Homebuyer Survey Is An Essential Aspect Of A Property Deal In The UK

A surveyor is the person who can tell exact situation about a property so that buyers can make a right decision. If the surveyor’s report comes negative, then they may rethink about it. In case, there are a few shortcomings, then they can bargain for discounted price. Hence, it is important to get the survey done before any contract exchange happens. A survey looks at the structural aspects. Cosmetic aspects or things like water supply, electrical supply and wiring aren’t part of it. They are mentioned in the report though.  Realty sector gurus recommend appointing a good surveyor before buying any property, new or old one. There are two categories of surveys exist in the UK.

HSV- Homebuyers Survey and Valuation

It is a comprehensive and detailed survey based on a standard format given by RICS. It covers all critical parts of a property. The approved format of this survey is of nine pages, and it gives a clear picture of the property. It tells precisely about the areas that need further investigation. Since electrical fitting, sanitary fittings, and gas supply are not covered in this report, many people get them checked by different surveys. Experts say that HSV is more suitable for old properties.

Building Survey

English: Banská Štiavnica (Schemnitz, Selmecbá...

A building survey is not for a particular type, but for all kinds of properties. New, old, exceptionally old, apartments, villas, or farm houses; it is important to have a survey report before buying anything. It is more expensive than HSV, but it is more detailed. It covers every accessible area of the house, and any specific areas that the buyer wants to check can also be included. The cost varies as per the size of property, but it is always higher than HSV. Though actual survey report doesn’t give valuation, but surveyor may include it when buyers ask for it precisely.

A Building Survey contains valuable information

Building survey is a comprehensive document that talks about a variety of aspects:

  • Report of insulation and drainage condition.
  • Dampness testing report for floor, walls, and the roof.
  • Dampness testing report, worm and termite testing report of the woodwork.
  • Technical report about the quality of construction and material used.
  • Recommendations for another inspection needed for the house.
  • List of work required to be done subsequently.
  • The cost of repairs for defects found.

According to experts, you must call a surveyor before making the buying decision. When it is not clear what type of survey is appropriate for you, asking RICS expert is the right way. He will be able to tell you which one is the most suitable for you? Remember, these surveys are always independent, fair, and objective. They help in making an informed and unbiased decision.

Two popular myths for not calling surveyors

Do I really need a surveyor? Homebuyers often ask this question. Many times, they get confused by contradictory statements from others. Statistics proves that around 80 percent buyers do not go for a proper survey and valuation recommended by RICS. Among various excuses, two myths are very common.

  1. The survey is being done by the lender, I don’t need it! : Very often people ignore the survey because they think that the lender is carrying it out for them. However, it is not true. One should not get mislead by it. A lender may instruct a surveyor just to look at the valuation part to safeguard his or her interest. This survey makes sure that the lender isn’t lending too high amount that would become difficult to recover if the property gets reposed in future. Some surveyors provide a detailed report, but it is not appropriate to depend on it.
  2. The house is less than ten years old, I don’t need a surveyor! : Another misconception is that if the property is not older than ten years, then there is no need of getting it surveyed. The property bears an NHBC guarantee, and that is more than enough. However, it is not true because of two reasons. Firstly, it is a warranty not guarantee. Secondly, the warranty is also effective for only two years from the date of construction. Hence, experts recommend calling a surveyor irrespective of the age of the property.

Types of Surveys

There are three types of surveys that are common in the UK. Out of these three, one is the latest one introduced in 2011 by The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors or RICS. The cost of each survey is different in various parts of the country.

  1. Home condition report: It is a survey that gives the exact condition of your property. Experts call it a ‘traffic light survey’ because it gives ratings in the form of Red, Yellow or Green. Since they get details of urgent defects, the report is quite useful for legal advisors.
  2. Home Buyers Report or HBR:  HBR is a comprehensive report that contains all information offered by Home Condition Report. In addition to that, it tells about insurance reinstatement costs and market valuation. It also tells about the defects, the maintenance advice and details of immediate repairs required.
  3. Building survey: It is a tailor-made report for your property which tells about the defects and detailed information about repair and maintenance required for the property. Experts say that whenever you plan a major work, it is better getting the building survey done. It is a mandatory requirement while purchasing big properties or old properties.

Survey reduces unnecessary risk

It is possible to move ahead with a deal without getting the property surveyed. However, there are inherent risks in it. When you will sell the property, there is an uncertainty about the price. Since the circumstances are always uncontrollable, it is better securing the future by calling a surveyor. There are cases when people lost hundreds and thousands of pounds just because not spending a few pounds on the survey. The amount spent on it pays in the long run.

About

Having served 16 years in the army Colin re-educated during the early 1990’s including two years at the Camborne School of Mines reading Mineral Surveying and Resource Management achieving a first class Diploma (Dip CSM). This allowed direct entry to the second year at The University of the West of England, Bristol reading Valuation and Estate Management. Training and experience was gained with Exeter City Council Estates Department and Sheperds Chartered Surveyors qualifying as a Member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors in June 2003. Colin set-up the company in May 2009 and covers the complete range of services.

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