There many number of reasons why property is sold below market value. The two main ones are the speed with which money can be realised by a seller and the physical condition of the property. Examples of sellers needing to realise funds quickly can include banks and building societies through repossession proceedings, probate cases where executors need to raise funds for inheritance tax or to apportion inheritances to beneficiaries, or normal home owners who need a way of breaking a deadlock in a chain of purchases. Properties needing refurbishment are typically out of the reach of first time buyers in their original condition. This is because many lenders may hold back a proportion of the mortgage funds until the remedial works are carried out. Most sellers will not accept such a situation so buyers are unable to proceed with their purchase. Many buyers also lack the imagination to either see beyond a property in need of cosmetic work or dramatically over estimate the amount of work needed to refurbish a property. Others simply don’t have the time, inclination or capabilities to carry out improvements. In either event it provides opportunities for those with cash to purchase at keener prices.