According to research carried out by RICS (the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors), an average of 4 out of 5 house buyers don’t commission a survey of a property before they commit to buying it. Given the huge variety of problems that can affect homes of any age (like damp, roof damage or Japanese knotweed), it’s concerning that more buyers don’t take the opportunity to inform themselves about the potential for unpleasant – and possibly expensive – surprises when they move in.

As vendors are under no obligation to inform a potential buyer about any issues within the property, the best way to understand a building fully is to have a professional survey carried out. Whether you opt for a Condition Report, a HomeBuyer Report or a Building Survey should depend on the home in question, but choosing the right one is essential to making sure you’re not buying a property that’s riddled with expensive faults.

It seems when our clients come to us, many of them are unsure about the benefits of having a survey. Most will have arranged for a mortgage valuation to be carried out in order for funds to be released, but many are not familiar with the differences between this and having the property inspected by an accredited surveyor. At Daily Move, our focus in on making sure our clients have the smoothest buying or selling process possible, so we are always happy to explain.

Mortgage Valuations

Almost all mortgage lenders will require a mortgage valuation to be carried out on the property prior to releasing funds. This is purely to determine whether the building is suitable collateral for their loan, meaning that, should you fail to make your repayments, they can recoup their losses by repossessing and selling the property.

The surveyor will only spend around twenty minutes at the property when carrying out a valuation, and will only inspect superficial elements. They are not obliged to look for or report upon any problems, and the document they produce after the inspection is usually only seen by the lender.

If a property is suffering from timber decay or structural damage, there is no guarantee that a mortgage valuation will make buyers aware of the problem.

Protecting your Investment

On top of their mortgage valuation, every home buyer should invest in having a professional survey carried out. Condition Reports are designed for newer homes where significant issues are unlikely, but the majority of UK property should be investigated using the format of a HomeBuyer Report or Building Survey, before the purchase is completed.

Even if your house looks fine to the untrained eye, there can be all sorts of defects lurking beneath the surface. A Chartered Surveyor is specifically trained to look for symptoms and causes of problems in property, and will have had experience assessing buildings that are just like the one you’re buying. They can uncover all sorts of unexpected issues, such as old wiring that has to be brought up to code, dodgy boilers, boundary issues, subsidence and more.

After the survey, you will receive a comprehensive report detailing the surveyor’s findings – the exact level of detail will depend on the type of survey you commission. With this information you can decide what your next step in the process will be. For example, if the survey suggests the house needs repairs costing around £5,000, you may wish to negotiate the same amount off of the sale price, or agree in your contracts with the buyer that they will complete the work prior to leaving. Alternatively, you may discover that the building needs more repairs and maintenance than you are willing to do, leaving you free to walk away from the sale. Of course, the final scenario is that the survey uncovers no major issues to be concerned about – meaning your family can sleep soundly when you move in!

For more information about HomeBuyer Reports, Building Surveys and valuations, please contact our team today. We would be happy to help you choose the most effective survey for your home, provide a free quote, and arrange a convenient time for it to be completed. We hope to hear from you soon.