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My survey says the property needs X thousand pounds worth of work done

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Surveyors should not do this as they are not builders, damp proofers, roofers, plumbers, electricians or structural engineers. Only a tradesman giving you a quote and quantify the level of work required. See more on this and how it can cost you the property at What A Property Survey Really Means.

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How to Really Buy a Property

"... as many Financial Advisers as possible; What to do before you start viewing so you don't loose your dream home; Who the surveyor, solicitor and estate agent are really working for; How to make an offer to get things your way; Who to trust and who, with the best intentions, may be misleading..."
"... with the best intentions, may be misleading you; Why you should work to minimise the time between offer agreed and exchange; Making sense of a property survey including; What type of survey to get and why structural surveys can be money wasted; Why surveyors should never estimate the..."
"... work to minimise the time between offer agreed and exchange; Making sense of a property survey including; What type of survey to get and why structural surveys can be money wasted; Why surveyors should never estimate the cost of works; When rising damp, penetrating damp, subsidence,..."
"... sense of a property survey including; What type of survey to get and why structural surveys can be money wasted; Why surveyors should never estimate the cost of works; When rising damp, penetrating damp, subsidence, cracking, sagging roofs, bulging walls and all the other frightening..."
"... surveyors should never estimate the cost of works; When rising damp, penetrating damp, subsidence, cracking, sagging roofs, bulging walls and all the other frightening things in a surveyor's report might be serious, and when they are not; Why asking the vendor to carry out work is not..."

"... first predictions, not ones that they updated during the given year. - The Property Experts in Which we Trust - - The Royal Society of Chartered surveyors (RICS) - RICS system for predicting the future would have most statisticians turning pale. They simply ask their members "how they..."

"... Friends, family and work colleagues are also very keen to offer their analysis, often based on that very same media. It would be interesting how many of these advisers would be interested in knowing what Estate Agents, Solicitors and surveyors forecast for the industries that they work in! ..."

"... better companies become wilder in their claims about profit potential and many new and more suspect businesses also entered the field, all offering similar services. Long before the Credit Crisis struck hundreds (perhaps thousands) were loosing money on purchases that were just simply overpriced, others were falling victim to full on scams where the investment company, developer, insurer, financier and sometimes even the surveyor providing the valuation, were..."

"... Outside the Country - If you have been living abroad or come from abroad there may be nothing wrong with the way you ran your finances but the bank will want to check. In some countries this is a fast proceedure, in others it can take weeks to complete. Because a survey on the property you hope to buy is not booked until the credit check is completed the vendor can get the impression that nothing is happening and decide to look for another..."
"... every year. From when you apply you need it to actually get processed within a reasonable amount of time, say four weeks. You want a lender who uses a quality surveyor The first point is obvious but the second and third may sound a little strange and many buyers loose the property they..."
"... if the mortgage product that is right for you will take ten weeks to be issued there is a good chance the vendor will get bored, or suspicious, and go in search of another buyer who can get a loan faster. The vendor usually suspects there must be something wrong with the buyers credit if things are taking too long. From your perspective you loose the property, the survey fee, the arrangement fee, legal fees and..."
"... there is no point getting a great deal if the lender uses a cheap surveyor to value your property. This is a little known point but cheap surveyors are often over cautious or from outside the area. Both are reasons why they may down value your property leaving you to pay their fee, the mortgage application fee, some legal fees and have nothing to show for..."
"... an example the Britannia Building Society went through a period where they tried to cut costs on surveys by using cheaper companies or one man bands. But this lead to so few applications being agreed that they reversed the policy. For more detail on why and how this works see the chapter What a Property survey Really..."

"... traditional approach will easily take three to four months from offer to exchange whereas the modern approach can usually keep the timescales to within four weeks! The traditional solicitor will argue that if anything were to go wrong at any stage he has saved you money. If your survey is a problem, for example, at least you will not have paid for local searches or his time to look at the contract. It's a contradiction - the longer a sale drags on, the more likely it is to fall through (see Chapter 19: Time Costs Deals) and cost you money..."
"... surveyor will confirm the market value of the property but it is the solicitor who will raise flags on anything unusual that may affect this value. If, after receiving the paperwork from the solicitor you hired, the lender feels the conveyancing has not been carried out competently they will refuse to lend until a solicitor they trust has been over the documents and raised any enquiries of their..."
"... searches and wait for the results. Once local searches have come back the whole lot gets passed to the next team who then raise enquiries on the title, contract, fixtures and fittings, sellers questionnaire, local searches and maybe even on the survey. When the replies have come back they..."

Chapter 13: Your Own Homework
"... Permission for This Property? - If you have looked at a property that is new or appears to have had an extension you can check if planning permission exists for this before going down the expensive road of hiring a solicitor and paying a surveyor. It is important to note that some..."

