There are thousands of surveyors in Britain. They are key to determining the value of your home, but what do they look for in a survey? There is a combination of factors from location and condition to home improvements.
When your offer is accepted on a property, you should request a homebuyers and valuation report from a surveyor registered with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). They will assess whether the property is being sold for the right price and identify any potential issues. It will ensure you know exactly what you are buying before the final contracts are signed.
The surveyor's report on your current property can cause problems, though. If your property is valued at a low figure, the person buying your house could use it to negotiate the price.
So how can you ensure you achieve the best price from a surveyor?
Before the valuation
1. Repair any minor defects
From a dripping tap to hairline cracks in decorating, fixing any minor issues will improve the overall standard of your home. Plus, it’s a good idea to fix these mistakes before potential buyers view the property, so make these changes early in the selling process.
2. Tidy up
The surveyor is looking for a well-maintained home with good presentation. Cleaning and tidying before the valuation could improve the final figure.
3. Remember the garden
As well as the standard of the main property, the surveyor will also assess any garden buildings such as an annexe or a shed. Make sure the garden is tidy and well-presented. The surveyor will also check any trees or plants that could pose a danger to your property and look for Japanese knotweed.
4. Move furniture
The surveyor will want to see the sides and corners of each room, so it is useful to move furniture away from the walls. Remove ornaments from windowsills, too.
5. Give access to the loft
The surveyor will want to check the loft space, so make sure there is easy access. Also make sure there are keys for all the windows as they will want to check they all open.
During the valuation
6. Be in the house
It’s useful to be present during the valuation to answer any of the surveyor's questions. Likewise, catch up with the surveyor after their valuation of the property you are purchasing to hear about any potential issues.
7. Highlight problem areas
The surveyor will be highly trained in identifying any problem areas. Instead of hoping they aren’t noticed, point them out so they can accurately assess the impact of the problem.
8. Talk about your improvements
Tell the surveyor about all the improvements you have made to the home, from redecorating to replacing a bathroom or adding an extension.
9. Tell them if you paid a lower price for a reason
Did you buy the property from a family member? Or did you buy it off-market before other offers were made? If you paid below market price, make sure the surveyor knows the reasons and prove that these reasons will not be valid for the future sale.
10. Mention house price news that might help
Did the house next door just sell for the price you are hoping to achieve? Or maybe there are rarely properties on the market nearby, and you can prove that property prices in the area have increased by 10% since the last sale. The surveyor will probably be aware of this, but it can be useful to remind them.
Are you looking to sell your property? Request a free market valuation from your local Fine & Country estate agent.