Knowing what to do after a bad house survey can mean the difference between completing a house purchase or the sale falling through. Problems raised on a property survey don’t have to mean walking away. Some problems are very common, sometimes similar issues can be found in most houses of that age and style. Sometimes other defects can be used as a bargaining chip to negotiate a reduction in the agreed price. If you are particularly concerned about elements of your survey, it is a good idea to speak to your surveyor directly.

But buying a property without a thorough survey is a gamble you should not take, as you might miss significant structural issues that require costly repair work later.

Common problems on house surveys

There are a few common problems on house surveys, and they can have different implications in terms of cost, difficulty to repair, and whether you should continue with your purchase.

Some bad house survey examples include:

  • Damp and rot
  • Subsidence
  • Japanese knotweed
  • Old electrical fittings

If your house survey highlights any of these issues, your surveyor should be able to give you an idea of how to proceed. An in-depth property survey is likely to look for a wider variety of less common problems, with more detailed advice provided if any are found.

Understanding a bad house survey

Understanding the results of a bad house survey can help you decide how to proceed. At Torus Chartered Surveyors, we use a simple traffic lights system to show the likely difficulty of repair.

No matter what level of survey you go for, we will talk you through the results so that you know what we have found.

How to estimate costs of property repairs

If a significant issue is raised, you can estimate the cost of repair work by asking independent tradespeople for quotes to carry out the repairs. This is especially important if the problem is one that needs repairing immediately, rather than one you can leave until later or have repaired in stages.

Make it a priority to get 2-3 quotes as quickly as possible, so that you can decide whether or not to proceed with the purchase, without keeping the vendor waiting unnecessarily.

Renegotiating the sale price

If repair work is going to cost money – especially if the likely cost is in the thousands – you might opt to ask for this to be taken off the amount you pay for the house itself.

Be reasonable – don’t try to get a heavily discounted sale over a minor or common repair job. But don’t be afraid to revise your original offer if it is important to you.

For more advice on building and house surveys, contact the experts at Torus Surveyors in Altrincham now on on 0161 929 7892 or email and a member of our team we’ll be happy to help with your enquiry.