"... In exchange for offering the asking price you should expect, and request, that the vendor withdraws his property from the market although they may not be prepared to do this until you have instructed a solicitor and paid for a survey (i.e. spent some money yourself to show you are serious). ..."
"... as simple as a washing machine. By doing these simple things the vendor knows exactly where you are coming from and treats you as a serious buyer. It also greatly reduced the possibility of arguments after you have spent money on solicitors and surveys. When you are considering the..."
"... such your non-refundable deposit would have to be subject to these and a whole range of other problems. Before you know it your non-refundable deposit is subject to contract and subject to survey and of no security whatsoever to the vendor. Furthermore it will have taken so long to agree the terms of a non-refundable deposit that no work on the actual purchase will get done. This is not a healthy scenario as we will see in Time Costs..."

"... and regret it later; Why the solicitor you are paying may not be acting in your best interests; Why the surveyor who values or inspects the property may not be acting in your best interests; What is motivating the estate agent and their actions; How to work out who is telling you what and..."
"... the sale not going through (see Choosing a Solicitor or Conveyancer) The buyer does trust their surveyor even though the surveyor has a vested interest in the sale not going through. (see What A Property survey Really Means) The buyer does trust a friend or relative even though that person..."
"... rising above that of their business model. For more details on solicitors see chapter 12: Choosing a Conveyancer or Solicitor. - The Advice of the surveyor - The surveyor is another property professional who is also paid by you and so should also be acting either in your best interests,..."
"... Solicitor. - The Advice of the surveyor - The surveyor is another property professional who is also paid by you and so should also be acting either in your best interests, or that of your bank. Almost all surveyors work on a flat fee basis. Here the problem is similar to flat fee..."
"... or picking up on matters which are normal for the building they are looking at. To understand how surveyors really work and who they are working for see Chapter 20: What a Property survey Really Means. - The Advice of the Estate Agent - Most people are fully aware that estate agents..."
"... you will loose your property. (See The Balance of Power) They know, if they are experienced, when the surveyor or solicitor is trying to undermine the purchase and is not really acting in your interests for the reasons covered above - Summary - When most buyers enter into the home..."
"... most buyers enter into the home buying market they are aware of the common stereotypes, especially that of the estate agent. They are not so aware of some hidden motives and agendas kept by solicitors or surveyors. In the stress and nerve of making such a large financial decision they turn to family and friends for reassurance, only to find their frail confidence undermined by people who live in homes they wouldn't even dream of..."
"... or advice and consider - who is saying it and why might they be saying it? Choosing the right solicitor and surveyor, which is covered in a later chapter, will help you immeasurable in coming to the right decision. ..."

