In the process of buying a house, you will undoubtedly be looking to get a home buyer’s survey to assist you in your buying decision. This survey will tell you the condition of a property, allowing you to assess any repairs that will need to be made and be notified of potential risks to the property. This will be able to help you with negotiating a purchase price. For example, if there are £10k worth of repairs to be made, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to ask for £10k off the asking price.
Due to the home buyer’s survey generally benefitting the person buying the house, it is the buyer that will normally have to arrange and pay for the survey. That said, in Scotland it is the other way round. The seller is responsible for organising a home report for the buyer.
How long does a survey take?
There are many factors that affect how long a survey will take. For starters, you need to find a day that suits both the surveyor and the current property owner for providing access. On the day, it’ll depend on the property size, ease of access and which tier of survey is being carried out. A tier 1, surface level survey is not going to take as long as a more in-depth level 2 or 3 survey for example. On-site time could be anywhere from 90 minutes to 8 hours depending on these factors. This will also affect how long it takes for the surveyor to create the report after carrying out the survey, as they may have to do more research or provide extra information for the higher tiers.
To ensure there are no delays in exchanging contracts, it is best to book in a survey as soon as you have an offer accepted on the property. You could have a report within 24 hours, but it is more likely to be within the 1-3 week range depending on how busy your surveyor is and the current property owner’s availability.
How to arrange a home buyer’s survey
Arranging a home buyer’s survey should be a relatively easy task, however there are some things that could trip you up. For starters, don’t just use the first surveyor that is recommended to you by a mortgage lender or an estate agent. These businesses sometimes recommend each other to drum up more business, rather than them being the best available. They are often also more expensive and take longer to process than finding your own surveyor. They may very well be the most suitable for the job, but you don’t know until you’ve shopped around a little. It doesn’t hurt to do some research!
As part of your research, you should get quotes from a few surveying companies, such as Munday + Cramer. Once you have your quotes you can compare prices, but that isn’t the only thing you should be looking out for. For starters, ensure that the surveyor is a member of RICS. This is the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and is a sign of their expertise in this field. They should have MRICS or FRICS after their name to indicate this.
There are then several questions you can ask to find out how suited the surveyor is to your needs. We recommend asking for an example report to assess how appropriate it is for the property. Does it contain everything you would be looking for? You may also ask if you can meet with the surveyor at the property to walk through as they do the inspection, if this is something you are interested in. Finally, ensure that you will be able to discuss the report with the surveyor afterwards, in case you have any concerns.
Once you’ve chosen a surveyor, simply pay and book in a day!
For information on Munday + Cramer’s building surveying services, or if you would like to find out more about our architectural services, operating in Essex, London, Kent, Norfolk and Suffolk, then get in touch! Contact Munday + Cramer today on 01245 326 200.