A Move To Better Quality And More Consistent surveys

It is extraordinary that it is still the case that only 25% of home buyers commission surveys on the property that they are buying.

The historic reasons for this are well known. Estate agents do not encourage buyers to get a survey (after all they only get paid if they sell a property) and conveyancers getting buyer instructions through an agent are not about to upset them by recommending clients get a survey. And of course, there is much research to evidence that as many as 80% of mortgage customers believe that their lenders valuation is a survey.

There is another factor however that has inhibited estate agents, conveyancers, mortgage brokers and lenders alike from recommending a survey and that has been the highly inconsistent quality of survey products offered by residential surveyors. Too often the surveys produced have been a subjective rambling commentary of problems, or potential problems, full of jargon, and with lots of caveats in case the surveyor has missed something.

This is no longer a legitimate reason for not recommending a survey to home buyers. The survey products that are now available through members of RPSA and other specialist residential surveyors are fit for purpose. They are objective jargon free reports containing photographic evidence. They tell the prospective purchaser what is good about a property as well as what may need attention, and they include at least 20 photographs to evidence the survey findings. There are level 2 (home buyers) and level 3 (full building)surveys and the surveyor will advise the client what is the most appropriate depending on the age and type of the property.

In addition, there will be a special ‘buy to let’ survey product launched towards the end of the year which caters to the specific needs of landlords. It includes not only a report on the condition of the property, but also covers the many legal obligations that a landlord has to meet. This unique report should form a routine part of acquiring a ‘buy to let’ property to ensure it is a sensible investment and for peace of mind.

The RPSA panel has surveyors covering the whole of England and Wales and operates to strict turnaround times, so procuring a survey should never hold up a transaction.

It has been reassuring to see that some of the larger mortgage lenders no longer offer surveys to their borrowers and have ceased sending their valuations to them as well. This helps to take away the confusion between valuations and surveys and should result in more homebuyers and investors commissioning surveys.

There is no coherent argument against buyers routinely ordering surveys and mortgage lenders and brokers can all play an important role in recommending that buyers and investors procure a survey.

For more information call 08000 933502 or email gemma@rpsa.org.uk


Kindly shared by Residential Property Surveyors Association (RPSA)