Why do you get a survey on my property?

Yes. The survey is only used to check for major defects (things like subsidence, for example). It's not used to "pick holes" in your property.

Survey results very rarely affect our offer or our ability to purchase your home.

Answered by
Matthew Cooper
August 11, 2020

Detailed Answer:

What is the survey, why do you get one?

We have to get a RICS survey on all properties that we buy. (RICS stands for Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors).

This is a requirement of our Professional Indemnity Insurance, and also helps to protect us in instances where a seller deliberately fails to disclose serious issues with their property (such as subsidence, etc). (This is rare, but does happen).

The survey takes place immediately after you've accepted our offer so any major issues are found as quickly as possible.

We're only checking for major issues (we're not nit-picking)

We only get this survey to check for any major defects. For example, things like subsidence, or serious structural issues which can cost an absolute fortune to fix.

We're not interested in minor issues. If the property has damp, and there's a few things in poor condition they're quite obvious to the naked eye. This means we pick them up during our usual valuation process, and then factor them into our offer.

So if they come up on a survey it doesn't matter - we already know about them.

So the survey is only there to find major issues that we didn't know about.

Will the survey result affect the price we pay for your home? 

Very rarely: Only if a major issue is found that hadn't already been disclosed to us.

We understand that the survey is nervous time for homeowners. In fact, one of our most commonly asked questions is "How do I know you won't reduce your offer after survey?". Click that link to read our response to that FAQ. But in a nutshell, the answer is that our reputation is the most important thing. This is because a great reputation helps us win more business in the future.

What's the best way for us to build a great reputation? 

By delivering for our customers. This means completing on the purchase of your house at the price we agreed, and on the date we agreed.

How many properties are affected by major issues? 

Well, the good news is that it happens very, very rarely. Serious property problems are rare.

The other good news is that when a home is found to have major issues, 9 times out of 10 the homeowners already knew about them. So it's very very unlikely that we're going to find major issues with your property if you aren't aware of one already.

Unfortunately some sellers contact us exactly because their home has major issues, and they're hoping we buy their home without ever finding out. Unfortunately, it just doesn't pan out that way. We're extremely diligent in detecting and understanding property problems.

What should I do if my property does have a major issue? 

Speak with us. There's very little that we haven't seen before, so it's unlikely to make us not to want buy your home.

If you let us know about it up-front it means we can factor the cost of any repairs into our initial offer. Which means that there'll be no nasty surprises after the survey takes place.

In summary

  • Yes, we get a RICS survey on all properties.
  • This is a requirement for our professional indemnity.
  • It also protects us against buying properties without knowing their true cost of repairs
  • The survey is to find major issues only. We're not interested in nit-picking.
  • This is because our main priority s to deliver for you - our customer. The most important thing to us is buying your home at the price we've agreed, and on the date we agreed. So reducing our offer is the last thing we want to be doing.

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Related FAQs

How do I know you won't reduce your offer after the survey?

Short answer:

It's not in our interest to reduce our offers because our reputation is crucial to us. Reducing our offer would be letting our customer down in the worst way possible. It would lead to bad reviews - meaning less customers in the future.

See full answer
What happens in the survey?

Short answer:

A qualified RICS surveyor will visit your house and have a quick walk around. There won't be anything you need to do, and there are very rarely any questions for you. They then return to their office to compile their report.

See full answer
Do you pay for the survey?

Short answer:

Yes - we cover the cost (the survey costs us around £300). There is no cost to you at any point of the process.

See full answer
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