Letter: So much for the market price of my house

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The Independent Online
Sir: Regarding your article concerning the problems vendors are experiencing with their properties being undervalued ('The price was right for both of us', 10 July), the cases mentioned are tame by comparison with my experience.

Having put my flat on the market at pounds 76,950, I had three offers in the space of a week over the asking price. Naturally I accepted the best offer, of pounds 79,500. Last week I lost my buyer after his building society valuation came in at pounds 60,000, pounds 20,000 less than the agreed purchase price.

I am surely not too naive in believing that the 'value' of a commodity in a market economy is only what people are prepared to pay for it. I had three potential purchasers who were prepared to pay 30 per cent more than the value a surveyor was prepared to put on my property. Surely, something is badly wrong here.

Of course, this has enormous ramifications. I will probably lose the property on which I have had an offer accepted, as I wait for another buyer. The most frustrating aspect of all this, however, is that the poor vendor is, so far as I can tell, a helpless victim in this situation. I have no effective means of appeal or redress.

Even when I find another buyer, will the same thing just happen again?

Will building society down-valuing prevent me from selling my flat, despite there being a queue of people out there who are prepared to pay the asking price?

Yours faithfully,


London, W9

12 July