building valuations

What Is an Independent Survey?

If you look closely at your average property transaction you will find that as a buyer you really don’t have anyone acting on your behalf (apart from perhaps your solicitor). For example, the estate agent acts on behalf of the seller not the buyer. When your bank or building society arrange the mortgage valuation (which we have already established is not for your benefit) they may well suggest that the same Chartered Surveyor carry out your Independent Survey at the same time.

Is there any other industry where the same professional can be working for two different parties involved in the same transaction yet claim to be independent? You as a buyer certainly can’t instruct the same solicitor as the person selling the property - this is conflict of interest.  So why then would you want to instruct the same surveyor as the bank or building society that is selling you money at the end of the day?

You should be aware that the surveyor called to carry out the valuation is often part of a company that is part of a group that may include the estate agent who is selling your house, the lender providing your mortgage and the surveyor carrying out “your” valuation.

An example of this is Taylors Estate Agents (along with about twenty other apparently “independent agents”) which is part of the Countrywide Group that includes Countrywide Conveyancers, Countrywide Surveyors and Countrywide Assured (independent financial advisers who are introducers of Countrywide products only!).

You may well be told by your lender that you have to use a surveyor from their panel to carry out your survey but this is only the case with their valuation.  if you want an independent view you are fully entitled to choose your own Chartered Surveyor to truly act on your behalf.

How Do You Instruct an Independent Survey?

If you decide that you want to have an independent survey carried out you can contact the Associated Surveying Services (National Network of Independent Chartered Surveyors) on Free phone 0800 295 5454, web site: who are RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) members.

Why don't you compare one of our surveys with one prepared by a mortgage company owned surveyor - click here.


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