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14 Jun, 2024/ by Surveyor Local /News

When it comes to buying a property, there are so many expenses to consider - over and above the asking price of the planned new home purchase, of course. 

So, you might be looking for ways to shed a few pounds from the overweight final bill. 

Some of them you can do for yourself, such as the conveyancing, although this is a false economy because of the complexities involved and the amount of time you'll need to expend to do the job properly, which is just another big stress.

Others you simply don't have to go ahead with, including a survey of the property, but, again, this is not necessarily a saving in the long run. 

It's a fine line you have to walk to get the budget for your move right, and to ensure you get the right level of service for the right price you want to pay.

In fact, analysis of home surveys by the HomeOwners Alliance showed that a large proportion of those who had bought a home in the last five years, and had had a survey completed for it, had managed to save money as a result.

Findings from the HomeOwners Alliance survey

The headline figure is quite stark: 30% of 759 respondents said that they had taken action as a result of the problems identified in their survey. The upshot is a saving of money by ensuring remedial action was effectively paid for by the seller as part of the terms for exchanging contracts.

Taken in order, these were the results of those who specified action had been taken:

10% - asking price renegotiation. 

The faults and issues found during the survey provided sufficient impetus to gain agreement to reduce the asking price to pay for the work necessary to be carried out to fix them.

9% - sellers pay for fixes. 

In a similar way to negotiating the asking price downwards, the seller agrees to pay for the problems to be sorted out.

9% - obtain quotations. 

By finding out how much the cost will be to remedy the issues from experts and tradespeople, this can be used as a powerful negotiation tool, or, if that is not possible, gives sufficient evidence to walk away from the purchase.

9% -talked through with surveyor. 

It's always worth discussing the findings of the survey with your chartered surveyor to understand the extent and seriousness of any issues. 

This can lead on to helpful information to reassess and renegotiate the asking price or request the seller to supply the remedies before moving forwards with the purchase.

4% -difficulties with mortgage. 

Some problems may be so significant that the value of a property as a result is insufficient for a lender to want to take the risk with lending you the money. 

If your only option is to walk away, this can be a powerful negotiation tool.

4% -pulling out of the purchase. 

Sometimes, it simply makes sense to draw a line under the purchase and pull out of any further negotiations and look elsewhere.

Interestingly, another 11% of potential buyers responded that they had not ordered a building survey, and that they had then found significant and potentially costly problems with the property, the upshot being that they were now regretting the decision not to appoint a surveyor.

Paula Higgins, Chief Executive of the HomeOwners Alliance, commented:

“Our research shows what a worthwhile investment having a house survey is. 

“We recommend surveys for homebuyers as a great way of avoiding unforeseen and unpleasant surprises when it comes to moving into your new home. 

“Save money by getting a survey so you can identify any issues and get them fixed or renegotiate the price so you aren't out of pocket and avoid homebuyers regret.”

Getting a survey organised

There are three types of house survey you can choose:

RICS Home Survey Level 1 - this is the most basic of the options, and is the suitable choice for a property built of standard materials and looks to be in reasonable condition with no obvious defects such as cracks forming in the walls, evidence of damp, etc. 

As a consequence, it is also the cheapest but means that there won't be an in-depth analysis of the building and its structural integrity. 

More information on the Level 1 Survey.

Sample Level 1 report.


RICS Home Survey Level 2 - the most popular of the survey types, the Level 2 survey will cover a more detailed assessment of the property and is best for homes built after 1970 of common materials and which are in reasonable condition without obvious evidence of the potential problems mentioned above. 

The results of the survey, which will cover all aspects of the property from roof to cellar, is presented in an easy-to-read traffic-light system (where green means no action is required, amber means no immediate action is required but will be necessary soon, and red means action must be taken as soon as possible). 

More information on the Level 2 Survey.

A sample Level 2 report.

RICS Home Survey Level 3 - the most detailed (and therefore the most expensive) of the options, this survey is best for any property that was built prior to 1970 or is constructed of unusual materials, or it is in obviously poor condition, or has listed status (you might want to consider this option, too, for homes in a conservation area as there may be caveats that must be met under its requirements). 

In addition to the detail found in the Level 2 survey, the surveyor will also outline the likely work required to remedy the defects and the level of risk of not doing so. 

More information on the Level 3 Survey.

Sample Level 3 report.

Read on the HomeOwners Alliance full article on the poll findings.

Do you want that sense of peace of mind about the state of the property you are thinking of buying, which an appropriate survey will provide for you?

That's where it is really worth contacting Surveyor Local

Surveyor Local only works with members of RICS to offer home buyers a comprehensive range of surveys that are affordable and will provide the information required on a property. 

Your appointed surveyor will be local to the property you are buying so they will know the area and bring that knowledge to their assessment and their analysis of the issues with the new home.

Not only will the surveyor work hard to find all the problems affecting the property, they will also be keen to adopt new and proven technology in order to give the best survey possible.

Surveyor Local will provide a quote that will not change - what you are quoted is what you pay. 

Next-day bookings are usually available, and your appointed surveyor will look after arranging access to the property with the estate agent and the seller. Once the survey is complete, they will send you a PDF copy of the report by email.

Call  to get your survey quote started, or to discuss your concerns with the acquisition of your planned property.

Or you can get a quick quote, using Surveyor Local's easy-to-use quote generator. We'll do the rest once you confirm your acceptance of the quote.

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