"... Dates - It seems obvious to agree a date for the Exchange of Contracts. This is the moment that you agree to definitely buy the property and the vendor agrees to definitely sell it. Up to this point the sale is only agreed subject to contract, and often subject to survey. Subject to..."
"... the property. Subject to survey means you agree to buy the property in the physical state any layman inspecting the property would believe it to be in. If, once it has been surveyed, you find it needs a vast amount of unexpected and expensive work you may decide not to proceed. Oddly enough..."
"... enough even though a sale may be agreed subject to contract you can still decide at any point before exchange not to purchase for any reason you wish. It can have nothing to do with the contract or the survey but could simply be because you don't feel like it. As such the wording is slightly..."
"...If your LTV is very low, say twenty percent, the lender may agree to secure a mortgage on the property without even looking at it. In their opinion most of the risk is with you and the chances of you paying so much for a property that it is not even worth twenty percent of what you lay out are extremely unlikely. If your LTV is high (usually more than fifty percent LTV) they will organise a survey. ..."
"... unlikely. If your LTV is high (usually more than fifty percent LTV) they will organise a survey. The way lenders organise surveys mean that they can be very fast of very slow. The steps are: The lender sends the request out to a panel of surveyors. This status is known as 'sent to..."
"... way lenders organise surveys mean that they can be very fast of very slow. The steps are: The lender sends the request out to a panel of surveyors. This status is known as 'sent to panel' The panel may have an umbrella organisation that receives this request. This organisation sends a..."
"... This status is known as 'sent to panel' The panel may have an umbrella organisation that receives this request. This organisation sends a request to the surveyors they believe will be best suited. The status has now changed to 'survey requested' The surveyor who receives the request may be..."
"... the surveyors they believe will be best suited. The status has now changed to 'survey requested' The surveyor who receives the request may be too busy. They send a message back rejecting the request. The umbrella organisation requests another surveyor until they find one who will accept the..."
"... may be too busy. They send a message back rejecting the request. The umbrella organisation requests another surveyor until they find one who will accept the work. Once accepted this status is known as 'survey instructed' The surveyor calls the agent or vendor to organise access to the..."
"... accept the work. Once accepted this status is known as 'survey instructed' The surveyor calls the agent or vendor to organise access to the property. Once a time has been agreed the status becomes 'survey booked' The surveyor may either have been instructed to go into the property or..."
"... the status becomes 'survey booked' The surveyor may either have been instructed to go into the property or just to drive by and make sure it exists (known as a drive by survey). That someone has a trained eye for spotting problems in buildings. The lender, to some extent, is not..."
"... result of the surveyors visit is a valuation. The surveyor will either agree or disagree with the sale price. The latter is known as a down valuation. Most buyers are unaware that, for this visit, the surveyor is not acting for them and can rightly refuse to tell them the result. He has been instructed by the lender (even though you may have paid the lender a fee for the survey) and only the lender can tell you the surveyor's..."
"... can tell you the surveyor's conclusions. It is worth noting that the surveyor will never say a property is worth more than the agreed sale price even if he believes it to be so. He is only instructed to find out if it is worth the same or less. The surveyor may decide that the property is..."
"... surveyor may decide that the property is worth the money you are prepared to pay as long as he can be sure that a certain issue is not going to be a major problem. He may, for example, believe the roof is at the end of its natural life and will need to be replaced. This could cost over £10,000 and may affect the property value. He will therefore place a retention on the value. This may say, "I agree the property is worth £250,000 once the roof has been checked. Until this has been done I am not convinced the property is worth more than..."
"... of certainty! What Can Go Wrong As a cash buyer and the surveyor was instructed by you then there is little that can go wrong in the process, although there is plenty that can be wrong in the report (See Chapter 20: What a Property survey Really Means). If you are applying for a mortgage..."
"... again it depends on your LTV) You do not have the right to remain in the country forever The surveyor is from outside the area and cannot agree with the price you are prepared to pay for the property The surveyor is from the area but is out of touch with the market so does not agree with the..."
"... area and cannot agree with the price you are prepared to pay for the property The surveyor is from the area but is out of touch with the market so does not agree with the price you are prepared to pay for the property The surveyor has just been sued for over-valuing a property and so, being..."
"... not agree with the price you are prepared to pay for the property The surveyor has just been sued for over-valuing a property and so, being unusually cautious, does not agree with the price you are prepared to pay for the property There is a problem with the legal paperwork of the property which..."
"... a buyer there are certain inspections that you may want to carry out to make sure the property is in the condition that you believe it to be. The most basic and recognised is a survey. As a cash buyer you may simply want to carry out a valuation survey to get a second opinion of the price you think the property is worth. If you are applying for a mortgage the lender will have carried this out for their own records and will make you aware of the results (see..."
"... aware of the results (see above). You can go into more detail by requesting a homebuyers survey or a structural survey. If you are applying for a mortgage it usually makes sense for the surveyor who is doing the valuation to also carry out the second survey. A homebuyers survey is the usual..."
"... homebuyers survey is the usual choice for those buying a flat. It looks at any defects on the property such as the windows, flooring, plumbing, damp and, if there is access, the roof. A structural survey is usually chosen by those purchasing a house as it includes everything in the homebuyers report as well as an inspection of the..."
"... is extremely important to know that the surveyor is qualified to spot tell-tale signs but cannot actually or absolutely state that something is wrong. He may say, for example, that "the windows are in need of refurbishment and that a qualified contractor should assess the cost" or "there appear to be signs that the property is subsiding to the rear and a qualified structural engineer should survey the property to assess the extent of any..."
"... any movement". surveys can be weighty tomes, up to one hundred pages long and usually make frightening reading. From it you need to ascertain what is really important and what is expected in a property of that age. For this see Chapter 20: What a Property survey Really Means Once you have..."
"... chaff you may decide you want to have further inspections. The most common are: Damp - a damp proofing company to see if the damp found by the surveyor is significant enough to warrant tampering with the walls. Electrics - an electrician to see if there is anything unusual or "unsafe" in the..."
"... the pipes. As a buyer it is generally expected that you will organise any further inspections beyond the survey yourself. Most buyers want to do this anyway rather than let the vendor choose someone. Who pays (although some inspections are free) is usually a thorny issue. Any good estate..."
"... a thorny issue. Any good estate agent will hold lists of companies that they have used in the past and can be a good place to find contractors. Any contractor should be given a copy of the relevant part of the survey so they know what it is that they are there to inspect. What Can Go..."
"... the relevant part of the survey so they know what it is that they are there to inspect. What Can Go Wrong The surveyor is overcautious and believes everything needs to be inspected The surveyor believes he knows how much needs to be spent and quotes a figure The contractors that go in are..."
"... inspect. What Can Go Wrong The surveyor is overcautious and believes everything needs to be inspected The surveyor believes he knows how much needs to be spent and quotes a figure The contractors that go in are looking for work and so see issues where there are none Neither you nor the..."
"... you nor the vendor can agree who will pay for a specific specialist to check the property. As an example the property may need a structural engineer to assess it. The vendor argues that you should pay for it because it will be a document useful to you when you come to sell (the vendor nearly always assumes the situation is ridiculous and their property cannot possibly be structurally unsound). You argue the vendor should pay because you have already spent money on the survey and it is up to the vendor to prove his property is stable. Both parties have justifiable arguments but it doesn't help the process move..."
"... of the way. But many don't and often it is because their solicitor does not push them to just in case there are any changes such as a renegotiation of the price after the property has been surveyed. By doing this, and saving themselves the risk of extra work, there is more risk. What Can Go..."

