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04-08-2008, 18:54   #1
WetDaddy
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Survey Before or After Making Offer?

My fiancée & I are first-time buyers and are very interested in a particular property. We're tentatively scheduled in for a second viewing next this week / early next week, but we've already discussed what we'd offer (amongst ourselves, not with the Estate Agent!).

So, I'm just looking for some advice on the order we approach things:

1. Should I get a surveyor in before we make a bid? Or should we wait until we go "sale agreed" before getting a surveyor? I'm leaning more towards the the latter since the booking deposit should be refundable (should we find out some hideous secret in the survey)
2. Roughly how long will it take for the surveyor to look at the place? Do we need to set aside a few hours for them, or can they just contact the Estate Agent and organise a time for themselves?
3. I want to ask how long it usually takes for the surveyor to get back with a report, but of course this will be different in every case. At a guess though, what have people's experiences been? A few days? Weeks?

Thanks!
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04-08-2008, 20:59   #2
Victor
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You should be able to make an offer "subject to survey" or "subject to survey and any necessary works" - ask you solicitor (you do have one!) for the best wording.
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Originally Posted by Folex View Post
1. Should I get a surveyor in before we make a bid?
Probably not, you might be wasting your time and money.

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Or should we wait until we go "sale agreed" before getting a surveyor? I'm leaning more towards the the latter since the booking deposit should be refundable (should we find out some hideous secret in the survey)
It should, but make it clear what terms you are giving the deposit under

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2. Roughly how long will it take for the surveyor to look at the place? Do we need to set aside a few hours for them, or can they just contact the Estate Agent and organise a time for themselves?
The actual survey might take an hour or a few hours. leave the surveyor and estate agent sort a time, you don't need to be there.

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3. I want to ask how long it usually takes for the surveyor to get back with a report, but of course this will be different in every case. At a guess though, what have people's experiences been? A few days? Weeks?
A few days, but it is the holiday season, so check availibility.
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05-08-2008, 01:40   #3
ford fiesta
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I am currently in a similar situation, but buying a second hand house on my own. New to this game.

What exactly will a surveyor look at and will he tell you exactly what the property is worth?.

Does he do a type of 'snag list' of everything that would need attention (I know these are done for new houses) or just survey the actual structure of the place. Will he inspect water, gas, electricity??

I think getting a surveyor in after an offer is made makes sense, as I know in my experience I could be putting in several offers on a shortlist of properties I like at one time, but only have my sights on 'Sale agreed' for 1 house-this is the house I would like the survey carried out on. Surveying say 3 or 4 properties will take time and money before an offer is made.

By the way, how much does a surveyor charge for his services? And is this also known as a structural engineers report or is that a different thing?
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06-08-2008, 13:09   #4
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All offers are considered 'subject to survey' doesn't matter what way you word the offer, so dont worry about it. Booking deposits are refundable, (you'll be asked for one soon as an offer is accepted)

Surveyors wont do a snag list for a 2nd hand property but they will outline all the problems / possible problems, they may reccomend some are fixed before proceeding with the sale (ie by the vendor).

Surveyors generally spend around 2 hours doing survays depending on size and condition of property, generally you wont be required to be there they will just go through the agent... unless you want to be there. You can get different types of surveys done but they're usually pretty comprehensive.

A Surveyor wont tell you what its worth but your mortgage provider will organise a valuer who will go direct to the agent to get access, they will check the place and the agreed sale price and then report to the bank that all is ok at that price, (they generally dont disagree with sale agreed prices unless something is very out of order!)
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06-08-2008, 13:30   #5
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Thanks for the replies, guys.

We've got a surveyor looking at the place over the next while, so I'm looking forward to seeing his report. It's also enough to show the Estate Agent that we're still interested in the place (i.e. tide them over for now )
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06-08-2008, 14:38   #6
Victor
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ford fiesta View Post
What exactly will a surveyor look at
Primarily "Is this building a good bet for X hundred thousand for the lender and the buyer? Will it fall down / leak / catch fire?"

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and will he tell you exactly what the property is worth?.
Some can, some can't. Just make sure they can do both jobs and are acceptable to the lender.

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Does he do a type of 'snag list' of everything that would need attention (I know these are done for new houses) or just survey the actual structure of the place.
Something similar, however each property is unique.

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Will he inspect water, gas, electricity??
Superficially yes, however, not everything in this regard can be inspected because it is hidden in walls and floors. Many will simply say something like "system is modern, but in need of inspection and some repair" or "system is dated and in need of replacement"

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I think getting a surveyor in after an offer is made makes sense, as I know in my experience I could be putting in several offers on a shortlist of properties I like at one time, but only have my sights on 'Sale agreed' for 1 house-this is the house I would like the survey carried out on. Surveying say 3 or 4 properties will take time and money before an offer is made.
Oh, one thing, if it is an auction, your bid is final, you can not withdraw, you take the property whatever its faults. If you refuse to sign, the auctioneer can on your behalf. So in such cases, you need to survey first, bid later.

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By the way, how much does a surveyor charge for his services?
Each property is unique, however expect in the order of €300 for an ordinary house / apartment and another €100-200 for a bank valuation.

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And is this also known as a structural engineers report or is that a different thing?
An engineer will concentrate on the structure over the aestethic. Only an engineer can do a structural survey.
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