You’ve found your perfect property, and now you need a skilled and experienced Shropshire building surveyor to highlight any potential problems before the deal comes to a conclusion. So how do you choose the best person for the job?
At Nock Deighton Surveyors, we know all the dos and don’ts to choosing a qualified surveyor to inspect your property. These are our top tips for getting it right:
Reporting Requirements | Firstly, you need to obtain advice on what kind of valuation and/or survey report is most appropriate for the property you’re purchasing. If you’re getting a mortgage the lender will insist that you get a Mortgage Valuation Report, which is a brief inspection to confirm the market value and identify any issues which may affect the lender’s security. As experienced property specialists, we highly recommend that you instruct a surveyor to carry out more detailed reports so you are able to identify any problems with the property, which may not affect the lender’s security but may affect you as the future occupant, prior to purchase. A Homebuyers Survey and Valuation Report is the most common option, focusing on issues that will have an impact on the market value of the property and any defects in need of urgent repair, potentially enabling you to negotiate a reduction in price. For older houses, or buildings that have undergone substantial alterations, a Building Survey, providing an in-depth analysis of the structure and advising on not only defects in need of urgent repair, but ongoing repairs and maintenance, may be a more suitable alternative.
Pick a Professional | For the highest standards of service and professionalism, choose a surveyor that is fully registered and regulated by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). Not only can you be assured that the work will be carried out by vastly experienced and qualified experts, but you will also be covered by the appropriate professional indemnity insurance and RICS’s transparent complaints handling procedure. Fully qualified chartered surveyors are either Fellows or Members of the RICS and will use the designations FRICS and MRICS after their name, so always keep an eye out for that status.
Look for Local | Where possible, try and find a surveyor that is familiar with the area you are looking to move to. Tap into their local knowledge, as they’ll know all about land conditions and environmental issues, the local housing market, have experience of recent transactions nearby, and be able to give you more accurate advice than surveyors from further afield.
Send for Specialists | Just as local knowledge can be a huge advantage, so can specialist experience. If you are looking to buy a particular type of property, for example a Listed building, it’s always a good idea to search for a surveyor that is well-practiced in dealing with similar projects.
Compare and Contrast | As with most major decisions or purchases, it pays to get a second or third opinion. It’s good practice to get quotes from at least three surveyors, but remember the cheapest quote isn’t necessarily the most appropriate. While price is a factor, it’s important to weigh up a number of other issues. Make sure the quotes are as comprehensive as possible and outline all costs upfront, so you can make a fully informed decision.
Approachable and Accessible | It’s beneficial if you can build up an initial rapport with the surveyor, so you are able to gauge how accessible and approachable they’ll be throughout the work. Are they willing to come and speak with you on-site? Will they be available to discuss the findings of their report? It’s a good idea to ask to see an example of a previously produced report, so you can get an idea of the scope of the content and whether it is written in a way which is easy for you to understand. Building up strong relations with a surveyor now can stand you in good stead further down the line, as you’ll have an excellent source of candid advice for any future moves up the property ladder.
Biggest isn’t Always Best | Whilst employing a large, well-established company does bring a number of benefits, double-check to see who will actually be carrying out the surveying work on your behalf. It has been known for some practices to pass down the work to ‘junior’ members of staff or even outsource to part-time consultants.
Ask Around | Why not ask family or friends if they could recommend a surveyor they may have used previously? Get an honest opinion from someone you trust and respect. Your estate agent, solicitor or mortgage broker may also be able suggest possible surveyors, and if you’re really stumped, there’s a search facility on the RICS website where you can filter through all accredited chartered surveyors.
Take your Time | Make sure you are aware of the timescales involved and know whether the surveyor can meet your deadlines. Depending on the size and age of a property, a Homebuyers Survey and Valuation Report or Building Survey can take between three and five working days. Remember, the housing market is busier at certain times of the year than others, and if you are planning on moving during the winter, there’s less daylight, so fewer hours where surveyors can go about their work!
Stick to our advice and you’re sure to source the right local Shropshire surveyor!