The benefits of a home buyers survey

August, 2022

Whether you’re buying your first home or moving up the property ladder, buying a new home is a significant investment, which means there’s a lot to think about before you sign on the dotted line. Chances are, your new home will be the most expensive asset you own, so making sure it has no hidden issues or potential pitfalls which could come back and haunt you is essential. One of the best ways of making sure you know what you are getting into before you buy is by getting a home survey.

Home surveys are carried out by independent, impartial property professionals who will give you an unbiased opinion about the condition of the property you are interested in, along with advice about any repairs, defects, or maintenance issues.

It will help flag up any potential problems that could affect the property’s value or cause a major headache to put right.

Here are our 5 reasons why we feel a survey is beneficial when buying a house.

A different perspective

When it comes to buying a house, most buyers form an emotional attachment to the property they are interested in once they’ve seen the one they want. While following your gut is important – sometimes, the home you’re interested in can just ‘feel right’ – your judgement can be clouded by your perception of your ideal property. This can mean you fail to see some of its less obvious flaws or issues.

Getting a home survey from a RICS registered surveyor will give you a different perspective on the property you are interested in buying. They won’t have formed the same emotional attachment to the property as you have, so can view it without rose-tinted glasses.

Rather than focusing on everything right about the property, a surveyor will instead be looking at its condition. They’ll check for any potential flaws or issues such as cracks, damp, structural defects, woodworm or anything else that might affect its value or lead to expensive repairs. If your home survey uncovers any of these issues or more, you’ll thank us in the long run.

Hidden problems 

RICS registered surveyors are highly trained and certified experts in their field. Part of their service is to spot things you won’t be able to see yourself. Think about it, when you view a home, chances are you will visit it only briefly and be given a quick tour by the seller or the estate agent. They’ll do their best to highlight the home’s best features while glossing over any potential drawbacks.

When you commission a surveyor to carry out a home survey, they are your expert eyes and ears. They will spend more time taking a closer, more in-depth look at the property and checking for things you wouldn’t, to help uncover any potential issues. They will then feed their findings back objectively to give you a fuller understanding of the property’s condition and any defects that may cost money to put right further down the line. 

An expert view

As we said above, RICS registered surveyors are highly trained, qualified and experienced property professionals who will be able to give you an impartial, expert view of the home you want to buy. They are trained to look for hard to spot or hidden issues, so you can have peace of mind that the property you are buying is what the seller says it is. Issues like damp, dry rot and subsistence can all be challenging to spot if you don’t know what you are looking for, never mind working out the cost of putting them right. A home survey will help identify these and other issues so that you can proceed with the purchase with confidence.

Save money

The cost of a home survey is tiny compared to the money it could save you in the long run. RICS, the chartered surveying industry’s trade body, carried out a widely reported study that found that a fifth of buyers who did not commission a home survey later found faults costing an average of £5,750 to put right after they had moved in. Spending just a few hundred pounds on a building survey can help identify any defects upfront and estimate the cost of putting things right so that you can proceed with caution.

Peace of mind

Home surveys are all about equipping you with the information you need to make an informed decision about whether to buy the house in question or not. If there are any issues, a surveyor will be able to advise on the likely cost of any repairs, so you can renegotiate the asking price or insist the seller rectify them before you buy.

In a worst-case scenario, if your home survey uncovers any potential issues that you don’t feel comfortable with, you can walk away from the sale. Having a home survey done won’t oblige you to go ahead with the deal. It will, however, give you all the information you need to decide whether you still want to proceed, so you can make the decision with your eyes wide open.

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