When purchasing a property, we understand that this is a significant decision, and you may have questions about the process. Knowing whether a survey is needed and understanding the differences between the various options can make all the difference in negotiations and deciding whether you proceed with the property at all.
Here, we have answered some of the most frequently asked questions relating to surveys and home ownership. Should you have any further queries relating to buying a home, you can visit our Conveyancing Process or Buying a Property pages, or contact one of the team in your local office.
Purchasing a property is a substantial investment, and a survey plays a vital role in ensuring that you are making a well-informed decision, highlighting the condition of the property, any potential works that may be required and whether the price is an accurate reflection. A survey can help in various ways:
This will usually be an independent qualified surveyor. Most qualified surveyors are members of the Royal Institute of Charted Surveyors (RICS).
Choosing the right survey depends on various factors, including the age and condition of the property, as well as your specific requirements and concerns. Surveyors generally offer three surveys; understanding these options will help you determine which one is most suitable for your situation. The following are the three commonly provided surveys:
It is important to note that none of these surveys cover elements such as the heating system, electrical wiring, or plumbing. If you have concerns about any of these areas, it is advisable to seek further testing or consult with a specialist such as an electrician.
The mortgage valuation is not a survey but rather an assessment conducted by the lender to determine the property’s value. It may not uncover hidden issues or provide a detailed analysis of the property’s condition. Therefore, it is recommended to commission a separate survey.
If you are buying a new-build property, you can request a new-build snagging survey to be completed. This will cover anything from decorative issues through to structural problems and, if provided to your developer before you move in, they can rectify the issues under the two year developer warranty.
If you are in need of a survey, it is generally the buyer’s responsibility to organise it. In some cases, certain lenders may include a survey as part of their mortgage product, so it is advisable to check with your mortgage broker or directly with the lender to see what is covered, but ensure this is not confused with their valuation. Organising the survey is not the estate agent’s or solicitor’s responsibility, although they may be able to provide recommendations for local surveyors.
We would always recommend that you arrange the survey as soon as possible after your offer has been accepted. This allows for any identified issues to be thoroughly examined by your Conveyancer. Obtaining the survey results before the exchange of contracts is crucial. Once you exchange contracts, you become legally bound to the transaction, and renegotiating the price or withdrawing due to physical defects becomes challenging or impossible.
If the survey identifies major problems or potential works that need to be done to the property, this can affect the value of the property. Obtaining quotes for the works specified may allow you to renegotiate the price, which can be done any point up until exchange of contracts, or to ask the seller to carry out the remedial work before proceeding. Should you choose the latter approach, it is recommended you ask for receipts and paperwork proving the work has been completed.
Survey costs can vary depending on the type of survey and the property’s size, location, and value. It is advisable to obtain quotes from several reputable surveyors and consider their expertise and credentials before making a decision.
Surveys are not legally required when purchasing a property. However, it is highly recommended to have a survey conducted to ensure that you are fully aware of the property’s condition and any potential issues before completing the purchase.
As explained, having a survey completed on the property you are buying is highly recommended to provide you with the transparency needed for this significant investment. Should you have any questions relating to a home purchase, you can contact a member of our experienced Residential Property team from our offices in Andover, Romsey, Salisbury or Witney use the Contact Form or email moc.n1709418597ellub1709418597rekra1709418597p@ofn1709418597i1709418597.