Many UK homeowners do not know who is responsible for advising on the physical condition of a property prior to purchase and are unclear about the purpose of a mortgage lender’s property valuation report, a survey from YouGov has shown.

The survey of more than 2000 people commissioned by Landmark Valuation Services and Countrywide Surveying Services suggests the industry needs to provide greater clarity in the home-buying process.

When asked who benefits from the data in a mortgage valuation, 65% correctly stated that the information is for the benefit of the mortgage lender. However, 35% thought it is for buyers to use to determine whether the property is worth the agreed price.

When asked what would improve the home buying process, 70% of respondents said they would like information up front about the physical condition of a property.

“The YouGov survey raises a number of questions,” commented Countrywide Manager Director Paul Wareham. “Are we, as an industry, meeting the needs of the consumer with our existing approach and products? Do we need to refresh our home-buying approach, looking again at Home Reports as a mandatory step in the process, as per the current protocol in Scotland?”

A study by ComRes for RICS found that homebuyers spend an average of £5,750 on repairs once they have moved in, often as a result of not getting the right survey done.

Original article: RICS Modus Magazine Jul – Aug 2017 edition

JDB Surveys Managing Director and Chartered Building Surveyor Jon Battle adds,

“Having a Homebuyers or Full Building Survey, is an inexpensive way of giving you peace of mind during your property buying or selling process.

“A Homebuyers or Full Building Survey is not to be confused with a Mortgage Valuation Report. A mortgage valuation surveyor does not work for you, he works for your mortgage lender. His brief is to check that the value of the property is commensurate with the value of the loan. He will not give you a report on the condition of the property.”

According to a recent survey 1 in 4 buyers relied solely on a mortgage valuation report, of these 25% end up with unplanned work in the first year amounting to an average cost of over £1,100.*

How will a RICS Home Survey help you if you’re buying a house?

Buying a house is probably the most expensive purchase you will ever make and is not without risk. Getting a survey from an RICS Chartered Surveyor will highlight any problems which could lead to expensive surprises later. Remember a survey is a “HEALTH CHECK FOR BUILDINGS”.

The Survey report will give you:

  • PEACE OF MIND – You’ll know what you’re getting into before you make possibly the biggest purchase of your life.
  • VENDOR WON’T HAGGLE? – A leverage tool to negotiate on price if problems are found
  • SATISFACTION – that you’re paying THE RIGHT price for the property

The Homebuyer Report:

Choose this report if you would like information on a conventional house, flat or bungalow, built from common building materials and in reasonable condition. It includes:

  • A list of problems that the surveyor considers may affect the value of the property
  • Advice on repairs and ongoing maintenance
  • Issues that need to be investigated to prevent serious damage or dangerous conditions
  • Legal issues that need to be addressed before completing your conveyancing

It can also include the following if included with the instruction:

  • The surveyor’s professional opinion on the ‘Market Value’ of the property
  • An insurance reinstatement figure for the property

Full Building Survey:

This is often referred to as a Structural Survey, you could choose the building survey if you’re dealing with a large, older or rundown property, a building that is unusual or altered, or if you’re planning major works. It costs more than the Homebuyer because it gives detailed information about the structure and fabric of the property. It includes:

  • A thorough inspection of all accessible parts of the property and grounds
  • A detailed report on visible defects and anticipated future defects
  • Issues that need further investigation to prevent serious damage or dangerous conditions
  • An outline of repair options and the likely consequences of inactivity
  • A breakdown of estimated costs for current & future repairs and general maintenance works
  • Advice for your legal advisers

For more information, please call us on 0151 486 3437 or use the contact form on the right and we’ll be in touch.

* RICS/GfK NOP Business Research