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4 risks of not bothering with a home survey before you buy



One of the most important things you should do when buying a property is to get a survey. When you’re about to make a major financial investment, it makes good sense to protect your purchase by taking the advice of a property professional who can give your dream home the once-over.

If the survey findings flag up any serious problems, you can then use the information to budget accurately for remedial works, or go back to the seller to try and negotiate a discount, or walk away from the purchase. Whichever way you look at it, a home survey is money well spent.

Unfortunately, there are still too many homebuyers who think a property survey is an unnecessary expense. So we thought it would be a good idea to explain the considerable downsides of not bothering with a survey. Here are the 4 most common risks you would be taking:

1 – Unexpected future expenditure

The purpose of a professional property survey is to give you, the buyer, a good understanding of the condition of the property you are about to invest in. Our Chartered Surveyors will carry out a site inspection and identify issues of concern including building problems that a layman may not be able to detect.

Whether you opt for a mid-level RICS HomeBuyer Report or an in-depth Building Survey, the survey report will alert you to serious and/or potentially costly defects. In other words, a survey can potentially save you thousands of pounds in ‘nasty surprise’ repair costs after you’ve signed on the dotted line.

2 – No access to expert advice

A property survey is a golden opportunity to receive impartial advice from an experienced and qualified property professional. Chartered Surveyors have undergone extensive training and are members of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). They will bring a wealth of experience to the table, utilising their specialist knowledge of the local housing market, including environmental risks such as flooding or subsidence, to help identify potential issues. That way, you have the best possible information available to inform your decision making on whether and how to progress with the transaction.

3 – Lack of impartial information

Many homebuyers mistakenly assume that a satisfactory Mortgage Valuation Report is all they need for their peace of mind. Not so – a mortgage valuation is strictly for the lender’s benefit to allow the mortgage company to check if the property is safe to lend. Crucially, a mortgage valuation is not a property survey and you may not even get to see a copy of the report. An independent property survey carried out by Cosey Homes’ RICS surveyors, on the other hand, is entirely for your benefit, ensuring that you are fully aware of any potential defects and structural concerns before you go ahead with the purchase.

4 – No proper basis for renegotiating the price

Should serious building issues come to light, the findings of a professional home survey serve as a credible tool to help you renegotiate the purchase price. Our HomeBuyer Survey, for instance, gives a detailed record of all issues or defects identified, using a ‘traffic light’  condition rating system to indicate the severity and urgency with which each should be dealt with. Without a survey, you won’t be able to refer to the opinion of a recognised expert in the field, making it far less likely that you will be successful in obtaining a reduction in price.

At Cosey Homes, we have nearly 20 years’ experience of carrying out residential home surveys in many locations across the UK. If you are in the middle of a property purchase and are looking for an experienced surveyor, you can get an instant online quote here. For professional assistance and guidance to help you make the right choice, please get in touch with our friendly team.