Having a surveyor looking around your home can be a stressful experience. In this article, we’re here to show you how to prepare for a house survey to make their job easier and the experience less stressful for you too.
An inspection by a surveyor is an important part of several processes:
- Valuation for mortgage/re-mortgage or help to buy purposes will normally last around 30 minutes for an average sized house.
- An inspection for a HomeBuyers Report will normally last 1.5 to 2.5 hours for an average sized house.
- An inspection for a full Building Survey will likely take 2.5 hours + for an average sized property and can be substantially longer for larger houses.
Whilst the visit may be inconvenient, if you are selling your property, consider the amount of money involved for your purchaser, providing access to their surveyor for a few hours would seem only reasonable. It’s important for the surveyor to be able to work unencumbered and uninterrupted.
How can you help
- A tidy house with easy access to all areas reduces the amount of time the surveyor will spend in your property, surveyors will often need to look at windows, fuse boxes, stop taps and utilities clearing items away from these areas can help.
- Pets; if you have particularly nervous or aggressive animals, please think about the surveyor. Maybe getting someone to look after them during the visit or ensuring they are kept in different rooms.
- Hiding defects with strategically placed rugs, sofas or pictures generally doesn’t work. Most surveyors are experienced enough to find them, quite often being honest about problems can allay surveyor’s and purchaser’s worries. Hiding or disguising them normally rings alarm bells, when maybe it is only a small problem.
- Finally, please don’t try to rush the surveyor. Your purchaser has spent a lot of money on their survey and the surveyor is trying to provide a good service to their client.
Should I make minor repairs?
If there are any small DIY tasks that need doing around your property, it’s sensible to get caught up with them ahead of a house survey.
This could be something minor, like a broken light switch or plug socket, a leaking tap or pipe, or cosmetic work like peeling paint.
Nobody is expecting you to fully refurbish a house you’re about to sell – unless you plan to do this anyway to add value – but taking care of the small details can help.
The exact itinerary for your surveyor’s visit can depend on the level of survey you have booked, from a Condition Report or HomeBuyer Report, through to a full RICS Building Survey which can identify necessary repair work and estimate the costs involved.
If you’d like to know more about how to prepare for a house survey and what the surveyor will do on the day, please contact us on 0161 929 7892 and we’ll be happy to answer your questions.
If you’re looking to buy a property, it’s likely you will need the services of a chartered surveyor to examine the condition of a house. Not only does a RICS HomeBuyer Report give you peace of mind, but if ordered, provide an accurate property market valuation and a reinstatement value for insurance purposes.
Whether you’re a first-time buyer or existing homeowner, assessing the risk of such a huge investment can help you make an informed decision. So, here are some of the most common house survey issues you’re likely to find.
This is one of the most common house survey issues. Excess moisture from leaky roofs, damaged guttering, rising damp and poor ventilation are just some of the reasons behind damp sneaking into the house’s interior.
It can vary in levels of severity. It can be a cosmetic consideration or on some occasions it can cause wet rot and dry rot in timber which can lead to structural problems.
This can normally be rectified, although in some older houses this can be notoriously difficult to completely eradicate.
A sound roof, is a sound house. However, this part of the property is extremely susceptible to environmental factors such as heavy rain and wind. From cracked or missing tiles, to overflowing gutters and blocked ventilation, these can be incredibly costly to fix.
Another common house survey issue is structural movement or subsidence. Indicators of this are cracks in the ceilings and walls, sometimes caused by defects in the building’s foundations.
Most older houses have suffered from some structural movement and normally it is historic and nothing to be overly concerned by. A comprehensive survey will identify if movement could get worse.
The notorious Japanese knotweed can grow rapidly and be extremely difficult to remove. Its deep roots are known to cause damage to buildings and driveways through cracks in concrete and brickwork, as well as potentiality interfere with drainage.
If identified by your house surveyor, then it is necessary to eradicate it using an accredited specialist.
