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Pressure to sign contract on new build prior to survey

  • 12-07-2022 11:32am
    Registered Users Posts: 1 Cazbah72

    I am in the process of buying my first house - a new build. It is due to be completed in September and the surveyer cannot get access as yet to view the property.

    I am under pressure to set a date to sign the contracts before the survey is carried out. The agent is saying this is normal - people buy off plans all the time, the solicitor is saying it is a case of buyer beware - it is best to have it done before I sign as the contract is binding.

    The agent is saying that there is a danger they will move on to the next interested person.

    Anyone else have this situation? I really want the property but worried about getting into trouble with it


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,691 ✭✭✭ spaceHopper

    Is there anything in the contract about snagging or engineering sign off. As far as I know it's normal to sign the contracts and pay 10% but there is often provision for things like subject to finance or of mortgageable quality and building standards and or snagging.

    I'd also check that it's built to the spirit of the plans you were shown, it's never 100% the same.

  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 30,568 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Faith

    I can only speak for my experience, but we bought off plans with no problem. We signed contracts in May 2021 and the house wasn't completed until December 2021. The only surveying that we got done was the snagging, which took place a few weeks before we got the keys. That's the typical for new builds. With second hand houses, you get a surveyor in before buying to ensure all the structural and boundary issues are okay, but new builds typically have clear boundaries that your snagger may confirm, and it should be covered by HomeBond for any structural issues that may arise.

    In other words, what you're being asked to do is typical.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,626 ✭✭✭ yer man!

    I bought off plans this year and it went okay. We didn't do any survey, only a snagging upon completion and to be fair to the developer they were very accommodating in making any corrections to things my snagger and I thought was a bit off. What did annoy me for my house was that I was denied access to the plans, I had to get them from the county council website. My house ended up being slightly bigger than what was planned so I wasn't complaining. It was all a bit of a gamble but the company that built the houses had a fairly good track record so I felt fairly safe in proceeding.

  • Administrators Posts: 51,488 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭ awec

    You don't do a survey on a new build. You do a snag instead, which is a visual inspection at the end. Your solicitor will get the certificates for compliance with building regs and the completion cert etc.

    Snagging is done at the very end, right before mortgage drawdown and long after contracts are signed.

  • This. If it's a new build, there shouldn't be a survey at all, just a snag.

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