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Choosing a Building Surveyor

flipping a coin

Once you have decided which report you require you will need to find a surveyor. If you ask me a personal recommendation is best so ask a friend who has just bought a property. Otherwise, your lender or solicitor should be able to come up with a few names. Personally I’m sceptical about asking the agent for a surveyor, in case the agent is biased.

A regulatory body for UK is the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), which represents thousands of surveyors. Basically they can recommend somebody in your area. It’s wise to use a local surveyor as he’ll need to do less research on the area, which will speed up the process a bit. Also make sure he specialises in your type of house if it is in a particularly unusual category, such as a Jacobean timber frame house or a thatched cottage.

When you are interviewing, so to speak, surveyors here are some simple questions to ask them.

Q: Are you a qualified member of the RICS (read the text above for the full name)?

Q: Are you locally based?

Q: Which sort of report do I need?

Q: How long will it take?

Q: How soon can you do it?

Q: When can I see it?

Q: What will you be looking for?

Q: Can you carry out the valuation as well?

Q: Will you estimate the cost of repairs in the report?

Q: Will you be prepared to explain it and talk me through it?

Q: Are you married?

Q: Last, but most certainly not least – How much will it cost?

Fast Tip for You

Ask your surveyor to organise an electrical, plumbing and heating survey from suitably qualified firms if it is thought advisable. Asbestos cladding and insulation can be a very expensive problem with houses built back in the day, some specify before the 70s. Do not forget that once you have exchanged contracts, it is too late to renegotiate the price.

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