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Who Organises a House Survey?

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The buyer organises a house survey and pays for it.  House sales fall through at the last minute as a result of a bad survey.

Surveyors can identify all sorts of issues, from damp, subsidence, and woodworm.

So, what can you do if a house survey is bad?

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Why is a home survey important?

While cash buyers may skip a home survey when purchasing a property, there are a few reasons, such as making a rushed decision or trying to save money. However, it is not recommended.

Although there is an upfront cost for a home survey, it often reveals hidden faults and issues that may go unnoticed. Buying a property without knowledge of these problems could result in unexpected repair and maintenance costs.

In the long run, a home survey can save you more money than you spend.

Types of house surveys

There are various types of house surveys that you, as the buyer, can arrange. These surveys are more detailed than the valuation survey that your lender organises.

The choice of which survey to opt for is entirely up to you. Here are the main types of house surveys to choose from:

  • RICS Home Survey Level 1 (Condition Report): The Condition Report is the most basic survey. It provides an overview of the property, highlighting any defects and possible risks. However, it does not offer any advice or valuation. The cost of a Condition Report starts at £300.
  • RICS Home Survey Level 2 (Homebuyer Survey): The Homebuyer Survey, also known as a Homebuyers Report, is the most popular survey choice. It is more detailed but non-intrusive, meaning the surveyor won’t move furniture or lift floorboards. You can also request a valuation alongside the survey. For a Homebuyers Report, the typical cost is upwards of £350 for the survey alone and £450 or more for a survey including a valuation.
  • RICS Home Survey Level 3 (Building Survey): A Building Survey is a comprehensive structural survey. The surveyor will thoroughly inspect the attic, behind walls, under floorboards, and above ceilings. You will then receive advice on necessary repairs, including estimated timings and costs. The building survey cost usually starts at £500 or more, depending on the property size.
Who organises a home survey
In some rare cases, the seller may choose to pay for a home survey and share the results with potential buyers as a gesture of good faith.

Who organises a home survey?

The buyer is responsible for organising a home survey. This is an important part of the “Property Due Diligence” principle, followed in the UK and many other parts of the world.

Due diligence means the buyer must conduct thorough research on their potential investment, in this case, a home. Although this may not seem fair initially, it is common in all industries. Whether you are buying a new car, a pet, or even a light bulb, sellers will not highlight any flaws in their products.

Instead, they will focus on why you should make the purchase. Therefore, you are responsible for researching, comparing, and examining potential faults.

The same principle applies when buying a new home, although the scale of the investment is much larger. Since property purchases involve a higher risk, it is wise to protect your investment by hiring reliable solicitors, conducting thorough research, and arranging for a home survey.

In some rare cases, the seller may choose to pay for a home survey and share the results with potential buyers as a gesture of good faith. However, they are not legally obligated or particularly encouraged to do so.

It is accepted that the person who wants the survey report should instruct and pay for it. This responsibility falls on the buyer.

During the process of buying a house, many people choose to have a house survey done on the property they want to purchase. The purpose of the survey is primarily for the buyer’s benefit. It provides information about the condition of the property and any potential risks. It is the buyer who arranges and pays for the survey.

Arranging your house survey and finding a surveyor

When it comes to arranging and finding a surveyor for your survey, choosing the surveyor recommended by your bank, estate agent, or mortgage lender can result in higher costs and longer wait times.

Get quotes directly from a few local surveyors and compare

Check if your surveyor is a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). You can identify them by the letters MRICS or FRICS after their name. It’s important to discuss any specific concerns or questions you have with them so they can recommend the best survey for your needs.

If you would like the surveyor to include a valuation of the property, make sure to mention it upfront. It may also be helpful to ask for copies of past reports to get an idea of what to expect and assess if the report will be relevant to your situation.

If possible, try to arrange a meeting with the surveyor at the property, allowing you to walk through it together after they have completed the survey. Finally, ensure that you will have the opportunity to speak to the surveyor after receiving their report to address any points of concern.

Once you have found a surveyor you are happy with, you should contact them to schedule an appointment. It is important to pay the surveyor directly at the time of the survey.

You should discuss any concerns you have with the surveyor and confirm that they can address those issues.

How long does a survey take to complete
When you have an accepted offer on a property, it's a good idea to book a survey as soon as possible.

How long does a survey take to complete?

When you have an accepted offer on a property, it’s a good idea to book a survey as soon as possible. This is important because it can take time for the surveyor to visit the property and provide their report. You don’t want the survey to cause any delays in exchanging contracts.

There are several reasons that can cause delays in getting a survey. These include the surveyor’s availability when the seller can grant access to the property, the duration of the actual survey, and the time needed to produce the report. 

How much does a home survey cost?

The surveying company give you the quote for a home survey and includes:

  • the size of the building;
  • its current value;
  • its age;
  • the expected duration of the survey;
  • and the type of survey.

There are three levels of RICS home surveys: Valuation, Home Survey Level 2 (previously known as RICS Homebuyer Report), and Home Survey Level 3 (formerly known as RICS Building Survey).

A Valuation provides a basic overview of a property and is solely used to estimate its worth. It is helpful for buyers and mortgage lenders who want to determine the true value of a home and avoid overpaying. However, mortgage lenders usually prefer to conduct their valuation.

A Home Survey Level 2 offers more detailed information than a Valuation. It includes a basic inspection of the entire house and is suitable for “low-risk” properties built with modern, conventional methods and materials.

For older historic buildings, barn conversions, renovated cottages, or properties in areas prone to subsidence, a Home Survey Level 3 is the most appropriate choice. These surveys are the most comprehensive and cover all aspects of a Home Survey Level 2 and Valuation, with a particular focus on structural integrity.

What happens if the survey report is bad?

A poor survey can significantly impact a property purchase, but it doesn’t mean the end of the road. The first step is to have a conversation with the surveyor and discuss any concerns mentioned in the report.

If you are a seller and the buyer doesn’t wish to disclose a copy of the survey, you may want to consider seeking a second opinion from an expert who specialises in the specific issue raised. They could also provide you with a quote for the cost of fixing the problem.

In the case of a negative survey, you always have the option to renegotiate the price.

What is the fastest way to sell a house for cash?

Selling your property directly to a genuine cash house-buying company such as Property Saviour, who will complete the purchase within a few days & pay your legal fees. 

This is the fastest way to sell any property:

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  • Be careful with ‘cash buyers’ who require a valuation needed for a mortgage or bridging loan.
  • These valuations or surveys result in delays and price reductions later on.
  • We are cash buyers.  There are no surveys.
  • We always provide proof of funds with every formal offer issued.
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