Why you should consider having your home surveyed

Why you should consider having your home surveyed

Are you thinking of selling your house? If so, you probably have a lot of things on your mind. You may still be looking for somewhere to move to and are busy organising the move itself. You may be cleaning or fixing up the place you’re selling in order to try and get a better price. One thing you really shouldn’t overlook is the need to get your home surveyed. In Scotland, most sellers are obliged to have this done in order to produce a Home Report. Elsewhere in the UK, surveying has traditionally been left to buyers – but this can mean that sellers don’t get as much as they really deserve for their properties.

How a survey could help you

Why is it important for a seller to get a survey done if buyers can arrange their own? Because sellers often overlook the things that could bring the price of their property down as they prepare to sell. It’s a surveyor’s job to go over the whole property as thoroughly as possible and identify any problems. If you’re forewarned of those, you will often be able to do something about them. In most instances it costs a lot less to fix such problems than the amount of money your selling price could fall by if they’re not remedied.

Arranging your own survey also makes it possible for you or your estate agent to market your home more effectively, whether by making a point of how perfect it is or by pushing it as a refurbishment project. Targeting the right market niche can help you attract more people to view your property.

If your surveyor finds a problem that you don’t have time to repair, you can be honest about it and lower the price of the house accordingly. That means potential purchasers will be more likely to make an offer than if they feel you’ve tried to hide something from them. The more interested parties that make offers the better the chance of securing the price you need to achieve.

What surveyors look for

Surveyors check your home for signs of structural defects or damage that you may not have noticed yourself – everything from damaged timbers in the roof to disintegrating electrical wiring. They look for signs of damp, uneven floors and ill-fitting windows and doors. They check that any white goods you’ll be leaving behind in the kitchen are safe and they check the condition of the plumbing. They also do their best to assess factors that might be difficult for you to find out about directly, such as possible subsidence. The more access you can give them, the more they’ll be able to find out, and they may also use old records to find out details about your home that you never knew, making it easier to assess its overall condition. Based on that information they can give you an idea of its real value. You should note, however, that this may differ from the market value which will be influenced by other factors like demand, the wider state of the economy and how much people are willing to pay.

Landlords and surveyors

If you own several properties, it’s a good idea to build up a relationship with a surveyor so that you can familiarise yourself with their methods. Having your properties surveyed can be useful even it you’re not intending to sell them, as it can help you to identify areas where repairs are needed and prioritise work. It may also help you to argue for a reduction in council tax in some cases, and it can help with working out how much rent you can reasonably charge – not just a matter of being fair to tenants but essential if you want to make sure that your properties are continually occupied.

Finding a surveyor

When you’re looking for a surveyor, it can help to find a company with expertise in the particular kind of property you’re dealing with. RVA Surveyors is a great choice for landlords because its staff have expertise in obtaining council tax reductions on domestic properties and business rates reductions in relation to commercial properties. A good surveyor will talk through the process with you and help you to understand the report produced. Bear in mind when discussing availability that you may want someone who can visit twice – before and after you’ve carried out repairs.

Having a survey completed doesn’t mean that you’re obliged to share the results with potential buyers, though it’s a good idea to offer a copy of the report to anyone who shows a serious interest in making an offer. That will show goodwill on your part, which can in itself go some way towards getting you a better price.

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