Why you should read your Homebuyer – or any other form of Survey thoroughly

Jan 1, 2022 | Housing Surveys

It’s very easy to fall into the trap of thinking a Home buyer’s Survey is just for going through the motions of buying a home. While some think it’s just an added expense that they could do without, others know it’s important to making decisions about your future home.

The problem is though, that even some of those that know it’s important, still don’t fully read it, therefore putting themselves in positions that could have been avoided – and may be very serious.

The information supplied in the survey, which should be carried out by a RICS qualified surveyor like myself (FRICS, MRICS), can save you a fortune by identifying problems within a home based off of the current condition of the property. Surveyors are trained to identify potential issues through continuous training and hands-on experience, and our surveys can help make sure you know exactly what you’re buying – the good, the bad and the ugly!

The report created will identify risks and defects, as well as any structural problems such as movement, moisture damage and cracks, plus it can also offer various other additional forms of advice and a property valuation. This is all dependent on the level of survey you want, but even the more basic survey will highlight urgent issues helping you to make the right decision when it comes to moving forward with the purchase or not. As we have said many times before, beware – a valuation carried out for a bank or building society IS NOT A SURVEY.

Our articles from August and September going into details about cracks, when to address them and how to fix them, clearly detail the kind of issues that homeowners can face and why it is an integral part of the home moving process to have a survey. If you haven’t read those articles, I highly recommend that you do as it will help to put this situation into perspective.

A surveyor’s time and knowledge, as well as your money!!, go into crafting the reports we produce and they aren’t just for show. Given a survey is priced from £375 upwards for any format of RICS Report, and increasing depending on the report you need for your property, you may find that it’s a small price to pay for peace of mind.

So, what happens when you get your report back?

Read it! Thoroughly!

Please don’t just go through what you think are the “more important bits” – even the notes printed at the top and bottom of each page and in the side margins are just as important, so don’t ignore them. The surveyor has written this report for you to use. If you decide not to act on the advice in this report, you do this at your own risk.

After we’ve conducted the initial inspection, we’ll be able to complete a detailed report using our notes and images, as well as our experience. This might take many hours, but it is necessary to safeguard both you and your investment. We may indicate in certain reports that the home is overvalued due to damp difficulties, allowing you to try to bargain the price down to meet your budget to address the problem. We may recommend that a house be inspected further because the foundations are shifting, which would cost thousands of pounds to fix.

If you’re unsure about what the report means once you receive it, feel free to speak to your surveyor about it. Personally, I am happy to answer your questions and I will always make my recommendations clear to the buyer.

As well, when there are structural issues and really anything other than cosmetic changes that need to be addressed, it’s best to give the report to your solicitor who may be able to advise you on next steps – but if in doubt, ask your surveyor about this. This might be a more in-depth report – a Structural Engineer’s report, or maybe a RICS Building Survey which is an additional expense – or it may be not to move forward with the purchase at all.

If in doubt, speak to the experts and get the appropriate Survey – if the property needs a whole new roof and a surveyor spotted it with the Homebuyer or a Building Survey, you’ve just saved £15,000 (or more!)

One thing I will mention, is that while we do endeavour to complete a thorough report, there will be times when that’s not possible. For example, we don’t have x-ray vision and we can’t see what is concealed by carpets, cupboards or storage. We are not permitted to move the existing occupiers’ possessions, nor can we remove fixtures, fittings and flooring.

We only have our eyes and our experience, we’re not Superman, or Superwoman!

As a Chartered Surveyor with over 50 years of property experience, I create reports that are accurate to the best of my knowledge, and following the advice it contains is in your own (the homebuyers) best interest.

Les Long FRICS FISVA Principal, Eyesurvey

Contact EYESURVEY Chartered Surveyors here for all your professional property services and needs.