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Hire a Surveyor

When hiring a surveyor, to ensure they’re legitimate, you can check whether they’re a registered member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. When choosing a surveyor, try to pick a local person, so they know the surrounding area and its property market relatively well. If you’re buying an unusual house, for example, a church, a castle or a lighthouse, locate a surveyor within that field.

Surveyor prices will vary from business to business, so it’s always suggested you get a range of quotes. To ensure that you pay the best price you should get multiple quotes from local surveyors and don’t pay for the first surveyor that you find.

You can search for a surveyor near you and receive three free quotes and select a local surveyor who is perfect for the job. Once you’re happy with your choice of professional and the quote offered, they can get to work on your surveys straight away. Using Myjobquote is an effortless way of discovering a surveyor near you at a fee within your budget.

As well as surveyors you may need to hire local conveyancers to assist with the finalisation of the sale. When the sale is complete you may also want to hire a removal specialist to assist with the big move.

What is Surveying?

Property surveying is a thorough examination of the state of a property where specific searches need to be carried out for potential buyers. They will assess the value of the property and whether the offer accepted is realistic and worth the money the buyer is paying using their conclusions.

What Does Surveying a Property Involve?

A surveyor assesses the property and states whether there are structural issues like subsidence or unsafe walls. They will draw attention to any major repairs or modifications required, for example repairing the chimney or roof. The statement from the surveyor will also offer specialist annotation on a property, from what type of wall to what kind of glazing it possesses.

Who Can Do My Surveying?

Surveying is completed by certified surveyors who can be self-employed or part of a more prominent company. There are different types of surveyors, depending on what you need investigating:

Valuation Surveyors

These surveyors are experts in the valuation of property, specialising in either commercial or residential property. Rather than focusing on the construction of the property, they’ll focus on the financial aspect.

Building Surveyors

Building surveyors are specialists in construction and guide you on the preservation and repair of properties.

Quantity Surveyors

This type of surveyor is involved in an essential part of construction developments. They handle costs from the first design stage through to the finish. They’ll also make sure that projects conform to legal quality regulations, and that their clients get value for money.

Land Surveyors

Land (or geomatic) surveyors will gather data and measurements from land that has plans for a construction project. They can assess an array of various vicinities, including landfills, pipelines, airports mines, and quarries.

Party Wall Surveyors

Party Wall surveyors specialise in The Party Wall Act 1996, designed to stop and resolve disputes between neighbouring properties with an adjoining wall.

Do I Need a Surveyor?

If you’re buying a property, it’s highly recommended that you hire a surveyor to inspect the property. It can help to uncover any unforeseen expenses and reassure you the property is structurally sound. With the information discovered, you may reconsider buying the property or renegotiate the asking price.

If you have a mortgage to buy a property, your mortgage provider will issue a search. It’s a brief viewing on a property to determine its value. Your mortgage provider must confirm the property is appropriate security for the credit. Your provider will request to use a business they have confidence in, and you’ll cover the cost for it. A few mortgage providers throw in a free valuation as part of the deal, but don’t let that influence you.

Type of Property Surveys Available

The RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) provides three different types of survey:

Condition Report

This survey is the cheapest and simplest search RICS offer for a property. It’s typically implemented for regular houses, bungalows or flats that are in decent condition. The rating system used is a ‘traffic light’ scheme that’s applied to numerous parts of the property, including the garage and any outbuildings, illustrating any issues that might need different levels of attention. It offers a review of hazards to the form of the property and guidance on how to tackle them.

Homebuyer Report

This survey is the middle choice and costs more than the condition report. It’s acceptable for most modern or older properties that are in an average condition. The principal targets are:

  • To make a coherent and knowledgeable decision on whether to persist with the purchase.
  • Evaluate if the property is a realistic buy at the settled amount.
  • To clarify what measures should be undertaken before contracts are transferred.

The homebuyer report will produce several evaluations on the property:

  • Overall condition.
  • Significant flaws in reachable areas of the property that might influence the value.
  • Fundamental dilemmas that require examination by a specialist before signing a contract.
  • The results of any test done for damp in walls.
  • Any damage to timbers, including decay and woodworm.
  • The state of any insulation or damp-proofing.

You can also include a valuation, which will estimate the cost of reconstructing the property after a fire for insurance reasons and the value of the property on the market.

Building Survey

This survey is the most comprehensive report and is ordinarily used for sizeable or older properties or if you’re scheduling extensive building works. It delivers a detailed examination of the property’s condition and includes guidance on faults, renovations and preservation choices.

If any of the following applies to your property, it’s recommended you get a building survey:

  • More than 30 years old.
  • Listed/protected building.
  • It’s built unusually.
  • A property you want to renovate or modify.
  • Property that’s had substantial adjustments.

Your surveyor will deliver a concluding report which will disclose details of the construction of the property, the resources used and a record of all trivial and critical structural issues.

These tests can recognise:

  • All defects and their consequences.
  • Cost of repairs.
  • The results of any test done for damp in walls.
  • Any damage to timbers, including decay and woodworm.
  • The state of any insulation or damp-proofing.
  • Technical data on the construction and materials used.
  • Recommendations for additional special examination.

Home Condition Survey

The RPSA (Residential Property Surveyors Association) provides a home condition survey that’s suitable for all property types. It contains an examination and thorough report.

Cost of a Surveyor

What you pay for a surveyor relies on which survey you’ve chosen. You’ll be charged per survey rather than hourly or daily. Below is a table showing the average cost of each survey:

Condition report (RICS) - £300+

Homebuyer report, survey only (RICS) - £350+

Homebuyer report, survey & valuation (RICS) - £450+

Building survey (RICS) - 500+

Home condition survey (RPSA) - £450+

New-building snagging survey - £300-£600

Benefits of Surveying

There’s a range of benefits getting a survey completed on a property, mostly to do with saving you money in the long run and not overpaying for a property.

Save Money in Repair Costs

Surveys will bring your attention to any faults in the construction of a property that won’t have been instantly noticeable. This could be a range of thing from issues with the roof, subsidence or rotting timbers. The RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) states that 17% of new homeowners who didn’t get a survey paid more that £12,000 to make their home liveable.

Renegotiate the Price

If a survey comes back with faults, it doesn’t mean you have to pull out of the property negotiations straight away. You can use this to your benefit and negotiate a lower price, depending on how much the faults will cost you.

Find Out if it’s Worth Investing

Don’t rush, buying a property is an expensive investment, and using a survey can help you to make your decision. They cost a small amount compared to the price of a property, and you’ll discover whether the property is worth your investment.

Surveyors Work for You

A mortgage provider’s surveyor will work on their behalf, not yours. They’ll have the mortgage providers best interests in mind, and the report will not be very detailed, only covering whether it’s satisfactory for a loan.

If you hire a surveyor yourself, they’ll work on your behalf and uncover all the defects you need to know. So, it’s worth getting a second opinion and hire your own surveyor.

What to do with Flagged Issues?

A report from a surveyor will nearly always find some flagged issues, most definitely in older homes, so don’t start panicking just yet.

The first thing you need to do is speak to your surveyor, who should then go through the report with you so you can get a detailed summary of the property’s condition. You could even ask if they’re willing to go to the property with you and show you where the problems are. Ask questions if you don’t understand something, try and learn as much as you can about the issues so you can make an informed decision.

Now you’ve spoken to the surveyor, you may feel reassured about purchasing the property. If not, you may have to investigate some more with the help of some experts. For example, if there are electrical problems ask an electrician for a quote to fix it. You can then renegotiate the sale price, or pull out entirely depending on the severity of the issues.

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