I have 7 days to prove my house is worth more than their selling it for.

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My house has recently been repossesed. The house is for sale at estate agents for 20,000 but I still owe 30,000 mortgage. Before the lenders changed the door locks I had 2 free valuations from different estate agents stating that they would but the house on the market for 34,000. Are these sufficiant documents to argue a shortfall or do I need to pay for a surveyour to value the house. The lenders will let me have my keys back for 7 days to remove left belonings. If I need to get a surveyour,how many surveys do I need, where should I get one from, what should I tell the surveyour is happening with the house (do I pretend I'm buying the house or tell him the truth & that I whant the document to argue a future shortfall}.?

-- mark (jamie@mills44.fsworld.co.uk), October 31, 2001

Answers

There is no harm in asking a surveyor for a valuation, although estate agents are usually valuers as well, the surveyor might not give a "market value" which is what you want. But there is no harm in trying and the more evidence you have of underselling the better. I would expect that pretending to buy the house rather than saying its for a shortfall claim might get you a better response. Also get a copy of the details of your house from the agent who is selling. If they are not aware of who you are, you might want to ask them why it is much cheaper than other houses in the area and see what they say.

As a repossession order has already been granted, I'm not quite sure what other remedies you might have. The courts can't give legal advice, but it might be worth ringing and asking if you can appeal against the repossession order and ask for say, 3 months to try and sell it yourself. You should also see a solicitor, so that they can prepare the paperwork for you. It might cost you a bit, but if you can sell the house yourself rather than the lender doing it then it will be worth it not to have the stress that comes with facing a shortfall claim.

When you do get the keys back, take plenty of photographs of the house, also take pictures of anything which might possibly need repair. On previous shortfall claims, lenders have charged for "repairs" which were unnecessary, you'll need the pictures for evidence.

If there are repairs which may be required, then get some tradesmen in for quotes, then if the work is done and there are discrepancies in the costs, you have your own quotes.

Please do come back and let THRP know how you get on.

Good luck

-- pendle (pendle_666@yahoo.co.uk), October 31, 2001.


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