The unhealthy alliance between
local surveyors and estate agents
Freephone an Independent Surveyor
We are independent surveyors, which means we are not linked to or owned by an estate agent or lending institute, and as a result we are only working with your best interests in mind.
We can offer help and advice for all manner of property issues; whether it is advice on buying a property, estate agents, buying a property at auction, or whether you would like a survey carried out on a residential property or commercial property, or a schedule of condition when leasing a property. We also carry out specific defects reports if you have a problem with your property, for example condensation, dampness, wet rot, dry rot, woodworm, cracking, movement, heave, foundations, etc.
We feel the quality of our surveys is one of the best on the market. We offer a reasoned view, based upon our knowledge and experience, we don't make a mountain out of a molehill. Equally if we think the property has problems we say so in a clear, jargon-free manner.
Having a survey carried out on the property that you intend to buy will give you the extra peace of mind that you are buying the right one.
Please call us on free phone 0800 298 5424 to speak to a surveyor.
Free phone 0800 298 5424
The unhealthy alliance between local surveyors and estate agents
We recently came across a situation where the estate agent was very unhappy about us carrying out a property survey, pointing out that they had several local surveyors that could do the job and that we were from further afield and therefore not able to do the work.
We just consider this absolute rubbish and a good building surveyor should be able to work nationally. In fact when we have worked for larger national companies they tend to only have a few building surveyors that have lots of offices locally, and we had over twenty when we worked for one national company. It is a problem that we come across many times, where the estate agent is happy to recommend a local surveyor that they know and love and we pose the question why, and we think we know the answer.
Familiarity breeds contempt
In our experience estate agents don't like having surveys carried out. By a survey we mean a building survey, and they will do everything in their power to persuade the purchaser that the valuation report is enough, even though the valuation report clearly states that it isn't. Please see our example report in the Compare Reports section of the website www.1stAssociated.co.uk/compare_surveys.asp
The client knows best and still wants a survey!
If the purchaser still wants a survey then the estate agent tends to steer them towards the RICS home buyers report, which is a fairly economical report, that is usually carried out by surveyors that the estate agent knows, i.e. surveyors that are predominantly qualified in carrying out valuation reports. This is why the home buyers report has so many caveats in it to limit the valuers/surveyors liability to enable them to carry out the reports very quickly. A fairly typical run of valuations and surveys for a company would be one home buyers report and four or five valuations in a day. This gives the estate agents what they want, which is a fee for selling the property and the purchaser has a survey. Unfortunately, we feel the estate agents are misleading the purchasers in the majority of cases, certainly persuading them away from having a proper building survey.
What is more criminal (and we use this term having given it due thought) is where the estate agents are recommending surveyors that are effectively owned by their own company, or have very close links or alliances. It is very easy to be taken in by the estate agents and persuaded that they are working for you, when, as you will discover when they receive the fee from the seller, or vendor, they are only working for themselves and will not be interested or liable for any problems that you have with the property, regardless of what they said about the property, i.e. they can state that the central heating was working or state that there were no structural problems, and the estate agents will not be liable when the property is sold.
Caveat emptor buyer beware
Caveat emptor is Latin for buyer beware and relates to the legal position when buying a property. However, we would always comment they should equally be aware of vested interests and the estate agents selling property and therefore not wanting any surveys to be carried out or only to be carried out by surveyors they know and love and the surveyors in turn know that they will get more work if their surveys are vented appropriately!
Surveying by numbers
We rarely recommend the home buyers report or home buyer survey and valuation report, as they are so limited. After all, buying a property is probably the largest investment you will make. We know you have heard this all before but you really do have to think carefully when buying a property.
The photographs and surveying sketches and ovals and circles we use in our reports
Our surveys are very informative. We use circles and ovals on our photographs and sketches in our survey reports to emphasise problem areas so that you are not left wondering what the problem is. In addition to this if the photographs do not we believe explain the problem enough together with our survey report we also add in one of our own sketches such as the example that is shown here.
An example of one of our sketches
An example of one of our photos showing cracking
Meet your building surveyor
We recommend you meet us at the property during the survey so that we understand exactly what you require from your survey report and so we can answer any questions you may have.
You may be interested in our other articles about Estate Agents:
Understanding the Estate Agent
Estate Agents tricks of the trade
Basic outline of what's involved when buying a home
Understanding Estate Agents
There is no point being Honest
First for independent advice
If you truly do want an independent expert opinion from a surveyor with regard to structural surveys, building surveys, structural reports, engineers reports, defects report, including things such as cracks, dampness, condensation, foundation problems, etc, dilapidations, home buyers reports or any other property matters please contact 0800 298 5424 for a surveyor to give you a call back.
If you have a commercial property, be it leasehold or freehold, then you may wish to look at our Dilaps Website at www.DilapsHelp.com and for Disputes go to our Disputes Help site www.DisputesHelp.com .
We hope you found the article of use and if you have any experiences that you feel should be added to this article that would benefit others, or you feel that some of the information that we have put is wrong then please do not hesitate to contact us (we are only human).
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