Do I Need a Survey When I Buy Property?

Updated: Aug 22

The short answer is “Yes!“

Buyer Beware applies and means the property is “as is” or subject to all defects. It is vital that you carry out searches, inspections, and Survey to ensure that you are aware of any defects. From completion you will take the property subject to the same.

Your conveyancer will carry out searches for you.

Conveyancers do NOT attend the property however and the inspection and survey are down to you.

Unless the property is a New Build, and you are buying from the Developer, then it would be against legal advice to proceed without a Survey. Additionally, the Survey should be as detailed as you can afford. A Homebuyers Survey is great but if you can afford a Structural Survey that is advisable.

You can then raise with the Seller any issues revealed and obtain a price drop (don’t forget to have your mortgage offer reissued though) or you can arrange for the Seller to carry out works pre-exchange.

The Survey should reveal any structural issues which you need to raise with the Seller’s Conveyancers before exchange and completion. You cannot raise such issues once you have exchanged and you cannot insist the Seller deal with the same following exchange or completion as you are now committed.

Do not rely on a lender valuation!

This is NOT for your benefit and only the Lender may rely on it. Plus it is NOT detailed enough and may be a desktop valuation with no physical visit to the property.

New Builds If you are buying a new build plot you may still want a surveyor to look at the build quality and point out any snagging issues or potential defects.

A new build comes with a 10 year structural guarantee. Mainstream developers will offer NHBC. Other developers may use a different provider and you should check they are accepted by your lender.

Again buyer beware applies and NOT all developers are equal.

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