Understanding your home survey
Getting a home survey is an essential part of the process of buying – or selling – a property. A survey will take an in-depth look at the condition of the property in question, its location, its state of repair and a range of other factors to help assess its market value.
For buyers, this is extremely important because it enables them to enter into the transaction with their eyes open or renegotiate a better price if they think it’s unfair. It also helps to identify any hidden problems or issues which may need fixing before purchase, to ensure they don’t make a choice they might later regret.
From a seller’s perspective, a survey can help ensure they receive a fair asking price and, again, help identify any problems or issues that can affect the property’s value. If you need a home survey, we’d always recommend using a RICS regulated chartered surveyor with knowledge and expertise of the local property market, who knows what common issues to look out for.
Types of home surveys
There are three types of home survey available, a valuation, a RICS Homebuyer Report and a building survey. A valuation does exactly what it says. It looks at the property against a range of factors, including its age, condition, location and construction, to work out its value, which is based on how much a typical buyer would be willing to pay for it on the open market.
A RICS Homebuyer Report is the most popular choice among buyers. This option includes a valuation as standard. It highlights other issues which may affect a property’s value, such as if the property suffers from damp or subsidence, whether it complies with current building regulations, or if there are any repairs or maintenance issues you need to be aware of.
A building survey is the most thorough report you can have about the condition of a property. This type of survey will report on all structural defects and potential problems, provide estimates for how much they might cost to put right, and give advice on what might happen if the repairs aren’t made. Building surveys are particularly important if you’re buying an older property or one which has been developed or renovated.
Understanding your home survey
The main aim of a home survey is to explain to the buyer or seller, as plainly and simply as possible, how much the property might be worth, as well as highlighting any potential issues. If you’re a buyer, this information will help to either put your mind at ease if there is nothing wrong or give you all the information you need to make a more informed choice if any issues are raised. It will also allow you to renegotiate on price if necessary.
For sellers, this information will help you to determine a fair market price for the property, and also give you guidance on any issues you might need to repair or make right to increase the property’s value. If the property is older, chances are the survey will find more issues than newer or renovated properties, although all types of properties can have points of concern if you take a more in-depth look.
The primary purpose of having a home survey done is to uncover these issues before you buy, so you can go into the transaction with your eyes open. Valuations and RICS Homebuyer Reports use a simple traffic light system to highlight any points of concern. If most factors are green, you have little to worry about.
Amber issues will usually flag things you need to be aware of before you make the purchase, which could create more significant problems further down the line if they are not put right. Armed with this information, you can start to negotiate on price or request they are fixed before the sale goes through. Red issues are more serious and give greater cause for concern. If you’ve had a building survey done, your report should advise on a recommended course of action to take, and also give cost estimates for any work to fix major structural defects.
Again, you can use this information to negotiate on price, or even decide whether or not the property is still right for you. One thing to bear in mind is that it’s a surveyor’s job to highlight any potential issues. So, just because your surveyor recommends you get the wiring or damp checked, it doesn’t automatically mean there is a problem with either. The surveyor is simply saying they might require further investigation by a specialist to ensure that nothing is amiss.
Give GB Home Surveys a call
At GB Home Surveys, we pride ourselves on offering simple and affordable home surveys with a personal touch so that you can buy or sell with confidence. All our surveyors are RICS members and RICS registered valuers are RICS registered and have built up years of local knowledge and expertise, to ensure you get all the information you need upfront before proceeding with your transaction.
As a RICS regulated chartered surveyors with more than 30 years of history, we’ve built an unrivalled reputation for providing trusted independent, impartial advice to homebuyers. So, if you’re looking for a home survey or just some simple, honest advice about valuing a property, give us a call today.