What is a chartered surveyor, and do I need one?

Chartered surveyor carrying out an inspection

Chartered surveyor carrying out an inspection

A Chartered Surveyor is a professional whose job is to check properties for problems, defects, and other issues likely to arise in the future. Their experience and qualification also enable them to determine the value of any given asset. 

After an assessment, the surveyor produces a report meant to allow you to decide on whether the asset in question is a sound investment. The report will also include details on whether there’re issues likely to arise in the coming days. 

Issues likely to affect the property include the Japanese knotweed, structural integrity issues, dampness, and mold. 


The Responsibilities of a Chartered Surveyor

The specialist will schedule a visit to your property and begin their assessment of its different sections. For each available area, they will need to identify any present problems and those that may occur down the line. 

A detailed report is prepared after the inspection to enable you to decide whether to go ahead with the purchase or not. You can also use this report to renegotiate the seller’s price based on what the chartered surveyor found. 

For example, if the specialist has indicated you may need to spend as much as five thousand pounds on future repairs, you can ask the seller to lower the purchase price by this amount. This is why you need to have a professional surveyor perform the survey. 

When to Hire a Chartered Surveyor

The right time to contact the surveyor is after engaging the seller and making a starting offer. In case the survey manages to uncover serious issues that force you to reconsider the purchase, it means the survey was a good investment. 

If you’re thinking about buying a given property, then you don’t have to engage their services at this time. Contact is only made after a buying decision is made. Making early appointments during consideration means the seller will have to deal with many surveyors. 

The details included in this article apply to investors in Northern Ireland, Wales, and England. For Scotland, the situation is slightly different, as it’s the sellers’ responsibility to hire a surveyor. A surveyor is needed to prepare a home report. Any potential buyer interested in acquiring the property will need to see this report. 

Each home report is valid for three months; after which you will need to get a new survey if the property is still up for sale. 


Types of Reports

As earlier mentioned, Scotland has a different system than the rest of the UK. The variation is that the seller needs to get the home report before placing their property up for sale. In the case of Northern Ireland, Wales, and England, three types of surveys exist for buyers:

1. Level 1 (Condition Report): The report is incredibly simple as it relies on a traffic system to identify potential problem areas. However, it doesn’t indicate how the issues may develop in the coming days or even provide a recommendation for the repairs needed. It also doesn’t capture the costs involved. 

2. Level 2 (Homebuyer’s Reports): It’s also referred to as the middle choice. The report includes a fair amount of details and is ideal for use with most assets. On the other hand, it’s not the best when dealing with older or more complicated buildings. 

3. Level 3 (Building Surveys): It’s the most in-depth of all three reports and the best for unusual or older properties. Buyers can also use it when dealing with a property that has undergone extensive remodels. If you have plans to do future remodels, add an extension or takedown particular walls, the Building Survey will let you know everything you need to know beforehand.

Benefits of Hiring a Chartered Surveyor

The advantages that come with hiring a chartered surveyor will vary depending on the surveyor you have selected. Some surveyors may specialize in surveying certain types of properties, while others will guarantee a faster turnaround time. 

Regardless of the surveyor you choose, confirm that they are duly registered with RICS.

It’s advisable to go through the reviews made by past clients. Also, speak to the specialist about any concerns you may have before deciding who to hire. Many specialists are more than happy to go through the final report with you.

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