Instructing a Residential Property Survey – you Need to Know

Buying a property is a big decision and can quickly become a minefield of paperwork and processes. Getting a survey on the property you’re buying is an essential step to giving you peace of mind. Here are some key things to know and understand before you instruct a Chartered Surveyor to complete a survey on your behalf.

The first thing to explain is the difference between a valuation and a survey. A valuation report will often be required by the lender and will usually come at a cost to the buyer. However, it’s important to realise that this report is not designed to assess the condition of the property at all, and is predominantly for the benefit of the mortgage lender, so they can establish viability of the loan.

A survey report, be at a Level 2 RICS home buyer survey or a Level 3 building survey report, is instructed and paid for by the buyer and is entirely independent to the mortgage. A survey report will identify any issues with the property that could affect its value or cause problems further down the line.

The best time to get a survey please once you have had an offer accepted on a property. Getting a survey arranged quickly once your offer has been accepted should help to speed up the purchase.

You should bear in mind that it may be a couple of weeks before a Chartered Surveyor will be able to visit the property, and you should expect your survey within seven working days of their visit.

The survey itself will need to be arranged with the seller of the property. Access will be required into the property and the survey at self will usually take between one and two hours on site. A Chartered Surveyor will also assess the exterior of the property and any permanent outbuildings.

Once you receive your survey report, it is important to read it thoroughly and understand its contents. Should any significant issues be identified in the report, you may wish to make further investigations, such as instructing a specific defect report. Depending on the contents of the survey, you may be able to use it to negotiate a better price with the vendor.

For further help or advice or to discuss any other aspect of instructing a residential property survey, please contact us at Matthew Parkinson Surveyors.