31 July, 2023 | Building Survey

Buying Without a Survey? What Could Possibly Go Wrong…?

St Alkmonds Square

Buying or selling a house is a huge deal – for most people, it’s one of the biggest financial decisions they will ever make. So, it makes complete sense that you will want to protect such a major investment by getting advice from a property professional. Spending a relatively small amount on an independent RICS Condition Report, RICS HomeBuyer Report or RICS Building Survey could save you from a whole lot of potential issues later on. It’s the smart thing to do.

However, many homebuyers choose to skip the survey to save a bit of money. While it is understandable to want to make the budget stretch further, we think this is a false economy and a big mistake. With this in mind, we’ve put together a list of the top 5 problems you may encounter when you don’t get a property survey before you buy.

1. No expert property advice when you need it most.

A RICS home survey presents your best chance to receive impartial advice from a qualified professional with years of experience in the field. Our Chartered Surveyors will put their considerable building and property expertise at your disposal to identify any potential issues, assisting in your final decision on whether and how to proceed with the transaction.

What’s more, getting the advice of a local property specialist can prove invaluable. We have surveyed and valued houses, flats, commercial units and land in and around Shrewsbury for over 20 years, with expert local knowledge regarding the property market and a nuanced understanding of other issues such as environmental risks.

Building Surveyor

2. No accurate independent property valuation.

At this point, it is important to understand the difference between a mortgage valuation and a property survey, as they are often confused. A mortgage valuation is carried out for the sole benefit of the lender. It allows them to check if the property is financially safe to lend on. You as the buyer rarely get to see the valuation report.

An independent survey carried out by a RICS surveyor is very different. When you commission a private survey, the surveyor is working for you alone, not the lender. This ensures you go into the purchase with your eyes wide open about any potential defects or structural issues. The survey gives you a clear picture of the property’s true condition and protects your interest in the purchase.

3. No credible evidence for renegotiating the sale price.

If your survey identifies issues with the property’s condition, you can use the detailed report to negotiate the price with the seller. Level 2 RICS HomeBuyer Reports and Level 3 RICS Building Surveys are especially useful for this. They clearly lay out all defects found and provide a condition rating to indicate how severe the problems are.

Armed with evidence from an accredited RICS surveyor, you’re in a strong position to renegotiate. The seller will be more likely to either:

  • Reduce the asking price by around the estimated cost of repairs
  • Agree to make the necessary fixes before your move-in date

Having an authoritative report produced by an independent expert gives you leverage. The seller can’t dismiss the hard evidence when a surveyor has highlighted urgent issues or serious defects.

4. No protection against future ‘nasty surprise’ costs.

A survey provides you with valuable insights that could save you thousands down the line. Once you receive the report, you’ll understand exactly what defects or problems our surveyors found during their site visit including things that may have gone unmentioned or unnoticed by the seller, as well as things that a ‘layperson’ buyer wouldn’t know about.

A comprehensive survey by a qualified expert can highlight serious issues and hidden defects that could become expensive to fix or even pose dangers to occupants such as signs of subsidence, faulty electrics or structural instability that require urgent attention. Without a survey, you could buy the property unaware, only for significant faults – and potentially sizeable bills for repairs you didn’t budget for – to come to light later.

Church Across River

5. No peace of mind.

Buying or selling a home is one of the most important decisions anyone makes. That’s why getting an independent survey is so valuable – it provides the peace of mind of knowing that you can make a confident, informed choice based on expert advice.

Whether the survey findings confirm that the property you want to buy is in a good state of repair, or major defects or problems are identified, you will be in receipt of the full facts, entering negotiations with your eyes wide open and armed with the tools to renegotiate the purchase price, if necessary.

Contact Us

At SSJ Surveyors, we offer the full range of surveys and property valuation work. Our team is committed to delivering service excellence that is tailored to each client’s specific needs – no two properties are ever the same. For professional advice and to discuss your surveying requirements, please get in touch with our friendly team.

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