Mortgage lenders take a very broad brush approach when dealing with houses with knotweed and this can make selling or mortgaging very difficult
Electric & Gas
Finally, faulty electrical wiring and lack of certification are other common house survey issues not to be overlooked. Chartered surveyors are normally not able to test the utilities in the property, they can only visually assess surface mounted fixings. However, it is highly recommended that an EICR is carried out to make sure your new home is safe.
A recent boiler test certification is also important to check all appliances and pipework are working accordingly, and vendors should be able to provide a Gas Safety Record as proof.
Book your next Homebuyer Survey
If you would like to find out more about one of our detailed HomeBuyer Surveys, please do not hesitate to contact our team of Chartered Surveyors in Altrincham at Torus.
Call us on 0161 929 7892 or request an instant quotation.
You can find out more about what to do after a bad house survey, by reading our latest blog here: https://www.house-survey.co.uk/what-to-do-after-a-bad-house-survey/
If, like most people you are funding the purchase of your new home with a mortgage, your lender will likely want to satisfy themselves that your home provides them with financial security should you default.
Nowadays lenders use a variety of methods to this, they may undertake an Automated Valuation Model (AVM) where a computer program checks your purchase price. They may ask a surveyor to undertake a Desktop Valuation where your purchase price is checked by a surveyor using a computer many miles away, or they may request a more traditional valuation inspection.
It is important to consider that even if your lender requests a Surveyor physically inspect the property, they are not checking for your benefit. They are looking at the house as loan security. Now consider the size of your deposit; if your new house needs a new roof costing £5,000, but you are putting down a 10% deposit at £30,000 there is a good chance that your lender wouldn’t be overly worried about this.
In your lender’s eyes; in the worst case scenario, if they have to sell your property they can afford to sell it for £30,000 less than your purchase price, the cost of a new roof may be irrelevant to them. This is why instructing your own independent survey undertaken by an experienced Chartered Surveyor is only sensible course of action when buying a new house.
What happens during a house survey depends on the level of survey you have requested. At Torus Chartered Surveyors we offer three types of pre-purchase property survey:
You can see from the estimated length of time taken that a RICS Building Survey is the most in-depth option, whereas a RICS Condition Report is a less comprehensive check.
During a condition report, A surveyor will inspect the property inside and out. The roof space is inspected from an access hatch if it is safe to do so, the loft would not be entered. The covers to the inspection chambers of the underground drains are not lifted. Underfloor voids are not inspected. The services are visually inspected.
During a HomeBuyer Report the inspection and report is more detailed than a condition report but less detailed than a building survey. A surveyor will inspect the property inside and out. The roof space is entered and fully inspected if it is safe to do so. Where feasible the covers to the inspection chambers of the underground drains are lifted.
An inverted head and shoulders inspection is undertaken of underfloor voids where possible. The services are visually inspected. The report can also contain a Market Valuation and Insurance Reinstatement figure for an additional fee. The report will focus on matters that may affect the value of the property if they are not addressed.
If you opt for the most comprehensive RICS Building Survey, the surveyor will conduct a detailed visual and structural inspection of the property. The roof space is entered and fully inspected if it is safe to do so. Where feasible the covers to the inspection chambers of the underground drains are lifted and seen in operation. Underfloor voids are fully inspected where possible and safe. The services are visually inspected and seen in every day use where the owners consent is given.
What to expect in a house survey
In all cases, Torus Chartered Surveyors provide a personable approach. We encourage our customers to speak to our surveyors directly and ask any questions you might have about the inspection process.
We make sure you have access to our surveyors by telephone both before and after the physical inspection, so you get end-to-end service from us.
No matter what level of survey you choose, you’ll also get a written report of our findings.
- A RICS Condition Report will include reports on main elements like floors, walls and roofs, and any significant defects.
- A RICS HomeBuyer Report can include a market valuation (please ask for this in advance) and advice on any major maintenance that is likely in the future.
- A RICS Building Survey, formally called a Full Structural Survey, is the most detailed type of pre purchase survey we offer.
If you would like to know more or have any more questions about the differences between property surveys and what to expect on the day, please get in touch by calling 0161 929 7892 or email@example.com. All enquiries are welcome and one of a friendly and helpful staff are waiting to help.