Property Experts Back RICS’ Call For Better Understanding Of Surveys

Report Raises Concerns In Relation To Consumer Knowledge


By Rob Dixon

Conveyancing specialists at Irwin Mitchell have said that new research from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has put the issue of surveys into the spotlight and demonstrated the need for consumers to be well aware of their obligations when buying a property.

Research by the organisation found that a third of home buyers do not commission a survey during the process, while a fifth who failed to also claimed they have purchased homes that they otherwise would not have bought had they been aware of problems.

The survey also found that homeowners who did not take out a home survey are left with an average of £5,570 in repair bills.

A lack of understanding was also highlighted, with 60 per cent of respondents stating that they thought it was as an estate agent’s responsibility to organise a survey and one in five also believing that agents act for the buyer and seller of a home.

Irwin Mitchell’s specialist Conveyancing team, who provide advice to consumers on all aspects of buying and selling property, welcomed the new research.

Helen Hutchison, a Chartered Legal Executive and Manager of the Conveyancing Dept at the national law firm, said: “It is of the highest importance clients organise a survey at the outset before committing to proceed regardless on the age or state of the property.

“Buying a home is one of the most important decisions people make in their lives and this research has shown that more clearly needs to be done to ensure consumers are well aware of the issues they need to consider during the process.

“Our own experiences, like this new research from RICS, have shown that homebuyers often have misconceptions about the process. For example, sometimes they think that we can arrange a survey on their behalf or wrongly believe they can rely on a lender’s basic valuation.

“While conveyancers are able to provide comprehensive support in relation to all of the legal aspects of a property sale or purchase, survey results do need to be dealt with by a trained, independent expert who can provide information which allows buyers to make an informed decision in relation to the condition of a property.

“A survey is a vital part of purchasing and we hope that more can be done to emphasise the importance of this.”

Read more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in relation to Buying and Selling A Property