The Importance of a Property Survey

November 13, 2020, By

The joy of having your offer accepted on the perfect home, especially in the circumstances we are living in, is truly special. The next steps are crucial and require expert knowledge and guidance to ensure that you are happy in your investment and that all legal aspects are adhered to. This includes a property survey.

While we understand the need to move fast, we want to reiterate that corners should not be cut in the rush to complete. The team at Slater Heelis is exceptional at what they do, and that is because they are efficient and get the job done properly.

As well as our conveyancing team, there are other external parties to rely on once your offer on a property has been accepted, such as the property survey, and any other people in the buy/sell chain.

In this blog, we are focussing on the property survey. We would like to make clear your options and realistic timescales.

Virtual House Viewings

Virtual viewings were a godsend for many who were desperate to move after the first lockdown and throughout the summer. You can get a great feel for a property with a virtual tour of the house.

If, however, a thorough property survey is not done on somewhere viewed virtually, there could easily be parts of the property which have been overlooked and you may not find them until it is too late.

While many estate agents still do show virtual viewings on their websites, we would strongly advise that you use this as an initial means to get a feel for the property. If government guidance and your own personal health allows, then the next step would be to view the property in ‘real life’. While many photos and videos are brilliant at capturing lots of detail, it can be easy to bypass any cracks or signs of damp, for example.

For peace of mind, we believe that seeing the property for yourself and getting a thorough survey are the two key components to knowing exactly what you are investing in.

Why do I need a Property Survey?

There are different types of property surveys, which are highlighted further down the page.

For some older, or brand new properties, there are additional checks you can choose to have, to ensure again that you can be confident in your house purchase.

Many mortgages are agreed in principle so that the financial aspect of things is covered, but the valuation of the property still needs to be done. Nothing can be done until this valuation is carried out.

Lenders will have had such a backlog that instead of visiting all properties, they are making their best judgements from a ‘drive by’ or desktop valuation.

A thorough survey or valuation is in your best interests. If there does appear to be significant repairs made to the property, you may be able to use this to negotiate a slightly lower price for the house.

Quality Survey vs Time Constraints

We know, that especially with the Stamp Duty holiday until the end of March, many people are trying to find their perfect new home and complete on it as fast as possible. Equally, with furlough continuing and more job uncertainty leading into the New Year, people will want to prove that they are in full-time employment while they can, in order to secure a mortgage.

Our teams are working extremely hard to get everything on our side done in an effective yet thorough manner. Surveyors can work across a huge variety of properties and so they will be in high demand over these coming months.

The trade-off between getting a survey completed and being happy with it, versus completing by the end of March, can seem daunting. It is important to highlight that there could be something vital within the property that goes unnoticed from a desktop valuation which would otherwise have influenced your decision to buy the property at all.

Consider how you would feel if you completed on a house now, having not invested in a thorough survey, only to find hidden issues further down the line which could set you back thousands of pounds. Surely, it is better to spend a few hundred pounds now, to let you know that everything is above board with the property, before you make that substantial investment.

Types of Property Survey

This extremely helpful article at which explains in depth what the different surveys do and don’t include. There is also information about snagging surveys for new builds.

An overview of the levels can be seen in this graphic:


Help every step of the way                                  

Our residential property team are one of a kind, and will always go above and beyond to get a solution that is realistic and runs as smoothly as can be within our resources.

If you have any questions at all about the post-offer acceptance process, we are more than happy to help. Whether you’re a first-time buyer or a seasoned mover, you can trust in our efficiency and expertise to get you into your new home with as little stress as possible.

Call us on 0161 969 3131 or fill in our contact form. You can also get a free instant conveyancing quote here.