"... is important from day one to understand the vendor's motivation for selling and then, market conditions aside, you will know if it is wise to cause waves after a bad survey - balanced against your particular desire for that property. Far too many buyers try to renegotiate only to find the papers are withdrawn from them by an emotional vendor who then refuses to continue the sale under any circumstances. The selling agent is the best person to ask as they should know why the vendor is selling and their state of mind at any given moment. Note here the key is 'at any given..."
"... time. The chain moved forwards and the vendors of Edgeley Road booked a survey on their house in Balham. The surveyor's report suggested the house needed a great deal of work and, with so many extra costs to take into account, they decided to withdraw from their purchase of the house. On a..."
"... survey did not reveal any great surprises but he did believe he might be able to save a little more by renegotiating on some points regarding damp and timber. The time spent going backwards and forwards gave the vendor plenty of time to think and they concluded that actually they were underselling their own property for no good reason. Furthermore they believed the buyer was now being unreasonable in his demands and so they withdrew from the..."

Chapter 19: Time Costs Deals
"... should be no real need for all the tricks and short cuts included in these pages but for one overriding fact that any good estate agent will tell you, "Time costs deals". Removing all the pitfalls of legalities and survey there are factors far outside the actual transaction that will affect the chances of you getting that dream property. They are the things that happen to us all at some point in our life. Events that make us take stock and change the bigger plans we have, such as moving..."
"... you let your purchase drag on for 6 months that's a 28% chance you will loose your solicitors fee, survey fee, hours of time and quite possibly a few thousand pounds more if the market rises. All this before you have even looked at a survey or contract with all the potential those documents have to ruin the..."

