Problems When Buying a House

Problems When Buying a House

For a smooth transition

Buying a house is a big life event. It's not just a roof over your head, but a place to call home. Yet, it’s not always as smooth as picking your dream house and getting the keys. From tricky mortgage terms to property surveys and everything in between, the process can feel like a legal labyrinth.

To learn more about how we can help, simply call us today on 0800 138 0458, or reach out through our website.

How Switalskis can help you

At Switalskis, we understand. We know you’re not just buying property - you’re investing in your future. That’s why we’re here to make this important journey as stress-free as possible.

Our team, guided by seasoned legal experts, is all about making it easier for you. We don’t just deal with the papers; we know this is a life-changing move for you. We’ll break down any unfamiliar legal words and keep you in the loop, aiming for a smooth process all the way.

Embracing technology

Buying your house is made easier with our user-friendly online service. Here’s what you can expect:

  • You begin by filling out essential forms, verifying your identity, and sorting initial payments through our online portal
  • Use our ‘Milestones’ feature to keep tabs on the process in real-time
  • Upload any vital documents we may need directly via the portal
  • Most legal documents can be read and signed right from your computer
  • Prefer email? We can securely send important information and documents straight to your inbox
  • And if you ever feel the need to discuss things in detail, an email or video call with us is just a click away

Problems that can arise

Buying a home isn't always straightforward; sometimes, unexpected issues can crop up. We're here to help guide you through these, but we also ask for your understanding and patience if challenges arise.

Higher offer

Firstly, until contracts are exchanged, neither buyer nor seller is legally bound. That means if the seller gets a higher offer, you might have to decide whether to increase your own offer or look for another property. On the flip side, if you're selling and your buyer pulls out, you'll likely want to get your property back on the market quickly.


Surveys are important for flagging potential problems in the property you're buying. If issues arise, you have a few options: either you or the seller can fix them, or you might agree on a reduced price. Keep in mind that if you're borrowing to buy, your lender might insist on repairs before going ahead with the mortgage, causing delays.

Down valuation by mortgage lender

Your mortgage lender's valuation of the property might differ from the agreed purchase price. If the lender values the property lower, you might have to renegotiate the price or find another lender, which can also lead to delays.


If you're in a property chain, where you're selling a house to buy another and so on, delays are more likely. Everyone in the chain has to be in sync, and if someone pulls out, the whole chain could collapse. The key to preventing this is open communication among all parties.

Delayed documentation

On your part, promptness in returning documents and forms can speed things up. If you're selling, have all relevant planning and warranty documents ready. If you're buying, get your ID, proofs of address and funds ready to avoid delays.

Mortgage lenders and third parties

Your relationship with your lender is also vital. There might be times when we'll need you to chase them up for quicker responses. Make sure you review all documents they send you for any errors to avoid delays later on.

Negotiating and renegotiating the purchase price

Discussions about furniture, planned repairs or changing the purchase price aren't legal matters, so we don't handle them. If there's an estate agent in the picture, they'll be your go-to for these negotiations. If there's no agent, then it's up to you and the other party to sort these things out. Be aware, that if you decide to adjust the purchase price, it could slow things down. Your lender will need to be informed, and you may need a new or updated mortgage offer. Also, various legal documents, like the contract and Stamp Duty forms, will have to be updated to reflect any changes.

Shared Ownership, Help to Buy mortgage, Help to Buy ISA, new build transactions

These situations aren't covered by the usual timeframes for conveyancing. Given the complexity involved, additional paperwork, legal drafting and updates can be needed, making the process take longer than usual.

Understanding these potential bumps in the road can make your home-buying journey a smoother experience.

What should I do if the survey uncovers issues?

Firstly, don't panic. A survey that highlights problems isn't the end of the world; it's a tool for informed decision-making. Here are some steps to consider:

Evaluate the issues

Go through the survey report carefully to understand the issues noted by the surveyor. Are they minor concerns, like a bit of damp, or are they major structural issues, such as a crumbling foundation? The severity of the problem will dictate your next steps.

Talk with your surveyor

Speak to the surveyor for a deeper understanding of the findings. They can provide context and possible solutions to the issues flagged in the survey.

Discuss with the seller

Open a dialogue with the seller about the issues. There are several paths forward:

  • Rectify the issues: you may request that the seller sorts out the issues before you complete the property purchase.
  • Price negotiation: if the seller can't or won't fix the problems, you could negotiate a reduction in the property price to compensate for the cost of repairs you'll need to undertake.
  • Walking away: if the issues are significant and the seller isn't willing to negotiate, you may choose to pull out of the purchase. Remember, it's better to lose a property than to be stuck in a money pit.

Consult your lender

If you're taking out a mortgage, keep in mind that significant issues may affect the property’s valuation. Your lender may withhold funds until repairs are made, or may even reassess the loan amount.

Seek our advice

Discuss the findings with Switalskis. We can advise you on how to best approach any renegotiations and the potential impact on the conveyancing process.

Make a decision

Ultimately, you'll need to decide whether to proceed with the purchase, negotiate the terms, or pull out entirely. Your choice will depend on the severity of the issues, your budget for repairs, and how much you want the property.

It's important to approach this step-by-step, keeping your long-term interests in mind. With the right professional guidance, you'll make a decision that you're comfortable with.

Start your conveyancing journey with Switalskis. Call us today on 0800 1380 458, or get in touch via our form.

Our residential conveyancing team

Photo of Sarah Cookson
Sarah CooksonDirector and Solicitor
photo of Mark Thornton
Mark ThorntonSolicitor
Rahul RoySolicitor
photo of Briony Ely
Briony ElySolicitor
photo of Gulshan Ali
Gulshan AliSolicitor
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Why Switalskis?

If you're looking to buy a house and need legal advice that's easy to understand, Switalskis is the place for you.

Clarity in complexity

Buying a house is a big deal with many steps that can seem complicated. We're here to make it easier for you. We'll answer all your questions, clear up any confusing legal terms, and keep you in the know at all times. This way, you can make choices you're comfortable with.

Empathy at every step

Buying a home is a huge moment in your life, and it can be emotional. That's why we're not just here to give legal advice. We're here to understand what you're going through, figure out what you really need, and offer advice that's tailored just for you. To us, you're not just another client; you're someone making a big life change, and we want to make sure it goes as smoothly as possible.

Expertise you can trust

When it comes to the legal ins and outs of buying a house, you want experts by your side. That's what you get with Switalskis. We've helped many people like you buy their homes, and we know our stuff.

Championing your rights

We're committed to making sure you get a fair deal and that your rights as a homebuyer are protected. From the first chat to the moment you get your keys, we'll keep you updated so you're never left in the dark.

Conveyancing services we can help with

Find out how Switalskis can help you

For more information about how to buy a house, call us today on 0800 1380 458 , or contact us through our website.

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