When preparing to buy a property one of the most valuable things you can do is get a property survey. A property survey informs you of the condition of the property you’re purchasing and its value so you have all the information you need to make an informed decision.
Surveys are a valuable asset throughout the buying process so you can avoid any unnecessary or unexpected costs. You’ll gain crucial information that can support your decision making and future planning with the property.
Here are 5 things you need to know before your property survey:
1. Choose the right surveyor for your property
Your mortgage lender or bank may refer you to a surveyor that they commonly do business with. It can be wise to do your research and get quotes from other independent surveyors and compare the prices. Using local surveyors means they’ll have expertise and knowledge of the local market in your area.
If the property you’re buying is an unconventional property, you may want to consider working with a surveyor who specialises in your type of property. This will make sure they’re aware of features and conditions that other surveyors may not be experienced in.
Ask the surveyor if they have an example of a survey report that they can give you, so you can see if the surveyor provides the relevant information. Using RICS accredited surveyors such as London’s Surveyors and Valuers will ensure your surveyor has the training and expertise to provide a thorough survey and comprehensive report.
2. There are different types of property survey
Different types of surveys will give you different information about your property. Before arranging your survey, you should know what you want to get from the survey and how you want to use the information from your report. The most common surveys are:
Valuation report – This is the standard property valuation that will provide you with the current market value of your property. You can use this report to secure a mortgage from your lender and ensure the price you’re paying for the property is accurate.
Homebuyer report – A homebuyer report is a comprehensive property survey suitable for properties that are less than 100 years old. It focuses on defects, general conditions, features and other considerations such as safety, location, environment and insurance. You can find out more about homebuyer reports here.
Building survey – A building survey is a very detailed report showing the property’s construction and condition. It can be carried out on the majority of residential buildings and older or untraditional properties. For example, if a building is particularly old or has been built using unconventional construction methods.
If you know that you need a property survey but don’t know which survey is the most appropriate for your needs, you can speak to your surveyor who will advise you of which route to take.
3. Ask your surveyor questions to get the most value
Buying a property is a daunting task. You’re not expected to know everything, especially if you’re a first-time buyer. Your surveyor is on hand to support you through the process and tell you what you need to know.
You should ask your surveyor as many questions as possible so you know the purpose of your survey, the condition of your property and what it means for your purchase. When you receive your report, take the time to look through it and make note of anything you’re unsure of.
A homebuyer report is a large document that covers a lot of ground so you must understand the information it covers and what that means for you. Ask your surveyor for clarification on points you need to understand further so you’re armed with an in depth understanding of your report.
4. Remember the surveyor is there to help you
When buying a property, you need to be able to trust the service that you receive. It’s likely that you’re not an expert and will need to be guided by professionals through the buying process. When it comes to lenders and sellers, securing a good price is key. Lenders are concerned about their investment while estate agents want to bag the highest price for their seller.
Working with a third party, individual surveyor will make sure you receive unbiased service. You are paying for the survey so it’s in the surveyor’s interest to ensure you get the information you need. Your surveyor will scope the inside and outside of your property and report on its condition.
5. What to do with your report after the survey
Using your survey report, you can gain a detailed and comprehensive understanding of the property. You can use the information in your report to decide whether to buy the property based on the price given or negotiate with the seller.
If the property’s true value is accurate, there are few fixes to be made and at a reasonable cost, you may choose to buy the property. However, if considerable work needs to be done on the property, you can renegotiate with the seller and bring down the price.
You may ask the seller to make the fixes before selling the property and therefore buy at the price originally negotiated. Speak to your advisors and see which approach works best for your situation.
At London’s Surveyors and Valuers, we have a team of 12 surveyors with over 200 years of combined experience. We can deliver bespoke surveys that give you the knowledge and information you need to make informed decisions about your property.
Complete our contact form and we’ll get back to you to discuss your requirements.