Dwell Well > Moving > 4 things you will be missing out on by not getting a property survey

4 things you will be missing out on by not getting a property survey

Buying a home is an exciting time, but don’t get carried away without checking that the building you are about to invest your hard-earned cash in represents good value for money.

A property purchase may be the most expensive purchase you will ever make. And just as you wouldn’t buy a car without giving it a thorough mechanical inspection first, the same must surely apply to buying a property, if not more so. Spend a comparatively small sum of money on a professional home inspection in order to avoid a multitude of potential difficulties further down the line - you know it makes good financial sense.

And if you’re not convinced, here’s a stark warning of what can happen if you choose not to bother with a property survey:

Let’s take a closer look at what home buyers who don’t think a survey is worthwhile would be missing out on.

No valuable expert advice when you need it most

A property survey offers a rare opportunity to tap into independent and impartial advice from a qualified and experienced property professional. RICS accredited Chartered Surveyors use their expertise to identify potential issues with the building and the ground it stands on. This is valuable information for any buyer, and critical to help you decide whether to proceed with the purchase, renegotiate the sale price or walk away from the transaction.

What’s more, securing the advice of a property expert who knows the neighbourhood well can be hugely helpful in understanding the local housing stock and its environment - anything from the history of period properties to flood risk areas or other environmental concerns.

No accurate valuation to protect your investment

If you think that your Mortgage Valuation will give you the peace of mind you are after, think again. A mortgage valuation is requested by the lender for their benefit alone. All it does is to allow the mortgage company to determine if the property is safe to lend on. It is not the same as a property survey and they don’t even have to share any of the information with the buyer.

An independent RICS home survey, commissioned by you, is for your benefit. It assesses the condition of the property and ensures that you are fully aware of any potential defects or structural issues before you proceed with the purchase. Depending on the type of property you are buying, there are three types of home survey to choose from. Your surveyor will advise on the most suitable option.

No evidence to help you renegotiate the sale price

Another advantage of having an experienced Chartered Surveyor take a thorough look at the property is that the report can subsequently be used to broker the price with the seller, in the event that any serious issues are found.

This is particularly true of RICS HomeBuyer Reports and Building Surveys that provide a detailed record of all issues or defects identified. The reports give condition ratings to indicate the severity of each concern and the urgency with which each should be dealt with:

NI - Not inspected

1 - Needs no repairs and has no area of concern

2 - Highlights non-urgent areas with defects that need repairing

3 - Highlights defects that are in need of urgent or serious repair

Citing the expert findings of a RICS surveyor will provide powerful ammunition to help you negotiate with the seller. Specifically, it will encourage the seller to propose/accept a reduction in the asking price roughly equal to the estimated cost of building repairs, or persuade him to make the necessary repairs himself, as a condition of sale.

No protection from ‘nasty surprise’ repair costs

The main purpose of an independent property survey is to give you an in-depth understanding of the condition of the building you are about to purchase. This includes any defects or shortcomings identified by the surveyors such as structural issues, faulty wiring and defective plumbing, damp problems, timber decay, and much more besides.

Many building problems are not easily recognisable by the untrained eye and could go unnoticed unless picked up by a professional building survey. Left unattended, these kinds of issues could incur significant expenditure down the line and may even be hazardous to the occupants. The survey, then, could potentially save you thousands of pounds in unanticipated future repair costs.

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