How To Deal With A Negative Property Survey

How To Deal With A Negative Property Survey

 Whether you’re a first-time buyer or you’re looking for your next dream home, waiting for your homebuyer survey results can be a nerve-wracking time. The property purchasing process is filled with uncertainties, so it’s understandable to feel concerned about the prospect of a negative survey.  

If your house survey does show up some issues, don’t panic. It may not mean the end of your journey with this particular property. Read on to discover how to deal with a negative house survey and what steps to take next. 

What is a house survey? 

Once you’ve had an offer accepted on a property, you’ll want to hire a building surveyor to look at the building and check for any structural issues that could affect the value or your property experience.  

There are three different types of house survey: Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3. It’s important to organise the one best suited to your property’s age and condition.  

Learn more about each level and work out which one you need in our guide to different home surveys

Common problems that can show up during a property survey 

When a building surveyor checks a property, they’ll be looking for signs of major issues including: 

  • Damp – they’ll be on the lookout for condensation, rising damp, or penetrating damp. Often, damp is treatable but identifying and sorting it can be costly.  
  • Rot or damage to structural timber – rotten timber could put your building’s structure at risk so it’s important to get it sorted. Again, this can be expensive to fix. 
  • Subsidence – this is when the foundations of a building shift and begin to sink. Even if fixed, subsidence can make insurance more expensive. If you suspect your property has subsidence, you’ll need to make sure you get a full Level 3 structural survey
  • Japanese knotweed – because of its long roots, Japanese knotweed can cause damage that may impact your mortgage and insurance terms. 
  • Unsafe wiring – rewiring a property is a big, and often expensive, job. It may cause delays to the moving process or, if you wait until you’ve moved in, it could be disruptive.  

A negative property survey: what to do next 

Has your surveyor identified any of the above issues?  

Get full details from your building surveyor

Firstly, make sure you get all the details from your surveyor. They should be able to talk you through the report and explain whether it’s a minor or major problem. They can also advise you on the next steps. 

Find out how much it would cost to fix the issue 

If you still want to proceed with buying the property, it’s important to get some quotes so you can budget for it. Can you still afford the purchase? You may really love the house or flat but don’t risk it if the costs will put you at risk of debt.  It is important to put into context the cost of rectifying the defect, and weigh it up against the total cost of buying the house, or the cost of renting for another few months. Pulling out may be disappointing but it could also save you a lot of stress and money. 

Consider negotiating the property price 

If it looks like fixing the issues will cost a significant amount of money, you could also speak to the seller and try to renegotiate the sale price. You might suggest that you’ll go ahead with the sale if the vendor can knock off the repair costs. Whilst the vendor may be hesitant to reduce their offer, it is likely that will be brought up again for them on any subsequent sale if you withdraw.

Homebuyer survey options from Torus 

As experienced RICS surveyors, the team at Torus can offer all levels of house surveys to give you peace of mind and help you move forward with your property purchase. Feel free to get in touch with any questions or to book a homebuyer survey.


How To Prepare A Residential Property For A Survey

How To Prepare A Residential Property For A Survey

Having a survey done on a prospective property is a great way to help inform your purchase and potentially negotiate lower prices. A house survey is also a critical part of selling — you want to make sure you get an accurate price for your property. But if you don’t know what to do beforehand, the process might seem stressful, which is the last thing you want on top of moving house.

Luckily, with some preparation in advance, you can cut down on the stress and get the best possible results from your survey. Follow these simple tips to make sure your valuation goes as efficiently as possible.



A good place to start is by moving all the knick-knacks and personal belongings out of the way. Ornaments, pictures, toys — anything that might get in the way of an inspection. It’s important that the surfaces of the house are visible and accessible, as the surveyor will be looking to inspect the structural condition of the property.

Windowsills in particular should be kept clear as they’re a prime location for mould. If you’re moving out, you’ll need to pack all your belongings away regardless, which makes this a good opportunity to hit two birds with one stone.


Clean the property

Thoroughly cleaning your house is an effective way of making a good impression and increasing the value of your home. Dust surfaces, clean carpets, and remove any mould to get rid of unwanted smells and must that could affect the valuation. The bathroom is often the worst culprit, so you might want to give it special attention.


