Should I get a Home Survey

Home Surveys – Should you have a survey on your new home?

“Four out of five homebuyers don’t bother with a survey.”
FT Weekend.

“20% of people who bought a home without a survey found sufficient defects to make them wish they had not acquired the property in the first place.”
RICS survey

“Two-thirds of homebuyers use problems revealed by surveys to renegotiate price.”
Which Report.

A Which survey commissioned by the National House Building Council (NHBC), revealed that 93% of new-build homeowners reported problems with their properties.

“If you think it’s too expensive to employ a good surveyor, think what it could cost you if you don’t.”
Common Sense. Brien Walker.

When it comes to buildings, beauty is definitely in the eye of the beholder. You fall in love with a home and that is probably when you are most likely to be blind to its faults. There is a tendency to err against your better judgement, possibly overlooking faults, underestimating the cost of remedial repairs and possibly overvaluing potential. Everyone is a property expert – aren’t they!

Everyone tells us purchasing a home is probably the largest investment an average person will make, yet a majority of buyers still don’t commission a survey. Most property professionals will inform you this is utterly astounding.

So, let’s presume you are in the 20% who do want a surveyor, where should you go to get one?

  • The RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors have a pretty good web site which will gift the contact details of their members in area you want. Regrettably the RICS do not monitor the quality of their professional reports, so perhaps not quite as good as it sounds.
  • Referral. Naturally be wary of false google reviews. However, personal recommendations should be great; the experience of others has to be worthwhile having.
  • Another property professional can be worthwhile, but a recommendation by the estate agent selling you the home is not so good. They are paid to represent the seller, not you, the buyer – who pays the piper and all that. Some estate agents also get paid commissions from a surveyor for referrals and no it is not illegal or indeed RICS rules! Anyhow the selling agent would undoubtedly prefer to steer you towards a soft surveyor – not a surveyor who might impede their hard earnt sale.

Interview the surveyor

Study the websites of a few practices, then talk to the surveyors in person – don’t rely upon standard email responses or conversations with receptionists. Interview the person who is actually going to represent you.

  • Do they have expertise in the type of property you want to buy?
  • Do they impress you with their professionalism?
  • How long have they been doing this work?
  • What are their qualifications and creed?

Also ascertain whether they are the sort of person you wish to employ? Why would you want to employ a surveyor you cannot communicate with?

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