The importance of understanding your Surveyor’s Report

Having a survey conducted on a house you are planning to buy can go a long way to easing the stress associated with the house-buying process. Knowing that the property has been assessed by an experienced Chartered Surveyor can help to reduce the anxiety involved, at least reassuring you that you’re not buying a nightmare in disguise!

But aside from that, a survey report will usually contain a great deal of valuable information. However, due to their often technical nature, survey reports carried out on behalf of a property purchaser can contain terminology you are unfamiliar with, sometimes leaving you none the wiser!

Here are a few tips on getting to grips with a residential property survey report.

Homebuyer Survey or Building Survey Report?

Depending on the type of report you have opted for, a condition report will vary in its format and how easily it can be interpreted. If you have elected to have a RICS Homebuyer Survey, you are likely to be able to understand this fairly easily. This is because it comes in a standardised format, as approved by the RICS, intended to be easy to follow by the everyday homebuyer.

RICS Homebuyer Reports also provide useful ratings on the basis of priority/urgency for the repairs required, giving you a clear idea of what needs addressing and in what order. 

Building Survey Reports, on the other hand, go into much more detail and by consequence, can be more complicated and difficult to understand.

Don’t be alarmed!

Remember that Chartered Surveyors will report upon all the defects they detect in a Building Survey Report, even if in relative terms, these are fairly minor and are actually typical for the type of house you’re purchasing. It can be easy to panic when you get a survey report back, thinking that there are too many defects that need attention. Try to process the report’s contents rationally; if it helps, splitting any defects into two categories – ‘minor’ and ‘serious’. The presence of any serious issues may be enough to deter some buyers from proceeding with the purchase. However, remember that these could also be used as a bargaining tool – allowing you to renegotiate the purchase price to account for the cost of repairs.

Speak to your Surveyor

If you are at all unsure about the contents of the report you have received, contact your Surveyor to talk it through. Some firms of Surveyors (but not all) will be happy to discuss the contents of the survey report with you, putting any defects into perspective and providing further explanations as required.

The value of a surveyor’s report can only fully be ascertained if you are able to understand it. At Matthew Parkinson Surveyors, we are always on hand to ensure that our clients understand, interpret, and are able to make use of our condition reports. For a quote or to discuss our different types of property survey, please get in touch.