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BLOG: My surveyor’s report is damning – what should I do?

Buying a house is rarely a smooth process. After the sometimes long and arduous process of finding a property, having an offer accepted and lining up the chain, the last thing you’ll want is a Chartered Surveyor’s report that reveals a long list of issues.

The report may identify significant defects and extensive repairs or may advise that the value of the house is not worth the proposed purchase price that you have agreed.

If this happens to you, you might be left at a loss as what to do. Don’t panic! Our experts have the following advice on your options…

1. Don’t buy the property – Walking away from the purchase can be an extremely tough decision to make, especially if you have fallen in love with the house. Not only have you invested emotionally in the property, you may also feel aggrieved about ‘losing’ the money you have already spent – having paid a fee for a RICS Homebuyers Survey or Structural Survey Report. However, where very extensive problems are identified with the value or condition of a house, the reality is that the money spent on getting Surveyor’s advice has been very worthwhile and you will actually have saved you a potential fortune in the long run! Not finding out about such issues until you actually own a property is by far a worse scenario to find yourself in!

2. Renegotiate the price with the vendor – Receiving terrible results from a survey isn’t necessarily a bad thing as it can give you bargaining power to renegotiate with the vendor. For example, if a survey has revealed damp, woodworm, structural movement, a poor condition of the roof or any other issues, you can then go back to the vendor and reduce your offer to cover the cost of the works. In order to do this, you may decide to obtain quotes from contractors to add more weight to your case. In some cases a buyer may know there is a degree of work required at a property, but need a report in order to quantify this. The cost of a survey report may be a few hundred pounds, but the resulting report may enable a buyer to negotiate the purchase price down by thousands of pounds!

3. Accept that there are some things wrong and proceed anyway – If you have had a particularly troublesome time finding a property, you may decide to proceed with a purchase despite the issues that have been revealed in the surveyor’s report. Although it may be a disappointment to find out that extensive repair work is required on your new property, or that the house isn’t worth quite as much as you expected, at least you will be entering into it with your ‘eyes open’ and with full awareness of the property’s condition. If you decide to follow this course of action, many surveyors – including ourselves – can assist with scoping the refurbishment works, putting together a project plan, arranging contractors and project managing the programme of repair works.

Receiving a damning report on a property is rarely welcome news! However, we are always of the mindset that buyers should know what they’re getting into before proceeding further down the line.

Whenever we are instructed to conduct a survey on a property we thereafter make ourselves available to discuss our reports with clients. This isn’t a service offered by all Chartered Surveyors and a discussion with us can help you to decide which course of action to take.

For further advice or to obtain a quote for a Valuation Assessment, RICS Homebuyers Survey or Building Survey Report, please contact us.

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