Tips for Choosing a Property Surveyor
If you’re looking to buy a property, your mortgage provider will most likely perform its own valuation. However, if you want to be sure of the results you get, you can hire an independent surveyor who can conduct the same for you. The good news is there are many property surveyors you can consider, but one thing’s for sure: they’re not all the same. In choosing the right one, start by determining the type of information you need. Should it be a homebuyer’s report? A full building survey? Some of the important factors here are the property’s age, design and history.
Once you know the type of report you need, you can start looking for a surveyor. Here are tips to help you:
Local and Specialist Surveyor
Hiring a local surveyor is always an advantage for almost obvious reasons – compared to others, they have more in-depth knowledge of the area and the different properties in it. In the same manner, if you’re looking to buy a specific type of property through a specialist agent, it pays to choose a surveyor who specializes in that type of property as well. Tell the surveyor what type of property you’re interested to purchase and what specialist experience they have.
While not the most important part of choosing a property surveyor, price should be considered nonetheless. Call at least two or three prospects and ask for a quote from each of them. You may be surprised by how they vary. Don’t pick the cheapest as this could mean poor work quality and service. The reason you want to ask for at least three quotes from three different surveyors to give you room for comparisons and make logical assumptions.
What to Expect
If there are things that aren’t clear to you, ask the surveyor for clarification. Otherwise, you might be disappointed when you’re expecting, say, a full property inspection and get no more than a summary. The surveyor should tell you what exactly they will do for you, depending on the type of survey you want to have. In addition, make sure the surveyor you hire can work around your schedule and meet deadlines.
Looking for Prospects
One of the best ways of looking for a property surveyor is to ask for referrals from people around you, such as your relatives, friends, your mortgage lender, etc. Online, you can also contact the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, which has at least 80,000 fully qualified surveyors in its roster.
As when looking for other professionals, the quality of surveying work you can expect rests mainly on the surveyor you choose. Again, you may encounter surveyors who charge surprisingly low rates, but always remember that there will most likely be a catch. For instance, they may use low-quality survey monumentation like wooden stakes (usually without asking you first) in order to reduce their costs. This is usually technically legal, but wood doesn’t have the durability of higher-quality materials.
Quality property surveys are a crucial part of any secure property investment. Although surveyors are always trying to be competitive, it’s up to you, the client, to decide which one is right for you. Always keep in mind that costs are far less important compared to the total quality of the work performed, and most importantly, to your peace of mind.