"... £x". And if £x is the price you have agreed with the vendor then so be it. Who the surveyor is actually working for and their hidden agendas; The types of survey and which ones are worth the cost; Why surveyors should never estimate the cost of potential..."
"... then so be it. The types of survey and which ones are worth the cost; Why surveyors should never estimate the cost of potential works; Why retentions don't suggest the cost of repairs; The..."
"... surveyor is actually working for and their hidden agendas; The types of survey and which ones are worth the cost; Why surveyors should never estimate the cost of potential works; Why retentions don't suggest the cost of repairs; The difference between rising damp and penetrating damp; How to..."
"... works; Why retentions don't suggest the cost of repairs; The difference between rising damp and penetrating damp; How to check more than a structural survey covers and pay less; Why a sagging roof may not be a real issue; How to handle subsidence, movement and bulging walls; When to use a..."
"... and pay less; Why a sagging roof may not be a real issue; How to handle subsidence, movement and bulging walls; When to use a survey to renegotiate and when to keep quiet; How to choose a good surveyor, and make sure the lender does to; Why you should never ask the vendor to carry out..."
"... to handle subsidence, movement and bulging walls; When to use a survey to renegotiate and when to keep quiet; How to choose a good surveyor, and make sure the lender does to; Why you should never ask the vendor to carry out work; Most buyers make one mistake here, they believe..."
"... buyers make one mistake here, they believe because they have paid the surveyor to do something, the surveyor is acting on their behalf and in their interests. Wrong. The surveyor is acting very much in his own interests to protect himself from any legal action you may be able to take after the purchase. It is fair that you have the right to sue a surveyor for damages if they miss out something which actually affects the value of the property, but the end result in recent years has been that many surveyors go completely over the top in order to make sure no legal action is possible. Remember..."
"... no legal action is possible. Remember this: If you buy the property the surveyor gets paid but may get sued for missing something. If, after survey, you decide not to buy the property, the surveyor still gets paid and has no chance of getting sued. So ironically it is in the surveyors best..."
"... no chance of getting sued. So ironically it is in the surveyors best interest to try and persuade you not to buy the property. For your part you have to try and separate fact in the report from over-the-top speculation and you can do this by considering two points: What is the survey..."
"... try and separate fact in the report from over-the-top speculation and you can do this by considering two points: What is the survey actually saying in terms of cost and hassle Why did the surveyor say what he said. In other words, as any historian will tell you, don't just look at what..."
"... speculation and you can do this by considering two points: What is the survey actually saying in terms of cost and hassle Why did the surveyor say what he said. In other words, as any historian will tell you, don't just look at what was said but ask why it was said. You should also be..."
"... work that no person offering on the property would expect (e.g. the entire roof needs replaced). This chapter covers: Types of survey - what is said and how to quantify it Types of surveyor - why different surveyors can say different things about the same property Types of survey - There..."
"... roof needs replaced). This chapter covers: Types of survey - what is said and how to quantify it Types of surveyor - why different surveyors can say different things about the same property Types of survey - There are three types of survey: The Valuation The Homebuyers The..."
"... - what is said and how to quantify it Types of surveyor - why different surveyors can say different things about the same property Types of survey - There are three types of survey: The Valuation The Homebuyers The Structural - The Valuation survey - This is crucial as if..."
"... to quantify it Types of surveyor - why different surveyors can say different things about the same property Types of survey - There are three types of survey: The Valuation The Homebuyers The Structural - The Valuation survey - This is crucial as if the surveyor does not agree..."
"... about the same property Types of survey - There are three types of survey: The Valuation The Homebuyers The Structural - The Valuation survey - This is crucial as if the surveyor does not agree with your offer price the bank won't lend. It is also the most valuable type of..."
"... is crucial as if the surveyor does not agree with your offer price the bank won't lend. It is also the most valuable type of survey and probably all you need for almost any purchase. Most people are not aware that the valuation survey will also report on anything crucial that should be investigated. If they believe there is a serious problem with, for example, damp they will hold back all or part of the mortgage until it is investigated (see below). It is much easier to read a two page report that is very specific about major issues that will affect value than a fifty page report telling you that the aerial may need re-fixing and one of the windows in the back bedroom needs to be repainted in the next twelve..."
"... will probably come as a shock to find out how the surveyor actually works but it goes something like this. They visit the property and check for any really big problems that will affect value. They then look up and down the street for sold boards and 'phone up those agents to ask them what they have sold. In the modern world they can also check the history of sold properties in an area on the internet. If they find similar properties sold at similar prices they sign the valuation off and you get your..."
"... the absence of sold signs he calls any local agents and asks them what they have sold recently in the area and tries to match it up. There is nothing more to it than that. If you want to try it for yourself find a sold sign, call up the agent and say, "Hi, this is Fred Smith from Island surveyors, I see you have sold something in the High Street, can I ask what it was and how much it sold for?". You'll get the complete run down including the actual price it sold for, not its asking price. Note that Estate Agents, by law, are not allowed to tell you (a buyer) the actual price a property has sold for until it exchanges as this is confidential information. Agents are however, always trying to please surveyors because they don't want properties down valued, so if you pose as a surveyor you will find out..."
"... to please surveyors because they don't want properties down valued, so if you pose as a surveyor you will find out everything! - The Homebuyers survey - Probably one of the biggest waste of times in the whole home buying process. It is a valuation survey followed by a lot of..."
"... one of the biggest waste of times in the whole home buying process. It is a valuation survey followed by a lot of speculation. You are likely to find out fascinating things like screws missing from plug sockets, wood that needs replacing in windows, kitchen cabinet doors that need to be fastened. The crucial thing on this survey is the valuation. If, with all the property defects, the surveyor still concludes the property is worth the agreed price then (unless the vendor is very desperate to sell) don't try to use it for negotiation. If the survey states that 'in it's current condition the property is worth x' and x is the price agreed then there are no grounds for..."
