they would release the money, leaving the decision up to me (typical lenders!!). I said to clients we would need a further survey, which I think cost £35-40. The further survey revealed nothing. The client wished to proceed and so I asked them to sign a disclaimer waiting any right oo sue me if anythign wet wrong, I certified to the lender and we progressed to completion

Matt Jones :

i cannot of course comment on whether this would be your solicitors decision (that is up to them) but that is one way to get around the issue

Customer: I see, that is interesting....I think I will look into the additional physical survey and ask them to confirm the cost. I have already done 2 extra ones online today, which cost £40.... But I think in this situation it is worth to have extra expert survey... That is even for a future if I need tin
Customer: to sell the property
Customer: then I will ask my solicitor about the disclaimer
Customer: do you think I am taking too much risk?
Matt Jones :

risk is subjective...yes, i mean it it is always worth getting the best survey possible. But (whisper it..

Customer: The house is nice and it is 1950 solid ex council ... It has been there for a while and unlikely to collapse!
Matt Jones :

surveyors are fallible, as we all are) at the end of the day there is risk in everything (think sinkholes etc) but as you say (before I hit return too early!) the house has been there a good long while. Everything is a risk but I have the say that I have been in the game long enough to know that risk it like a hot potato. You just have to make sure it doesnt land in the solicitor hands

Matt Jones :

get the next survey and if you are still comfortable then see if the solicitor will proceed with the disclaimer

Customer: Hehehe... Brilliant!... Love that comment about hot potatoe!,,Listen thank you very much... You have given me a new approach for tomorrow...about the disclaimer. I am going to insist that that search is done and possibly paid by deducting from purchase price. I am paying for this property £5k above asking price... So I think it is only fair .... Also I will ask for more time from the vendor.
Customer: i will update you tomorrow if that is ok... Goodnight
Matt Jones :

yes no problem. Be grateful if you click to leave me positive feedback that way I get paid for my time. The question wont close and you can come back and ask further questions later on. Would be interested how this one turns out for you !

Customer: Ok thank you
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