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BLOG: How to Choose a Chartered Surveyor

Once you have a found a property you want to purchase, the next step is to find a surveyor to carry out a survey. Although surveys aren’t a pre-requisite of buying a property, they are highly recommended as a means of protecting yourself before you become too financially committed. This is because a survey will highlight any issues and structural problems with the property, giving you a clear picture of its overall condition. A survey can also identify future issues, potentially saving you a lot of money in the long run.

So if you’re looking for a surveyor, how should you choose one? Here we look at a number of factors we think you should consider.

Chartered Status

One of the main things we’d advise when choosing a surveyor is to look for one that is Chartered. Chartered Surveyors are registered with the RICS and as part of this, are required to comply with their Global Professional and Ethical Standards, which necessitate a duty to act with integrity and independence and provide a high standard of service. To become a Chartered Surveyor in the first place involves a stringent assessment process and training programme and once qualified, all Chartered Surveyors have to adhere to minimum CPD requirements on an annual basis to ensure they maintain high standards of knowledge and practice.

For homebuyers, all of this means you can be assured you are getting advice from an expert in their field that is also backed up by membership to a professional body.

Experience

It may surprise you to learn that two properties are rarely the same and even after decades of carrying out survey reports on buildings, we come across different quirks and features of buildings on a fairly frequent basis. When it comes to surveying properties, the more experience you have, the better. The more properties you have seen, the more likely you are to be able to identify issues and provide buyers with a complete picture of the property they’re buying.

A varied portfolio

When choosing a Chartered Surveyor, you should look for one that can demonstrate a wide variety of services, different survey package options and experience across both commercial and residential buildings. This shows that the Surveyors are knowledgeable about a variety of properties and buildings, and will know the exact type of issues to look out for in each kind of property they survey.

Local knowledge

A Chartered Surveyor that has good local knowledge is likely to be far more helpful to you than one that doesn’t. It may be that they have surveyed a number of properties in the area over the years, potentially giving you an invaluable insight into the layout/condition etc of neighbouring properties. If you’re looking to purchase a property in Lancashire, there are few firms with better local knowledge than Lea Hough.

After service

By their nature, property survey reports are technical documents that can be difficult to fully digest if you’re not familiar with the terminology used. At Lea Hough, we always stress that clients can get in touch with the Surveyor who undertook the survey on their behalf to clarify any elements of the report they may be unsure about. Not all firms make themselves available like this.
Lea Hough is a well-established firm of Chartered Surveyors in Lancashire with a varied portfolio of work. To talk to a member of our team today about instructing us to complete a Valuation Report, RICS Homebuyer Report or Building Survey Report, please contact us.

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"I have read your report again and I appreciate the level of detail and the effort you have gone to in surveying the property - thank you. You’re looking at properties every day and you know what you’re looking for – so you’ve seen things that I would never have spotted. You have opened my eyes on numerous defects on this property and am seriously thinking about leaving the idea of buying. The report was money wells spent!"

Guido Staffa, GS Tiling Contractors Ltd.