Do minor repairs

Major repairs such as electrical or roofing problems are best left to the experts, but if your house needs any minor repairs then you could consider taking care of them yourself. Issues such as mould, dripping taps, and hairline decorative cracks can all be fixed at home with the right equipment and some DIY know-how. This could increase the value of the property and save you money in the long term — the fix may be worth more than you paid.


Make all doors and windows accessible

All areas of the house should be accessible, which means all rooms should be unlocked and all windows able to be opened with keys nearby. The surveyor will check the condition of the windows and look for double glazing in every room. This includes the attic, so make sure that it’s easy to get to and not too cluttered with storage.


Move heavy furniture from the walls

At all levels of surveys, the surveyor will inspect the walls of the property, meaning it’s important that they stay clear and easily accessible. Heavy furniture along the walls should be moved closer to the middle of the room, clearing a path for the surveyor. This will help save time and help the survey run more smoothly.


Don’t forget the exterior

You might be focused on the inside of your house, but it’s essential not to forget the exterior — it’s the first thing people will see, after all. Overgrown plants can sometimes cause damage to the exterior of a property, so you may want to be on the lookout. Sheds, paths, and fences are all part of the house and will be taken into account during the survey, so make sure they’re all in the best condition possible before the survey.


Torus Surveyors: RICS registered valuers in Manchester

Whether you need a Level 1, 2, or 3 valuation, as chartered building surveyors we have the experience and expertise to perform your house survey to the high standards expected of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors. Now you know how you should prepare your residential property for a survey, don’t hesitate to contact us for help with your valuation.

3 Different Types Of Home Surveys

3 Different Types Of Home Surveys

If you’re looking to buy a house, it’s a good idea to get a house survey done first to help you make an informed decision on your purchase and budget for any potential repairs.


The type of house survey that you need will depend on several factors, including the age and condition of your property and any extensive alterations since construction. As valuers registered with the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), we can carry out three different types of home surveys.


If you’re not sure which type of house survey will be best for your property, our guide aims to help you decide.

RICS Home Survey Level 1


The Level 1 survey is the most basic type of house survey, providing an affordable insight into the property while foregoing the more in-depth aspects of the Level 2 and 3 surveys.


We use an easy to understand traffic light system to indicate the seriousness of any defects, and report individually on main building elements such as the floors, roof, and walls.  This type of survey is best suited for modern properties that are in good condition, where you may want to confirm that everything is in order before buying.


At Torus Surveyors, we always aim to get the completed report to you within two working days of the inspection. We also encourage our customers to speak to our surveyors by telephone regarding any questions before or after the inspection, no matter the level of survey.

RICS Home Survey Level 2


Formally known as the Homebuyer Report, the Level 2 survey is more comprehensive than the Level 1 survey. In addition to the report, you can get advice on which parts of the building may require particular maintenance, as well as a market valuation and reinstatement value for insurance purposes — just let us know in advance.


The inspection is non-intrusive, which means only the visible elements are inspected. The surveyor won’t check behind furniture, for example.


This level of house survey is a good choice for most properties that: 

  • Have been constructed after 1930
  • Are in a reasonable condition, and without any extensive alterations


It’s more affordable than Level 3 but still goes into a sufficient amount of depth for most homes, making it a good general option.

RICS Home Survey Level 3


The Level 3 survey is also known as a Building Survey or Structural Survey. It is the most comprehensive house survey you can get and includes a thorough property analysis.


At Torus Surveyors, we have extensive experience surveying houses in Manchester and nearby, so we are acutely familiar with the construction techniques and defects that are common to the area. If agreed upon in advance, this type of survey can include an estimate of costs on repair work, so it gives you a better idea of what you will actually be paying for the house.


The Level 3 survey is the ideal choice if the property is old, in poor condition, or has seen extensive alterations. Alternatively, if you’re planning to do significant work later, it’s a good idea to see if the property is suitable.


For a better look at what you can learn from a report, you can read example reports for Level 1Level 2, and Level 3 house surveys on our website.

House surveyors you can trust


At Torus Surveyors, we can carry out all levels of house survey in Manchester and North Cheshire. We’re an RICS registered valuer, which means you can be sure our surveys meet the standards of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors. 

For more information, don’t hesitate to get in touch, or get an instant quote on our website today.


What Does An RICS Valuer Look For When Undertaking a Valuation On A House?

What Does An RICS Valuer Look For When Undertaking a Valuation On A House?

