Among the catalogue of conveyancing jargon, there’s a term that can make hearts sink and brows furrow: down valuation. Whether you’re a buyer excitedly planning your dream home or a seller eager to close a deal, understanding what a down valuation is and its implications is vital. Let’s delve into this critical aspect of property transactions.

What is a Down Valuation?

A down valuation occurs when a property is valued by a surveyor at a lower price than the agreed sale price. In simpler terms, it means the property is deemed to be worth less than what the buyer has offered or what the seller perceives its value to be.

Causes of Down Valuations

Down valuations can be caused by a number of factors. Let’s explore why down valuations happen:

  1. Market Fluctuations: Property markets can be unpredictable, with prices subject to fluctuations based on factors such as economic conditions, demand-supply dynamics, and regulatory changes.
  2. Overvaluation: Sometimes, sellers, or their estate agent, might have an inflated perception of their property’s value, leading to discrepancies between the agreed price and the actual market value.
  3. Property Condition: Issues uncovered during surveys, such as structural defects or poor maintenance, can lead to lower valuations as the property may require significant investment to rectify these issues.
  4. Comparisons: Surveyors often use comparable properties in the area to determine a property’s value. If recent sales of similar properties have occurred at lower prices, this can cause lower valuations.

Implications for Buyers and Sellers


For buyers, a down valuation can have several implications:

  • Financial Impact: If a mortgage lender values the property lower than the agreed price, the buyer may need to cover the shortfall with additional funds or renegotiate the purchase price with the seller.
  • Mortgage Approval: A down valuation can affect mortgage approval, as lenders typically lend based on the property’s valuation. If the valuation is lower than expected, it may impact the buyer’s ability to secure the desired mortgage amount.
  • Negotiation Leverage: A down valuation can provide buyers with leverage for renegotiating the purchase price. However, this may not always be successful, especially if the seller is unwilling to lower their price.


For sellers, a down valuation can also present challenges:

  • Sale Price Reduction: If the property is down-valued, sellers may need to reduce the sale price to proceed with the transaction, potentially resulting in financial loss or disputing their plans.
  • Buyer Confidence: A down valuation can erode buyer confidence and lead to renegotiation or, in some cases, the collapse of the sale altogether if the buyer is unable or unwilling to proceed at the revised price.

Down Valuation Advice for Buyers

For buyers facing a down valuation, here are some key pieces of advice:

  1. Consult with Experts: Seek advice from conveyancers and mortgage brokers who can provide guidance on your options and negotiate on your behalf with the seller and lender.
  2. Reassess Your Budget: Assess your financial situation and determine whether you can cover the shortfall, either through additional savings or renegotiation of the mortgage terms.
  3. Consider Alternatives: If renegotiation isn’t feasible, explore alternative properties or financing options that align with your budget and preferences.

How Common are Down Valuations?

Down valuations are not uncommon in property transactions, especially in volatile or competitive markets. While they can be frustrating and challenging to navigate, they are a reality that buyers and sellers may encounter during their property transaction.

In conclusion, understanding what a down valuation is and its implications is crucial for both buyers and sellers in the property market. By being aware of the factors that can contribute to down valuations and seeking expert advice when needed, parties can better navigate this aspect of property transactions and work towards achieving their goals.

A Down Valuation Doesn’t Define Your Property Search

It’s not unlikely you’ll face a down valuation in the current property market. Mortgage lenders are seemingly more risk averse right now, and estate agents have been known to slightly overvalue properties. However, if you do experience a down valuation – it’s far from the end of the world.

There are ways to overcome this obstacle, and it all starts with communication and, hopefully, negotiation. Whether you’re a buyer or seller, there’s always room for negotiation if you’re faced with a down valuation. Don’t panic and try to open a dialogue.

Best of luck in your property search and, if you need more support, feel free to contact PM Property Lawyers today!