"... that 'in it's current condition the property is worth x' and x is the price agreed then there are no grounds for negotiation. - The Structural survey - For older houses these are generally seen as a must have by almost anyone who has written on the subject but again you need to take a..."
"... older houses these are generally seen as a must have by almost anyone who has written on the subject but again you need to take a view. If there is something structurally wrong with the property a valuation survey will pick that up. Its most important feature is probably that it will be useful when you come to sell the property as you can show it to a potential buyer under the guise, "When I bought this house X, Y and Z were wrong. I had them all fixed and here are the guarantees or receipts." (See Chapter 22: Why Vendors are Poorly Prepared..."
"... from this the actual value of a structural survey is questionable. The surveyor is not a specialist in any particular field so the report is filled with vague statements such as "The windows appear in need of replacement and should be inspected by a specialist" or "The roof may be bowing and should be inspected by a specialist." More on this is covered in the section What is in a survey..."
"... in the section What is in a survey (below). Remember it is not possible to have a structural survey done on a flat as it requires access to all parts of the building and unless the neighbours are all very understanding it is not going to happen. Requesting structural surveys on flats..."
"... neighbours are all very understanding it is not going to happen. Requesting structural surveys on flats generally annoys the vendor who knows they can probably sell to someone else a little less awkward or a little less naive. - Retentions in a survey - If the surveyor, carrying out any..."
"... on flats generally annoys the vendor who knows they can probably sell to someone else a little less awkward or a little less naive. - Retentions in a survey - If the surveyor, carrying out any of the above surveys, believes the property is worth the price you have agreed to pay for it all is..."
"... the surveyor, carrying out any of the above surveys, believes the property is worth the price you have agreed to pay for it all is fine. If, however, he sees a major problem such as damp around the windows he will suggest that the bank holds back a certain amount on the mortgage until it has been satisfactorily..."
"... will say, "The property is worth £250,000 as long as the windows are sound. Until this has been established no one (including the lender) should pay more than £240,000". The surveyor is not saying that the windows require £10,000 worth of work. He cannot because he is not qualified to cost repairs. So he chooses an arbitrary figure. It is simply a way to make sure something is checked before a loan is secured on the property or you pay out the..."
"... retention can be a small amount or the total price agreed (usually in the case of suspected subsidence or other major structural issues). The best way to deal with them is as described in the remainder of this chapter. Take them in your stride, in most cases the issue is much smaller than the surveyor believes and retentions are removed after investigation of the..."
"... in most cases the issue is much smaller than the surveyor believes and retentions are removed after investigation of the issue. - What is in the survey - To prove your money is well spent a surveyor will usually want to pick up on something. The choice below is almost a check list of..."
"... of the issue. - What is in the survey - To prove your money is well spent a surveyor will usually want to pick up on something. The choice below is almost a check list of where the surveyor will choose one or two items for further investigation: Damp The Roof The Electrics The..."
"... a good surveyor will simply say "there is damp which requires further investigation". A bad surveyor will say "there is probably around £5,000 worth of damp that needs to be repaired". The latter is a ridiculous statement. Does this surveyor own a damp company? In other words remember..."
"... is a ridiculous statement. Does this surveyor own a damp company? In other words remember this The surveyor is not a damp proof specialist and will not carry out the work so should not quote. The surveyor is not a roofer and will not be carrying out the work so should not quote. The..."
"... surveyor is not a damp proof specialist and will not carry out the work so should not quote. The surveyor is not a roofer and will not be carrying out the work so should not quote. The surveyor is not a qualified electrician and will not be carrying out the work so should not..."
"... quote. The surveyor is not a roofer and will not be carrying out the work so should not quote. The surveyor is not a qualified electrician and will not be carrying out the work so should not quote. The surveyor is not a qualified plumber and will not be carrying out the work so should not..."
"... surveyor is not a qualified electrician and will not be carrying out the work so should not quote. The surveyor is not a qualified plumber and will not be carrying out the work so should not quote. The surveyor is not a structural engineer and will not be carrying out the work so should not..."
"... surveyor is not a qualified plumber and will not be carrying out the work so should not quote. The surveyor is not a structural engineer and will not be carrying out the work so should not quote. True Story - Damp at Packington Street Sarah and Nicki had successfully offered on a two..."
"... and Nicki had successfully offered on a two bedroom lower ground floor garden flat just off Islington Green in London. They had seen no end of properties and although this one was above their original budget they stretched to afford it. They then cut costs by going with a lender that had the lowest fees. The surveyor that looked at the property was a self employed individual who agreed that the property was worth £240,000 (their offer) but said £5,000 should be held back as a retention because of damp in the..."
"... back as a retention because of damp in the property. A damp proof company was instructed to give a quote on how much work they believed was in the flat. They found £346 plus VAT! The surveyor had evidently picked a figure out of the air. Sarah and Nicki doubted the difference in the two..."
"... the surveyor is simply someone who is trained to see tell tale signs that then require you to get a further specialist in. If you want to be thorough and save time then get a valuation survey and at the same time pay for a roofer, plumber, electrician and damp specialist to inspect the property (for freehold properties pay a structural engineer as well). You will short-cut the long survey report and you will know the absolute worst case scenario as each specialist going in will be hunting for work. Then you can take a proper quantified..."
"... or the vendor, or both, should expect to pay for the specialists if you do decide to investigate further. This was not always the case but these tradesmen are very aware of how much surveyors are trying to cover themselves now. They are also aware that no matter what they find they are unlikely to get the work as any quote they give will usually just be used as a negotiating tool. As soon as the new buyer moves in they either take a view on the work or get other quotes to see if someone else will do it..."