Getting your property valued can be an exciting time. It’s a key step in house-selling, giving you an idea of how much your home is worth and what budget you may have for your move. But what will an RICS Valuation Surveyor be looking for when they value your property? Knowing what RICS surveyors assess can help ensure you get an accurate estimate and don’t undersell.

What is an RICS Valuation Surveyor?

When putting your home up for sale, you will receive an estimated market value from your estate agent. This value indicates how much they think a buyer will be willing to pay for it. You can go with this number, however, an estate agent’s valuation may be designed for a quick sale or higher commission.

For a property valuation, you know will be fair and accurate, you can also book an RICS survey. RICS Valuers are registered with the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), and must follow strict guidelines. When undertaking a valuation, whether it’s for a home owner or for probate purposes, they must provide detailed evidence to show how and why they’ve given your property a certain market value. RICS registered valuers will estimate how much your home is worth using criteria set out in the RICS ‘Red Book Global Standards’ guide.

What do RICS Valuers look for during house valuations?

When undertaking a valuation (which will usually take about half an hour), your RICS Valuation Surveyor will assess:

• Your property’s size and location
• It’s overall condition
• The way it was built

They will then evaluate your property and compare it with similar properties that have recently been sold in the local area.

What will the house valuation include?

An RICS Valuation contain information which is relevant to the valuation, this may include;

• What your property is made from and how it was built, including its date of construction.
• The size of the buildings and grounds – including number of bedrooms and the size of any gardens or attached land.
• Whether or not you have any additional garages, parking facilities, or outbuildings
• Your property’s structural condition – is there any damage?
• Any improvements, such as loft conversions or extensions.
• Your home’s location – is it close to local amenities? If so, what kind? And is it in a desirable area?
• The sale prices of three similar properties that have recently sold nearby.

Having an awareness of what your RICS valuation surveyor will look for during a house valuation can help make sure you get an accurate and favourable estimate. For instance, you might find it beneficial to carry out any structural repairs before booking your RICS valuation — a majority of buyers are more likely to go for a home in good condition than one that needs work.

RICS valuation surveyors in Manchester and North Cheshire

If you’re looking for a house survey in the Manchester area, consider contacting us here at Torus Chartered Surveyors. Whether you need a shared ownership valuation, help to buy valuation, or another form of RICS valuation, we have the expertise and experience to help.

As RICS Registered Valuers, you know the valuation you receive from our team will meet the standards set out by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors. Plus, with our quick turnarounds, you can usually get your valuation back within 48 hours.

Not sure which type of property valuation you need? Don’t worry, we’re on hand to answer any questions! For more information or to organise your house valuation, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

What are RICS Home Surveys & Why do You Need One?

What are RICS Home Surveys & Why do You Need One?

Buying a new home is an exciting time. And if you’ve had your offer accepted, you’ve probably started thinking about RICS home surveys and whether you need one. You may already have a mortgage lender’s valuation report. But if you want to avoid unpleasant surprises once you move in, a survey that carries the weight of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) can give you peace of mind and help you buy with confidence.

What are RICS home surveys?

During a RICS home survey, an expert surveyor will inspect the property and outline any concerns in a report. A detailed inspection can spot structural issues like subsidence and highlight significant repair work that needs to be done. In addition, the surveyor adds expert observations on the structure and glazing of the property.

RICS home surveys cover everything from property conditions to a complete building survey.

RICS Home Survey Level One

This type of survey is suitable if you’re buying a modern property in generally good condition. A traffic light system is used in the report to highlight significant issues and give you an overview of the property’s condition but doesn’t go into detail.

RICS Home Survey Level Two

This more in-depth survey is popular with homebuyers and is cost-effective when you’re buying a home in reasonable condition.

The level 2 survey lists any issues that could affect the value of your home, including subsidence and damp. In addition, the surveyor will advise you on repairs and ongoing maintenance and outline any legal problems that need to be addressed. However, this is a non-intrusive survey, so the surveyor will only inspect at surface level.

If you opt for a survey and valuation, you’ll also receive an opinion on the current market value and an insurance reinstatement figure.

RICS Home Survey Level Three

If you’re looking to buy a property that’s over fifty years old and one in run-down condition, it’s advisable to have a complete structural survey done. It’s also advisable if the building design is unusual, uses non-standard materials, or if you’re planning major renovations.

