Since we wrote our homebuyer’s guide to the different types of surveys available, we’ve been repeatedly asked what we’d look for when choosing a surveyor. It’s a good question, and one that warrants a blog post…so here we are!
We’re not going to cover the reasons why you need a survey here (as we dealt with that in the post mentioned above), instead we are just going to concentrate on the question in hand. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the things you need to know and look out for when choosing a surveyor.
Qualifications and accreditations
When it comes to finding a reputable surveyor, there is one professional body that all should be accredited by – namely RICS (the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors). While all surveyors should have passed at least a course accredited by RICS, only a fully qualified chartered surveyor has the right to use the letters MRICS after their name.
This can be especially important to look out for in certain situations. For example, you may need a highly qualified surveyor if the property is particularly unique or unusual. Fully qualified chartered surveyors will be able to carry out even the most complicated of surveys and, let’s face it, with house prices as they are, would you trust anyone less than a fully qualified professional to handle your affairs?
Another important consideration is your choice of surveyors’ experience. While it’s true that any surveyor who has passed the rigorous examinations laid out by RICS will be able to survey your home to a high standard, opting for one with a wealth of experience as well will undoubtedly give you greater peace of mind.
As we touched upon above, some homes are far from standard bricks and mortar. You might be looking to buy a listed building, or one that has a unique feature (such as a thatched roof), for example. If this is the case, it’s worth asking the surveyors you have shortlisted whether they have dealt with these types of properties in the past.
Again, all surveyors who have been through the RICS examination process, and passed, should be able to deal with whatever your property turns up. However, knowing that they specialise in a specific area is an extra tick in the ‘pros’ column should you be torn between two or more surveyors.
Being able to discuss your report is an important element to the process, so you’ll want to choose a surveyor who has demonstrated that they have decent communication skills. Ways to assess this include their speed in replying to emails, as well as how they conduct themselves both face to face and over the telephone.
Do you feel as though you are being treated in the correct manner? Are you made to feel that your enquiries are a priority, or simply being placed on a pile to be dealt with as and when? Do you get the impression that you’ll receive a personal service or will you be just another client? Following your gut instinct with this point will usually stand you in good stead.
Following on from communication, chemistry can be an important factor, too. Do you feel as though you will get on with the surveyor or are they likely to rub you up the wrong way?
While this may not be an obvious thing to look for at first glance, it can be especially significant if you are looking for a survey to be conducted on a buy-to-let property. Who knows, you may well be buying more property in the future, so finding a surveyor you can trust now could be the beginning of an ongoing professional relationship.
Even if you are just buying a home to live in yourself, being able to get along with your surveyor is still beneficial. Plus, you may well move again soon, so keep that business card!
Finally, there’s the price. Now the predictable advice here would be to shop around and get the best price possible, but this may not always be the best way to go. We believe you should take all the above into account first, then look at the price.
After all, buying property is widely regarded as the most expensive purchase we’re ever likely to make, so making sure everything’s as it should be is vitally important, and a good surveyor will be able to assure you of that. Sometimes you really do get what you pay for, and paying that little bit extra can be well worth it in this instance.
Following these points should land you a high-quality surveyor and make this particular part of the home buying process that little bit easier. Should you need any further advice about buying property in East London and West Essex, give our team of experts a call on: