How to find a good property surveyor

What To Look for in a Property Surveyor

If you’ve found a property that you have fallen in love with and want to settle down in, it’s time to put an offer in and get the ball rolling on making the house your own. However, before you start the process of making the purchase and eventually become the new property owner, it’s important to make sure that you hire a chartered surveyor to carry out a survey on the property and make sure that you know everything that there is to know about it before you get the keys.

A property survey is designed to identify any damage, defects, or other issues that might be problematic for you in the future, which is why it’s worth having one done. On average, home buyers who have a survey on their potential property will save thousands of pounds in future repairs, while those who do not have a survey usually end up paying out more to fix problems with the home that they did not realise were there.

Why Do You Need a Survey Before Buying a Home?

Although it is not a legal requirement to have a survey carried out on a property before you purchase it, there are many reasons why it is a good idea to have one done, and it’s recommended by experts. In many cases, your mortgage lender may also require you to have a survey carried out by a chartered surveyor as a condition of their lending the money to purchase the property to you.

A survey is important since it will pick up any issues with the property that might not be immediately obvious to the untrained eye. You alone might find it impossible to spot issues that a surveyor can detect using specialised tools, such as damp in the walls, rot, and woodworm. Purchasing a house without carrying out a survey means that you are buying blind, which puts you at risk of having to deal with huge and costly repairs to the property that you were not aware of and fully responsible for everything that goes wrong.

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How Much Does a Survey Cost?

The price of having a survey conducted on your potential property will vary depending on the type of survey that you choose and the size and condition of the property itself. However, the price that you will pay to have the survey carried out is always going to be worth the potential savings that you could make by finding out about any issues that the property has and making an informed decision regarding whether or not to go ahead with the sale. You can save money by renegotiating with the seller to reduce the asking price based on the cost of repairs that you will need to cover once you have purchased the house or save money by becoming aware of issues that you can repair immediately rather than only finding out about them once they have gotten worse and are subsequently more expensive to deal with. A survey can cost anything from £300 for a snagging survey on a new build to £900 or more for a full structural survey.

Choosing the Right Survey and How to Find a Property Surveyor:

There are three surveys that are offered by RICS surveyors that you can choose from when buying your new property. These are the Condition Report, Homebuyer’s Survey, and Building Survey. A homebuyer’s survey or report is typically the most popular option to choose from and is recommended for homes of a reasonable condition and age. It includes a visual inspection of all major indoor and outdoor features and fixings, any visible components of the central heating, gas, electric and water systems, and a description of the property’s construction and condition that you can use to make an informed decision regarding going ahead with the purchase.

If you are planning to purchase a property with obvious damage or defects, an unusual or old building, or a property that you plan to carry out significant renovation work on in the future, a building survey might be your best option. This is the most in-depth type of survey and will inspect the entire property to make sure that you have a full and complete view of its condition, any defects, and more.

To find a property surveyor near you that offers the survey that you want for your potential new property, you can use the RICS website to search. Be sure to always choose a surveyor that is accredited by RICS or another accrediting body like SAVA.

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What to Expect From Your Property Survey:

The surveyor will arrange a time with you and the seller to visit the property where they will conduct a visual inspection. If you are going to have a full structural survey carried out, you will need to inform the seller since this survey is invasive in parts and will require access to several areas of the home including behind furniture, underneath floorboards, and in the loft or attic space. A condition report or homebuyer’s survey will not usually require this level of access, but the seller will need to prepare for having the surveyor in the property for around two to four hours, depending on the size and condition of the home.

Once complete, the surveyor will then begin to prepare your report. This will usually take up to five days for a homebuyer’s survey and ten days for a building survey. It will outline any issues and provide information on anything that is potentially dangerous, along with providing more information on recommended specialist inspections, repairs, maintenance, and costings.

How to Find a Good Property Surveyor – the Main Reasons to Hire One:

There are several ways to find a good property surveyor to carry out the inspection on your potential property. First of all, you can search the RICS website to find chartered surveyors near you. You might also want to consider asking your mortgage lender or estate agent for recommendations, however, bear in mind that they might work in partnership with certain surveyors and may earn commission from these recommendations, so it’s worth conducting your own research before you decide. If you have any friends or family members who have purchased a house in the area recently, it can also be worth asking for personal recommendations for surveyors that they have used and worked with in the past and would recommend doing a good job. Some key factors to look out for when choosing a surveyor include:

  • Experience
  • Local experience
  • Good reputation
  • Experience with the type of building you are looking to purchase if you are buying an old or unusual property
  • RICS accreditation or accreditation from another recognised body like SAVA

Why work with a trusted chartered surveyor in your area when buying a new home?

Some of the main reasons to work with a good surveyor include:

Save Money:

Ultimately, hiring an experienced and professional surveyor to inspect your potential property before you make the purchase can help you save money over time. Being aware of any defects and problems in the property when you go ahead with buying it can make it easier for you to determine what to tackle first and help you avoid problems that you are unaware of getting worse and ultimately becoming harder and more expensive to correct. In general, around 17% of homeowners who don’t invest in having a survey carried out before buying their property will end up spending at least £12,000 in future repair costs, which is a lot of money to miss out on.

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Price Negotiation:

Not having a survey carried out could mean that you end up paying out more than you need to when buying your new home. A survey can highlight issues with the property that might have an impact on its value, or you can use the survey report to negotiate with the seller and agree on a different price based how much it is going to cost you to make the necessary repairs once you buy. The report could help you get the seller to reduce that amount off the asking price to help you save. In many cases, sellers that are looking for a quick sale or are in a chain and want to be able to buy and move into a new property of their own will be willing to negotiate the price based on survey results.

Purchase the Right Property for You:

Having a survey carried out means that you can go into buying a property with as much information about it as possible. No matter how much you love about a property after a viewing, there might always be information that comes up in the survey that will sway your mind. Even if the property looks gorgeous, you might not feel the same way about it if you find out that it is prone to damp and mould. Getting a survey can help you make sure that you don’t make any property purchasing decisions that you might later come to regret.

If you want to buy a house, hiring the right surveyor will help you ensure that you know as much as possible about the property before you commit to it, and can make an informed decision about buying the right house for you.