Why do I need a survey?

Everyone’s circumstances are different but purchasing a home survey can protect you from the cost of unexpected work and hidden surprises. Although it is not a legal requirement, and at a time when finances can be tight it may feel like an unnecessary expense, carrying out a survey can be a good investment, as it may save you money in the long run. If issues are uncovered during the survey, you can choose to reflect the cost of repairs in the asking price. According to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) buyers who didn’t carry out a survey faced on average £5750 worth of repairs when they moved in and 17% of these ended up paying more than £12,000 on average to make their homes habitable.

When purchasing anything that has been used previously, such as a home or a car, would you feel comfortable to part with money without first undertaking due diligence? You can read more about our 5 top reasons why you should get a property survey in our blog post.

House Survey explained

Before we can help you decide which house survey is right for you, we should settle any confusion about what it is.

Th term ‘house survey’ can commonly refer to various types of residential inspections, whether they may be level two (less thorough reports suitable for most standard property built after 1890) or level three (in-depth report, created for older, more run-down, or extended properties). This is because for both levels, a survey is carried out on a house by a qualified surveyor, to assess the overall health of the property and its structural state. Hence the name ‘house survey’.

Irrespective of the level, surveys are mainly performed when the property is about to be sold, for the sole benefit of the buyer. The survey will be performed on all parts of the property which he can be accessed by the surveyor (fitted carpets, for example, will not be lifted to assess the condition of flooring).

Who should get a home survey?

If you have found your dream home, you should contact a qualified RICS surveyor to assess the overall health condition of the property. The surveyor's job is to inspect the property's overall condition so that you can move into your new home aware of any potential issues. If issues are found during the inspection, you can choose to ask the vendor to fix them before you complete or reflect them in the property price.

When do you need a home survey?

You should consider getting a home survey if are in the process of purchasing a property that is not a new build, before you complete the purchase. It is important to find out any issues (whether major or minor) before you complete, as once you have signed the dotted line and the property is legally yours, it will be your responsibility to address any issues. When it comes to home surveys, forewarned truly means forearmed.

Which issues are usually uncovered during a survey?

Our surveyors see a variety of issues when inspecting properties, however there are several issues which are more common. These are:

-Damp, caused by leaks or water ingress from cracks, leaky pipes or faulty gutters

-Asbestos, was commonly used in building materials

-Lack of services certification, such as yearly gas and electrical tests

-Roof problems, from as simple as crack tiles to more complicate structure issues

You can read more about the top 5 most common issues and what to do next in our blog post.

Can a house fail a survey?

In short, no, unlike an MOT, where a car could fail the test, a property can’t fail a test. What can happen, is that the buyer chooses to pull out of the sale because the survey uncovers major issues, therefore the sale falls or fails. This is the main reason home buyers feel nervous about surveys, as they don’t want to risk the sale potentially falling through. Significant issues that could halt the sale of the property, such as subsidence or structural defects, are less frequent than smaller issues, such as damp or leaks.

If you are nervous about carrying out a home survey, please rest assured that our team is on hand to support you through each step of the process.

Now that we have discussed who the survey is suitable for and what it can uncover, read more about our type of surveys and choose the one that is most suitable for your property and will give you the information you need to be a better-informed buyer.