A RICS Home Survey Level three used to be called a Building Survey and prior to that a Structural Survey. It is the most in depth survey that most Chartered Surveyors offer. It gives you more detailed information on the structure of your property, listing defects and advising on repairs and maintenance. Your surveyor may also provide an estimate for recommended repair costs if requested in advance.

Why do I Need a RICS Home Survey?

When you’re buying a new home, a house survey can sometimes feel like an expense too far. That seems particularly true if you’re purchasing a modern property that’s in reasonable condition.

However, if you’re aware of any problems, you can make a more informed decision in whether you want to pursue the sale. In addition, you can accurately budget for any repair work based on the survey results. You might even be able to negotiate a reduction in the sale price. We have dealt with numerous clients who on the back of a £450 survey have saved themselves tens of thousands of pounds on a renegotiated purchase price.

For example, if the survey shows that the property needs £20,000 spending on it, you could ask the seller to reduce the purchase price or undertake the repairs before you complete the purchase.

You should definitely have a survey done if you have any doubts or worries about the property’s condition.

Trust Torus Surveyors for Your RICS Home Surveys

At Torus Chartered Surveyors, we’re a RICS registered valuer and building surveyor who can undertake your level 1, 2 or 3 RICS home surveys in Manchester. Contact us today for your help to buy house valuations and Homebuyer Reports.

How to Spot the Signs of Subsidence

How to Spot the Signs of Subsidence

Subsidence affects thousands of properties every year, and could potentially reduce the value of your home if you decide to resell it.

Now it’s more important than ever as new maps from the British Geological Survey (BGS) reveal that climate change is likely to cause an increase in subsidence-related issues for British homes and properties over the next 50 years.

So, how do you spot the signs of subsidence and what should you do if your property has it? Let’s find out!

Subsidence or Settlement?

To put it simply, subsidence occurs when the buildings foundations are not supporting the building’s weight adequately; it can occur when the ground beneath your property gradually collapses or sinks, taking the building’s foundations with it. This causes the building to shift and can cause large subsidence cracks. It would normally require some remedial works such as underpinning to prevent further movement.

Settlement on the other hand occurs due to the natural compaction of the ground normally beneath a newly built house or extension and generally stabilises after some minor movement. This can also cause subsidence cracks, but is more minor in nature and not serious. Normally no remedial works are required.

The causes of subsidence

Leaking drains: Water from drains or gutters, especially after heavy rain fall can wash away the soil, leaving the ground saturated underneath your property and eventually causing it to subside.

Soil shrinkage: Dry, warm weather is one of the most common causes of subsidence. As the groundwater evaporates, porous clay soils are prone to shrink, crack and shift, leading to structural movement.

Tree roots: Trees may look harmless enough, but they can influence subsidence in a couple of ways. Firstly, they are able to extract valuable water from the soil, drying it out. And secondly, if trees are growing nearby, its roots can destabilise the ground and make your foundations uneven.

How to spot the interior signs of subsidence

Visible evidence of subsidence can be found on both the exterior and interior of a home. Here’s how to spot the warning signs of subsidence.

Cracks in the walls

These are the most obvious tell-tale signs of subsidence and they’re not hard to miss. Of course, you’ll get the occasional small hairline cracks in newer built properties or plastered walls, which is perfectly normal.

But if it’s wider than a 5mm, appears to be bigger at the top, and starts at the ground this can be a sign.

Sticking windows and doors

Jammed or sticking windows and doors are found in most properties but can on occasion be a sign of subsidence. If the frames appear to be warped, difficult to use, or surrounded by large gaps and cracks then this can also be a sign of subsidence.

Rippling wallpaper

Finally, does your wallpaper look rippled / crinkled at the wall and ceiling joints, but it isn’t caused by damp? Then it could be subsidence. One effective way to check is seeing if mildew, discolouration or condensation is present or not.

What should I do if my house shows signs of subsidence?

Don’t panic, most buildings do move around and normally minor cracks and movement are nothing to worry about however it is sensible to seek out a professional to help identify and diagnose the issue.

We can conduct a thorough inspection of your next property purchase via a Building Survey or HomeBuyer Survey.

Call Torus Chartered Surveyors in Altrincham now on 0161 929 7892 or fill out the form to request an instant quotation.