What Should you do After a Poor Survey Report?

Listed Property Thatched 2 Bedrooms Ampthill Bedfordshire

Buying a home is an exciting milestone, but it can quickly turn stressful if the property survey comes back with bad results. A property survey is a vital part of the home-buying process, allowing buyers to identify any serious defects, problems or needed repairs on the property they want to purchase. But if your survey report comes back with several expensive issues, it can be worrying and leave you wondering what to do next.

While a disappointing survey report presents challenges, don’t panic. There are several steps you can take to address problems raised – follow these recommendations to deal with the setback effectively.

Understand the Issues Outlined in the Report

The first step is to thoroughly read through your Homebuyers Survey and make sure you understand all of the defects and problems identified. The surveyor should have classified any issues into categories or priority levels, using a traffic light system of red, amber and green labels.

  • Red (Level 3) – These are major defects that require significant repairs or could affect the structural integrity of the property and need urgent attention. For example, issues like signs of rising damp or major cracks in walls would be marked as red.
  • Amber (Level 2) – These are problems that need repairing or replacing, but aren’t critical. They could include ageing components like an old boiler or replacing damaged roof tiles, for example.
  • Green (Level 1) – These are minor, cosmetic issues like dripping taps. They require DIY maintenance fixes but they don’t pose any immediate threat.

Make sure you understand which category any issues fall under, paying particular attention to all red Level 3 problems. This will help you gauge the potential expense involved should you go ahead with the purchase.

Get Quotes for Repairs

Once you understand all of the defects identified in the survey, the next step is to get detailed quotes for any repairs or replacements recommended. This is especially important for any major issues categorised as Level 2 or Level 3.

Contact reputable contractors or tradespeople to inspect the specific issues and provide written estimates for the cost of repairs, making sure to get multiple quotes from different tradespeople for comparison. Having accurate repair quotes serves several purposes. It allows you to better understand the true costs involved with fixing problems, rather than relying on the surveyor’s rough estimates, and puts you in a stronger negotiating position with the seller.

Renegotiate with the Seller

Armed with the detailed survey findings and repair quotes, you can go back to the seller with the issues identified and negotiate to reach a fair agreement. There are several ways to potentially renegotiate based on a poor survey:

  • Ask the seller to lower their asking price in light of the repairs needed. You can refer to your repair quotes to justify asking for a certain amount off.
  • Request that the seller pays for the repairs themselves before you purchase the property. They may agree to fix issues to ensure the sale goes ahead, though bear in mind this may cause delays.
  • Ask for a repair allowance at the close of the deal that you can use to pay for the work needed. You may suggest the seller pays for repairs up to a certain amount (e.g. £2,000) and you cover the rest.

Approach renegotiations diplomatically, showing the seller documentation from the survey and quotes as evidence for your requests. Negotiating an outcome where the seller shoulders some or all of the extra costs allows you to move forward while protecting your budget and interests.

Walk Away from Structural Issues

While most property defects can be repaired, in some cases a survey may reveal excessive structural problems that make the property unsafe or extremely expensive to fix. Issues like severe subsidence, major damp or mould problems affecting the entire property, drainage issues or major cracks indicating movement require major underpinning work or significant rebuilding that can easily cost tens of thousands of pounds.

If the surveyor identifies many major defects that can’t be reasonably fixed within your budget, you may have no choice but to walk away from the purchase. As difficult as it may be after investing time and money so far, it makes no sense proceeding with a property needing very costly structural repairs. The costs can quickly outweigh the value of the property itself.

Consult with your surveyor, contractors and solicitor to get their advice based on the specific issues identified. If the consensus is that the necessary repairs far exceed your budget, it’s best to withdraw your offer on the property. You will lose your survey and conveyancing fees, but this is preferable to taking on unaffordable repairs or dangerous property.

Receiving disappointing news in a property survey report can be upsetting when you’re eager to buy a home. However, there are constructive steps you can take to address issues discovered in the survey. While this process requires time and effort, it puts you in the best position to know how to move forward.

If you need guidance in responding to a bad survey, don’t hesitate to consult professionals with expertise in the matter. Alan Rance Surveyors are experts in advising home buyers on the severity of issues identified in a property to help you make an informed decision. With the right advice and a strategic approach, a disappointing survey doesn’t have to derail your home-buying dreams. Contact us today to arrange a Home Buyers Survey.

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Gareth Taylor
Gareth Taylor
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Really comprehensive survey and produced quickly, would highly recommend.
Linda Cain
Linda Cain
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Very happy with the Home Buyers Report carried out by Alan. We received the 119 page report and photos later the same day. Alan is very professional and is happily available to answer any questions you may have. We have just exchanged contracts and looking forward to moving in soon. We highly recommend Alan and wouldn’t use anyone else!
Abi Browning
Abi Browning
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Really professional and efficient. We chose to employ Alan for our building survey and we were impressed with the speed and quality of his report. The advice given was invaluable to support the final decision and our renovation plans. Thanks for all your help Alan!
Mihail Marian
Mihail Marian
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Alan carried out a level 3 homebuyers survey on a house we had an offer accepted on. It was very easy to get hold of him and he responded quickly to our emails. The report was very detailed and came very quickly (the same day when the survey was done). As FTB we had a lot of questions and Alan was very helpful answering our questions and explaining the details. Highly recommend!
Chris Barker
Chris Barker
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Alan gave a swift and highly detailed survey and I would highly recommend his services.He is approachable and has a great depth of knowledge.
chris dawson
chris dawson
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We used Alan for a home buyers survey "twice" !!! as our first purchase fell through at the last minute, nothing was too much trouble, communication before and after and an explanation of the very comprehensive report was superb. Would thoroughly recommend using Alan
Aaron
Aaron
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Alan Rance Surveyors carried a full Building Survey on our prospective purchase and we are very pleased with the depth of the report and the level of service provided. Alan is very experienced and personable, and communication is excellent. He was very happy to respond to our follow-up questions, which he did very quickly. Definitely 5 stars. Thanks very much Alan!
Charlotte Rogers
Charlotte Rogers
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Really great and communicative surveyor, would definitely recommend Alan.
S B
S B
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Alan is brilliant at his job, punctual, reliable and explained the report to me would highly recommend great value for money
Chloe Radford
Chloe Radford
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Great service, very trustworthy. Would highly recommend