Buyers are becoming increasingly familiar with the benefits of having a Chartered Surveyor inspect their potential new home before exchanging contracts. Both HomeBuyer Reports and Building Surveys can provide valuable insight into a property by highlighting hidden defects, double-checking legal issues such as boundary disputes or leasehold information and warning buyers about urgent maintenance or remedial works.

If a survey comes back with an “all-clear”, buyers know that they can sleep a little more easily when they move in. When a survey comes back with a list of concerns? It gives buyers ammunition to re-negotiate the asking price to reflect upcoming costs or walk away from the sale altogether and find a property in a more manageable condition.

Specialist Surveys

Most people are aware of the three surveys endorsed by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS); the Condition Report, HomeBuyer Report and Building Survey. There is, however, another option. Specialist surveys, sometimes known as specific defect reports, are designed to investigate a specific issue or feature in detail. Where general property surveys are designed to provide a broad insight into a structure, specialist surveys will offer a deeper analysis of one particular aspect.

How do you know if you need a specialist survey?

There are several situations where a specialist survey is the most beneficial to buyers and homeowners.

The first is where a surveyor recommends further investigation following an initial survey, due to either the scope of nature or the defect at hand. For example, Condition Reports and HomeBuyer Reports are great for homes that appear to be in good condition, but they generally offer insufficient detail if a complex problem like subsidence or extensive timber decay is uncovered. Similarly, some items like boilers and electrical circuits can only be thoroughly investigated by a licensed, qualified professional.

You may choose to arrange a specialist survey on an unusual feature in isolation, such as a period wood-burner that you’d like to have recommissioned, or a structural alteration that you’re unsure about. While a Building Survey would provide you with a similar level of detail, choosing a specialised survey can be more cost-effective if you don’t need such a thorough inspection of the whole house.

Finally, specialist surveys may be the most appropriate option when you are aware of one major defect with the property, such as damp or poor soil quality. If the rest of the building is in an adequate condition, the surveyor can dedicate their attention to investigating the extent of this particular problem and providing specific advice, which may be a more practical use of the time you’re paying them for.

Understanding your best options

Nobody wants to spend more money than they need to on surveys, which is why picking the report you want can be a tricky decision. Ultimately, it’s important to remember that having a building properly inspected before you move in can save you more money than you would ever spend with a surveyor!

At Daily Move, we try to make the process of moving house as smooth as possible for all of our customers. So, if you’re having any difficulty working out which survey would be the most appropriate, just give us a call and we will be happy to help.