"... take a view on the work or get other quotes to see if someone else will do it cheaper. Here is how it works in reality: Mr X offers and gets a survey carried out Mr X is very worried about damp and so gets damp specialist in Damp specialist says £3,000 of work required Mr X tries to..."
"... £1,000 off price and goes through with deal Three years later Mr X sells his property Mr X gets an offer which he accepts Mr Xs buyer has a survey which shows up damp Mr Xs buyer gets a damp specialist in who says £3,000 of work is required Mr Xs buyer tries to negotiate the price, but Mr..."
"... surveyor, for reasons already mentioned, will err on the safe side and say there are possible structural problems. A structural engineer, who is qualified to assess if there is a real issue, will cost anything form £500 to £1,000+ to answer this question and again who pays depends on the balance of power (see Chapter 18: The Balance of..."
"... stable wall in order to stop it moving out any further - Trees, Maintenance and Other Issues - Whatever else comes up in the survey bear in mind that on older properties: the roof is only expected to last 20 years all timber windows should be repainted and repaired every five..."
"... really last the twenty or thirty years they are guaranteed for. This means that even when the survey says for example, that the windows will need attention in the next two years this should not be a total surprise to anyone. True Story - The Tree at St Paul's StreetDiane was very keen to..."
"... Story - The Tree at St Paul's StreetDiane was very keen to purchase a three storey Georgian House in Islington. She offered to pay a little less than the £525,000 being asked and the vendor accepted. Her survey, however, questioned how stable the property was due to a tree situated in the pavement directly outside the front door. The vendor having had no issues when he purchased the property three years earlier refused to pay for a structural engineer to examine the building...."
"... market was moving up. The vendor eventually became frustrated and withdrew the contract from Diane's solicitor. Five weeks later he sold the property at the asking price and the survey from the new buyer made no mention of the tree or any movement in the property. Diane ended up buying a..."
"... property. Diane ended up buying a two bedroom flat with a roof terrace as by this time the price of houses had gone beyond her budget. Ultimately the £800 required to get a Structural Engineer in and show the surveyor was overreacting would have been money extremely well spent. " - Types..."
"... £800 required to get a Structural Engineer in and show the surveyor was overreacting would have been money extremely well spent. " - Types of surveyors - There are hundreds of survey companies in major cities. Most of the time the choice of who to use will be made by the lender you are..."
"... are hundreds of survey companies in major cities. Most of the time the choice of who to use will be made by the lender you are borrowing the money from. For the lender what you want is not important, it is not your money that will be tied up in the property. But the bank will generally only want to know that what you have chosen is a "safe bet" and so they will only ask for a valuation report. Anything beyond this is up to..."
"... you are not happy with the surveyor a bank chooses approach the bank directly, tell them your friend had problems with this firm, and ask them to appoint somebody else. They almost always have a panel of surveyors that they use so this is well within possibility. So why shouldn't you be happy? Below are the types of surveyor you should try to..."
"... discussed earlier the surveyor is acting for himself. He treads a careful line between agreeing with the sale price and not getting sued because he missed something or over valued. As a general rule of thumb a large company will be financially stable, well insured and have many surveyors. The result is that when someone from this type of company carries out a survey they will tend to be level headed and, if there are concerns, have colleagues to discuss the issues with and get second..."
"... contrast a one man band (or small company) knows that one bad decision by him may lead to court action that will put him out of business. If your surveyor is one of these be prepared for a much more thorough and dramatic report, anything really to try and put you off buying the property so they get their fee with no risk..."
"... be aware that small companies tend to down value properties to protect themselves (it will also stop you getting the mortgage) and many buyers loose perfectly good properties in a rising market because of this. Further still a small surveying company may not be carrying out many valuations and so in a competitive rising market they may be out of date in their thinking and also down..."
"... If you are organising your own survey go for a large well established firm, even if they are slightly more expensive. The report should be level headed and if they do miss something that comes to light after a few years they will still be in business and you can pursue them for material loss! ..."
"... that comes to light after a few years they will still be in business and you can pursue them for material loss! - surveyors From the Area and Those from Beyond - Everyone has been to visit grandparents, uncles and other relatives or friends who have bought and live in rural areas...."
"... are no different. Once you hear that a survey is instructed you should ensure that the company is based in the area where you are buying or carries out regular work in that area. In a busy period the lender may not be able to find anyone free who is local and so instruct outside the area. A bank that seems to have very low fees may also, as a matter of course, instruct a surveyor from a rural location because the cost base is lower. Similarly if you are instructing your own survey you may have the same issue...."
"... same issue. The upshot is all too often that the property is down valued and the bank refuses to lend. There is nothing wrong with the property or the price, its just the surveyor cannot believe what he sees and it looks like madness compared to the prices where he comes from. If you are..."
"... and it looks like madness compared to the prices where he comes from. If you are not instructing a surveyor directly make an effort to find out who your lender has appointed. If necessary kick up hell to get them changed. - Asking the Vendor to Carry Out Work - In almost all cases this is..."
"... the Vendor to Carry Out Work - In almost all cases this is a bad idea. It does not matter if the market is rising or falling. It is irrelevant how desperate the vendor is or if you hold all the cards, don't ask the seller to put right things found in the survey. There are very practical..."
"... to do the work yourself after you move in and either: in a rising market with plenty of other buyers around - if the survey says the property is worth the price agreed, even with this defect, think carefully about renegotiating in a falling market, depending on the balance of power..."
"... all the ins and outs of a survey report the crucial question is value. If the survey report talks about roof or plumbing but concludes that the property is worth what you have offered then trying to renegotiate price is at your own risk. Too many people ignore this fact. Most properties are old, very old, and problems or future works are to be expected. The surveyor knows this and that is why they conclude their report: "In its current condition and in the current market the property is worth £x". And if £x is the price you have agreed with the vendor then so be..."

