pollyp23

House Clearance: Being Offered Less Than Items Are Worth

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If one calls in people to value say, a collectible item and the valuer offers a figure that he knows is substantially less than what an item is worth and the offer is accepted, is there any comeback?

 

Is it fraud? If the seller can prove that the buyer knowingly undervalued the item, is this a crime?

 

I'm talking around 10 items that were purchased for £50 in total, yet would each sell for £1000 to £3000, the items being purchased by an expert on said items.

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I suspect that a variation of "Caveat emptor" would apply.

Unless you could prove that the purchaser knew/should have known the true value and an expectation of a quick sale value, and offered a low value in an attempt to deceive.

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If they immediatley went on sale via the same company for the huge price then you could argue that they already knew the value and gave you deliberatley incorrect advice in the guise of an expert. You should always find out the value of things nowadays, with google its not hard. A buyer will buy an entire housefull of stuff under the guise of house clearance just to get one single piece knowing that the piece will make them a massive profit. 

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I think if you were offered a price and excepted that price then you have no comeback. It's up to you to find out the value of items before selling them.

I wouldn't think it's illegal for, say, an antique dealer to offer a low price, even knowing the true value, in order to maximise his profit.

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I think you need to be careful about "valuer" - if a person holds himself out as being a valuer of, say English Antique Furniture, and he gives you a low valueation on a bit of wood that next week you see at Christies as "the lost masterpiece from Chippendale", you might, perhaps have some come back. Certainly you can make stink with his professional organisation, and, if the value is big enough, tip HMRC the wink!

 

What you put in the header, however, is streets away from a "Valuation" - House Clearance is a bulk purchase job - probably the deceased's child or executor, wants the house empty before the next month's rent needs to be paid, so a junk shop man, with van comes round, has a quick shufti, sucks his teeth, and says "Two fifty quid mate - tops", and he removes the lot, as contracted for, and back at his aladdin's cave he finds a few good bits which he flogs for a handsome profit. That's business my boy! Son or Executor should have been more careful.

 

Next question, can the daughter now sue the son or executor for what she seems to have lost? Silverado?

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An offer to buy is just that... if you accept the offer, then that's the deal.

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I think you need to be careful about "valuer" - if a person holds himself out as being a valuer of, say English Antique Furniture, and he gives you a low valueation on a bit of wood that next week you see at Christies as "the lost masterpiece from Chippendale", you might, perhaps have some come back. Certainly you can make stink with his professional organisation, and, if the value is big enough, tip HMRC the wink!

 

What you put in the header, however, is streets away from a "Valuation" - House Clearance is a bulk purchase job - probably the deceased's child or executor, wants the house empty before the next month's rent needs to be paid, so a junk shop man, with van comes round, has a quick shufti, sucks his teeth, and says "Two fifty quid mate - tops", and he removes the lot, as contracted for, and back at his aladdin's cave he finds a few good bits which he flogs for a handsome profit. That's business my boy! Son or Executor should have been more careful.

 

Next question, can the daughter now sue the son or executor for what she seems to have lost? Silverado?

He's not talking about house clearance though is he? I think the OP need to come back and clarify exactly what the circumstances were

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I suspect that a variation of "Caveat emptor" would apply.

Unless you could prove that the purchaser knew/should have known the true value and an expectation of a quick sale value, and offered a low value in an attempt to deceive.

Caveat venditor. 

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He's not talking about house clearance though is he? I think the OP need to come back and clarify exactly what the circumstances were

No, I'm not!

 

I'll have a think about how to describe it...

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No, I'm not!

 

I'll have a think about how to describe it...

 

Why put "House Clearance:" in the topic heading?

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Why put "House Clearance:" in the topic heading?

Covering my back? Remember the posts about revealing too much?

 

Still thinking about how to ask the question without revealing too much, though my initial worries have, to an extent, been negated now. :-)

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If one calls in people to value say, a collectible item and the valuer offers a figure that he knows is substantially less than what an item is worth and the offer is accepted, is there any comeback?

 

So was the person brought in to value the item or to buy the item? Or both?

 

1. If you engage someone officially to value something you want to sell, and they knowingly undervalue, let's say because they are in cahoots with the buyer, then it's fraud (though you presumably have to demonstrate proof of engaging the valuer, and of their assessment). 

 

2. If you ask someone to buy an item and they informally represent themselves as an expert but knowingly undervalue an item, that's just a negotiation tactic and if you take their word for it, I suspect you will have no recourse.

 

3. If someone walks up informally at a yard sale or house clearance and makes an offer for something and the seller accepts it, there is definitely no recourse. Caveat emptor applies.

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Just to clarify, caveat venditor is a principle used to protect buyers, not sellers. I.e. a seller has to be responsible for product quality and cannot sell any crap assuming caveat emptor.

 

I would not think it is applicable in a case where the seller himself or herself does not know the value of the item they are selling.

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Scenario: lets say there is a clockmaker of much repute, but whose products are no longer made.

 

Over a period from, say 1900 to 1993, this clockmaker made high quality timepieces that are  highly regarded internationally.

 

Then, the company goes bankrupt and is shut down. The company donates examples of its products to a museum. After 20 years someone checks what is there, but the original list of stuff is missing the best, most sort after pieces.

 

On investigation, it turns out that a restorer of said timepieces has visited said storage and seems to have removed said valuable pieces, restored them and then sold them.

 

The  museum did not know the value of some of these pieces. The company who removed them, did. Is this a crime?

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On whose authority did the restorer visit said storage and remove the timepieces? Is there some sort of authorisation from a museum employee with the terms of this removal?

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On whose authority did the restorer visit said storage and remove the timepieces? Is there some sort of authorisation from a museum employee with the terms of this removal?

Its complicated!

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...l'm well lost now, so its not a house clearance but a theft from a museum, is that right?

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I suppose it is a theft, if offering a pitiful sum for something that an expert knows is worth a lot...

 

Its not the Elgin Marbles by the way!

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If one calls in people to value say, a collectible item and the valuer offers a figure that he knows is substantially less than what an item is worth and the offer is accepted, is there any comeback?

 

Is it fraud? If the seller can prove that the buyer knowingly undervalued the item, is this a crime?

 

I'm talking around 10 items that were purchased for £50 in total, yet would each sell for £1000 to £3000, the items being purchased by an expert on said items.

 

If the person concerned deliberately deceived you, then yes, it's fraud. But considering you've lost up about 30 grand, why not call a lawyer?

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I wonder ( like Irgendeiner implies ) if the expert who bought the items is sitting on a declarable Capital Gain if they were bought in a personal capacity, and if any of them have now been sold on, the expert would be liable for CGT at the figures suggested by the OP.

 

A little cheeky fun could be had by reporting the expert to HMRC for tax evasion if you think they won't have declared their gains.

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