A chartered surveyor assesses condition and value of a physical asset like a house, a construction project or a commercial building. People call him when there is a need of independent assessment of the property. There are various types of surveyors and all belong to a professional body that certifies and gives license to operate as a professional. There are people with specialization of valuing machinery, land, or building. A rural surveyor knows how to value farms and lands whereas an urban one knows how to value homes or apartments. They work independently or join a company that takes valuation projects.
Benefit of hiring surveyors?
It needs quite a lot investment to sell or buy a property. Hence, one should know about the condition and value of it precisely. A professional surveyor has suitable experience and skill to do it precisely. Since they have approach and information about many things that are transparent to us, the accuracy and precision are always very high. Especially when people buy old properties, a structural or building surveyor can look at salient aspects like structural deformities, cracks, dampness, sagging roofs or walls that may cost a fortune to repair later.
They are highly trained experts who have an immense command over the valuation process. There are separate specializations available for estate agencies, facility management, planning and development, and forestry/rural land. It depends on personal preference to opt for an area of choice. They are also called Geomatic surveyors due to the expertise of gathering, storing, processing and deriving meaning from geographic information. They create intelligent maps using cutting-edge GPS technology and the Internet. It is possible to create 2-D and 3-D imaging systems based on information.
Types of surveyors
- Building: They are proficient in assessing values of newly constructed buildings or restoration/ innovation or repairing work. It is a consolidated and comprehensive report about everything. With a detailed breakdown of information, it helps greatly in determining the cost. It shows the current condition, diagnosis of defects, and advice for repair or maintenance. Repair estimation is an optional service that is provided only when clients agree to it. In spite of being an expensive option, companies prefer it.
- Construction: They offer consultancy or oversee projects of small, medium and large-scale construction projects for commercial, residential or industrial buildings.
- Rural: They assess farms, farm houses, machinery, and land. Usually, they have very good relationship with local authorities. They also look into legal clearance issues.
- Environmental: They assess the impact of a construction project on environment and ecological balance. People call them for analyzing emission impact, contamination or pollution levels or for acquiring clearance certificate from regulation authorities.
Are surveyors just rubber stamps?
Certainly not! Experts say that they can provide advice and help regarding structural and building surveys, structural and engineering reports, valuations, defect analysis, etc. that helps greatly in buying a property or dealing with other property issues. Surveyors can be of different categories with different professional expertise. Valuation surveyor, land surveyor, quantity surveyors are to name a few. However, the most popular ones are valuation surveyors who work for mortgage companies, banks, contractors, and land dealers. They are approved by banks and other financial institutions under a reciprocal agreement of handing over clients.
How do they value a house?
Banks or financial institutes like to get the property valued before taking the case forward. A popular valuation method is comparison method, i.e. they compare the value in respect of other properties recently sold in the same/ comparable location.
What qualifications/skills a company should look?
First of all, the surveyor must have degree or certificate from a reputed institute. Secondly, he or she must have enough experience in the relevant area. Experts say that a person with at least two years of practical experience is worth hiring.
Where to search for a good surveyor?
Many people advertise on yellow pages or the Internet. If you are purchasing a new or old house from a broker, then seek for help. He or she would suggest a suitable one for you. Searching on the Internet saves a lot of time and efforts. There are many websites with contact details and professional references. These experts can be contacted based on experience and market reputation.
How does a mortgage surveyor value a property?
Mortgage surveyors look a list of details before giving the final assessment.
- Location of the property
- Brief details about construction
- Brief walkthrough at site (head and shoulder inspection of the roof, dampness or condensation problem, interior and exterior, etc.
- Plumbing, staining, water clogging
- Missing tiles, bubbles or cracks
- Chimney, brickwork and ventilation
- Comparable evidence to check whether it is worth buying property or not
However, the real analysis happens when they compare the market price of similar properties getting sold or bought in the same locality. Estimated values can be agreed upon or questioned based on mutual benefit. Since the surveyor is not part of the actual sales process, but facilitates it; he can help in arriving at right decision.
Do they make mountains out of molehills?
Many people criticize them for making a big fuss of nothing. It may true in some cases, but not a majority of. Malpractices do exist, but they are there in every field. In some cases, companies put pressure on surveyors for increasing number of visits so that there is an additional income. This results in a series of caveats that highlight even a miniscule issue prominently. Quality of report is always under question mark. When companies look towards quantity and not quality, there is a deterioration in the standard. However, it is not a case with good quality companies who believe in correct work practices.
It is a fantastic profession with a global scope. A high-level of versatility, readiness to work outdoor and indoor is greatly recommended. It is a job with pulsating career prospects. Great career progression opportunities wait for those who have enough potential and caliber.