Understanding the Survey Process – A short guide for homebuyers

Firstly thanks for considering Castle Surveyors Limited to assist you at this important time, rest assured you’re in safe and very experienced hands.

In this short post I’ll outline the process when instructing a Chartered Surveyor to help you in your property purchase.  This post and video is intentionally brief, but should give you a good understanding of the process and next steps.

  1. If you are using a mortgage to purchase the property, then ensure the lender has confirmed their willingness to lend on the property and confirmed the valuation to you.  Then:
  2. If the property is freehold say, relatively straightforward e.g. a house that has been in situ for some time then you could choose to undertake the survey before the Legal work is completed.  Choosing this approach could actually help as your legal team would have the survey report to refer to.  If the property is complex, e.g. leasehold say, then ensure there are no legal matters in the lease, etc… that would stop you buying the property e.g. restrictions on pets, sub-letting, service charge costs, etc….  Once you decide you are ready for the survey, then:
  3. Firstly we should discuss your requirements, whether that’s by email or at the telephone.
  4. If you are ready to instruct us following this call, we’ll take the necessary information and progress your instructions. If not, we’ll gladly send you an email with a quotation and some useful information.
  5. Assuming you have confirmed our instructions, we’ll send you our terms & conditions of engagement. This step is an RICS requirement and our terms are simple to understand.  You can even complete them electronically.
  6. Once we have your instructions, we can then make contact with the Estate Agent or Vendor to arrange access to carry out the survey. We are usually available within a week to complete the survey.
  7. Following the inspection of the property, we aim to provide you with the report within 3 working days. However 99% of the time our reports are sent out the next day.
  8. You should carefully read the report and note questions you may have. We are happy to clarify the contents of the report and may also provide other advice, such as negotiation tactics, how to deal with the Estate Agents, etc.  Simply drop us an email with your questions or call us to discuss.  We provide a free 15 minute post survey discussion as part of our service.
  9. You should take the information from the report and obtain quotations, further reports or clarify matters including with your legal advisers. You should send a copy of the report to your legal advisers, however the Estate Agent does not need a copy of the report nor does the Vendor.  They merely want a copy of the report to help them negotiate against you or to use it for their own purposes.  If you feel the need to send them some information, then we recommend you only send them a snippet of the section which you are querying.
  10. Once you have sufficient information to be fully informed, you can now open negotiations with the Vendor to reflect the additional costs and/or inconvenience of the defects mentioned in the report. I recommend keeping the moral high ground and not inventing defects, merely try to reflect the comments in the report and seek out defects that the Vendor would not possibly have known about.  But negotiations are complex so you should really decide for yourself in this regard based upon your personal situation.

That’s about it really.  I trust this is sufficiently clear, but if you have any further questions please let me know on 0800 246 1002 or via email at enquiry@castle-surveyors.co.uk