Searches or Surveys – what’s the difference?

This is a question that we are asked quite regularly and when purchasing a property there can be some confusion over what is required and who is responsible for obtaining these. Hopefully this guide will help remove some of the confusion;

Obtaining a Survey

At Browell’s we would strongly recommend that you consider having an independent survey done on the property you are considering purchasing.

There are various types of surveys available and we would suggest that you contact one or more surveyors so that you can get information about the scope of the survey and potential cost.

A survey is completely different to a valuation done by your mortgage lender, which will usually only cover brief information about the property, whether there are any legal issues for us to consider and whether the property is suitable security for your mortgage lender.

Depending on the type of survey you decide to have done, it may help identify:-

A) If you are paying a reasonable price for the property.

B) Any physical defects which will cost you money to repair in the short term.

C) Likely future defects which could cost you money at a later stage.

D) Particular features such as shared land or access ways where you may need to ensure  that there are full legal rights.

The survey, if it identifies one or more of these things, can allow you to negotiate a price reduction or even withdraw from an unsuitable property.  Even if you don’t manage to negotiate any price reduction, at least you will be aware of potential problems and their likely cost.

If you are planning on buying without a survey, then you may run the risk of not finding defects or problems which could reduce the value of the property or cost you a great deal of money. These defects may also affect your ability to sell the property to someone else later on.

It would be your responsibility to instruct and pay for the survey, however we can recommend local surveyors and advise you on the contents of the same once received.

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