"... work and the myriad of problems that can arise. Chapter 20 (What a Property survey Really Means) explained one of the major pitfalls in a purchase and how to work your way through it, sorting out what is serious and what is simply hot air. This chapter looks at the essence of what is, and..."
"... way through it, sorting out what is serious and what is simply hot air. This chapter looks at the essence of what is, and isn't, important outside of the survey and the options you have but are not always offered. Your finance company who will provide the mortgage basically asks the..."

"... years service charge accounts The last three years ground rent receipts Any deeds of variation Optional but a big bonus are: Past or recent surveys Recent quotes for works needed We are all human and it is perfectly feasible for the vendor to have lost or mislaid any of..."
"... to apply for. It's always worth checking the situation with the vendor's solicitor, just in case, before applying for your own search. - The survey - This is something only carried out by the really smart vendor but if there is one thing that can help with stress free selling it is to get..."
"... applying for your own search. - The survey - This is something only carried out by the really smart vendor but if there is one thing that can help with stress free selling it is to get a survey done on a property before selling. In the case of a Leasehold or Share of Freehold..."
"... one thing that can help with stress free selling it is to get a survey done on a property before selling. In the case of a Leasehold or Share of Freehold property, a homebuyers survey In the case of a Freehold property, a structural survey The reason smart vendors do this is two..."
"... done on a property before selling. In the case of a Leasehold or Share of Freehold property, a homebuyers survey In the case of a Freehold property, a structural survey The reason smart vendors do this is two fold: They can address any problems which come up in the survey before..."
"... property, a structural survey The reason smart vendors do this is two fold: They can address any problems which come up in the survey before the buyer does and tries to renegotiate the price They can give a copy of the survey with receipts for any works subsequently done to your..."
"... before the buyer does and tries to renegotiate the price They can give a copy of the survey with receipts for any works subsequently done to your surveyor. He will hesitate before questioning and contradicting another surveyor. This is especially useful with freehold properties where..."
"...This is especially useful with freehold properties where the surveyor may question how structurally sound the property is. In this instance if there is a problem the vendor can get the opinion of a structural engineer long before your surveyor even steps through the door. A structural engineer is more highly qualified than a surveyor in these matters so the green light here will most certainly not be questioned by your surveyor. ..."
"... is far more likely to make it through to exchange. In a handful of cases the surveyor the vendor chooses may be acceptable to the your lender, in which case you could consider buying it from the vendor and saving yourself some time. Summary - There are very, very few vendors who really..."

"... There is a long way to go between agreeing a sale price and an exchange. The solicitors must be chased and managed, the buyer must be educated, the surveyor must be kept happy, the lender must be pursued and the process must be bought to a speedy conclusion. None of these things will happen if: ..."
Author of How to Really Buy a Property

I'm Tim Hill, Author of How to Really Buy a Property. I'm a property buyer, seller, landlord, tenant and I've been an agent in hundreds of transactions. I own a property portfolio across Europe but that doesn't mean I think you should to!

This book is my collective knowledge and experience that I have gained working within the property market of England and Wales for over a decade. I've written it so that you can benefit from what I have learnt whether you are a first time buyer or a budding buy-to-let investor.

There are no gimmicks here and no get rich quick schemes - just practical no nonsense advice so you can buy the property you want at the best price with the least stress.

Download the Free Preview copy right now. I won't be asking for your email so I can bombard your inbox with 'special offers' and 'discounts' because I know most people who read the Free Preview buy the full copy. See for yourself!