How building surveys help buyers and sellers make the right decisions
By Michael Sherlock
Let’s be honest money doesn’t come for free and, as far as most people are concerned, buying a property is most likely to be the largest and most important purchase they will ever make. Especially when considering today’s economic climate, with property prices being as high as they are and mortgages increasingly difficult to obtain. This in mind, it would be imprudent for a buyer to commit to such an important purchase without gaining a full understanding as to what it is they are actually spending their hard-earned money on.
Similarly, the same goes for the selling of a property. It would be ill-advised for a property owner to put their property on the market without having a full understanding of what it is that they are selling.
Properties come in many different sizes, shapes, designs and specifications, ranging from new build high-spec eco-conscious sustainable flats to 16th Century wattle and daub, thatched roof and single glazed Tudor town houses. Such individuality across a wide range of properties offers many different potential issues to bear in mind when making that ever-important purchasing commitment.
The problem is, with so many potential issues, how can a purchaser ever be expected to be confident in their potential purchase without having a member of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) carry out an inspection of the property and produce a report?
How can a buyer negotiate on the price of a property purchase if they are unaware as to their potential bargaining power? How can the purchaser budget for any future repair works if they don’t realise that the property is in need of repair? And similarly, how can a vendor ensure they are equipped to deal with offers that are below the asking price due to the purchaser’s knowledge that the property on sale is actually suffering from considerable, unnoticed defects?
A building survey will identify and detail any visible defects along with potential hidden – yet potential future – defects, give guidance on repair works and help inform on the consequence of inaction. It will advise and give insight into potential building control or planning concerns which may need addressing.
In short, a survey report will give both vendor and purchaser a full understanding of the condition of the property in question.
The information obtained via a survey will enable both vendor and purchaser to enter realistic negotiations regarding the purchasing price of a property. It will allow the purchaser to budget for any future repairs and in some cases help the purchaser to make a quick informed decision to dismiss the property entirely. It will also allow the vendor the opportunity to carry out any necessary works prior to putting the property on the market thus improving the chances of realising the properties full sale value.
Whether buying or selling, a survey provides knowledge and knowledge is power.
You can read more about the types of survey available and what they involve in the article Which Survey, When and Why.
Posted on 7 April, 2016