Buyers who are keen to skimp on costs for a survey on their potential purchase could think twice about what the service they are buying. Compared to a ‘cut to the bone’ valuation from a lender or homebuyer report without the extras, they could be letting themselves in for costly risks after their purchase. The contrast is substantial. Mortgage valuers are pressed for time, typically spending 10-30 minutes at the property. A basic homebuyer report will just give you the assessment of whether each element needs any repair, maintenance or more immediate repair. It will not go into the details.
Compared to that a building survey from Chiltern Associates will :
- Listen to your concerns and your particular interests long term
- Go into the background history of the property
- Go into each element of the property, describe condition, explain the repairs needed and give you photographic evidence
Nearly a third of buyers believe that sellers deliberately hid problems eg painting over mould, moving furniture to cover over problems, and hiding damage behind pictures. They also prevent access to certain rooms, lock garages with no key available and other things.
Purchasers are often in a hurry in a buoyant market to avoid losing the sale.
Kate Faulkner of propertychecklists.co.uk says ‘Scrimping on a survey to save time or money is foolish- and can prove a false economy. Ignore cracks in walls or a suspicious damp patch at your peril’
The Peter Bolton King of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors says’ Many inexperienced buyers think their lender’s valuation is a survey. It can be a costly mistake not to get a survey done if you find something sinister when you move in. We are not talking a couple of hundred pounds here. More like a few thousand pounds’.
Older properties need a full survey. Lindsay Cuthill of Savills says ‘ When it comes to period properties there are very few that don’t have something wrong with them here and there. If there are things that you are particularly concerned with, those are the things that you should ask your surveyor to look out for’
Simon Rose of Strutt and Parker says’ Dont be alarmed when your survey reads like a Domesday book. You are not asking your surveyor to praise your house, youre asking them to pick it apart. The most important thing is to ring the surveyor to chat through any major concerns.’
If there is something unexpected in the survey, you can renegotiate the price to reflect the work required. Faulkner says ‘ The money spent on a survey could save you thousands of pounds by providing ammunition for negotiating a price reduction-or by making you think twice about buying at all’
Its your choice which surveyor you use for the survey. It is advisable to choose a surveyor separate to the person for the mortgage valuation so that you get two sets of professional opinions on the property and don’t take the risk of the surveyor coming from miles away.
Here at Chiltern Associates we always give a professional opinion to suit the purchasers requirements and not biased by the views of the estate agent.