A recent study by reallymoving.com gave an interesting insight into the main concerns home buyers have when booking a survey of a property they are looking to purchase.
A survey is something many buyers – especially first-time buyers – obtain once their offer has been accepted to check the condition of the home they are buying. According to the HomeOwners Alliance, however, only 20% of people get a professional property survey before buying a new home.
Surveys can be very useful for buyers, identifying potentially costly issues or damage which they may not have noticed in the first instance.
There are three main types of house survey: a condition report, a building survey and a HomeBuyer’s report, with the HomeBuyer’s report being the most popular type of survey. But there are no set rules on what survey buyers should get, it will all depend on the age of the property they are purchasing and how much detail they want about it.
After analysing the most common areas of concern from survey requests over the last year, reallymoving.com found that structural issues were the most frequently raised problem. These worries, which include cracks, subsidence, flooring and roofing concerns, represented 35% of all requests. Meanwhile, damp and moisture were the second most common concerns (24%). Of these, damp was by far the biggest concern (88%), with leaks, flooding, guttering and mould accounting for the rest.
Some 17% of survey requests were related to roof issues, closely followed by extensions & additions (9%), fixtures & fittings (7%) and plumbing and heating (7%). The final 1% was made up of external worries (e.g. garden and trees).
Overall, when looking at specific issues, the top five concerns were as follows: damp, roof worries, cracks, extensions and flooring. As well as these major issues, the study also pointed out that there are other smaller issues which could also be picked up by a house survey.
Of course, as a seller, you also need to understand the importance of house surveys. When you’re selling a home and have accepted an offer from a buyer, stumbling blocks can still be placed in the way. If their survey comes back with any of the issues outlined above, buyers could be deterred, in turn putting your house sale in jeopardy.
A survey may cause some buyers to reconsider whether they want to buy your home, while others may try to renegotiate the price or even delay buying until you have remedied the problems.
As a result, it would be wise to ensure your property has no major issues – whether that be damp, roof problems, concerns over plumbing and heating or something else – before putting it on the market. Otherwise it could cause you serious issues and unnecessary stress further down the line.