Whether you have never ever bought a home before and this is your first foray into the world of property ownership, or this is your fourth or even fifth move and you consider yourself a seasoned veteran, requesting an in-depth survey and report from a professional surveyor is always recommended over trying to inspect the property yourself.
You can conduct a detailed inspection of the home in your own manner, but there will often be things you can easily miss. A professional surveyor has specific experience in identifying potential defects and issues that may become more serious later on in the property purchase process.
Requesting assistance from a surveyor will cost a few hundred pounds, although this service is extremely valuable and well worth the money. Should you do it?
Definitely. Here’s why:
A Keen Eye
You may think that you’re pretty good at spotting when things go wrong, but even if you’ve been looking at houses on your own, or with friends, for years, every property is unique and different and what is fine in one property may spell trouble in another.
Professional surveyors draw from years of local experience in order to make informed decisions on potential defects found. They will be able to take into account the location of the property, the structural history and other such features in order to offer expert advice on what can be done to resolve certain defects.
They are able to detect areas of issue throughout the property that you may have missed in the excitement of a viewing and they also have full permission to inspect the roof.
Tells it Like it Is
A professional and experienced surveyor will be able to tell you face to face, whether or not any repairs needed would negatively affect your lifestyle, or whether the asking price for the property is above or below expectations when taking into account any repairs needed on defects found. The purpose of a hired surveyor is to make sure that you, the client and the buyer, have all the relevant information you need so that you can make an informed decision on a property purchase. They are not often tied to estate agents and will not push for a sale, often having your best interests in mind.
Many surveyors will be able to provide situation specific advice on what is needed in order to perform the necessary repairs. Following the initial survey, often an in-depth report is typed up which will include a list of all major and immediate defects found. Some surveyors will also provide advice on what can be done and an estimated cost of the repairs needed, which is always extremely useful.
The Bottom Line
At the end of the day, better the devil you know than the one you don’t. In short, it is better to have more of an in-depth analysis of the defects and issues present within the property in question, as well as an estimate of what it may cost to repairs these defects, than to enter a property purchase blind. If you notice certain defects after the paperwork has been signed and you have gotten the keys, only to realise that reparation costs will put you well into negative funds, there is nothing much you can do about it then.
By hiring a chartered surveyor you can potentially avoid these nasty surprises as any and all defects will be identified and inspected in detail beforehand. Then you can proceed with negotiations with a clearer idea of what is actually needed to bring the property back up to shape. Or you can choose to walk away from the sale entirely. The decision rests with you.
Brian Gale Surveyors, a long, well-established firm of Chartered Surveyors providing efficient surveying and valuation services from London down to Brighton for over 20 years.