Property news: RIC survey

New research reveals that over a fifth of home buyers who did not take out a home survey are left with a property they regret purchasing.

The recent findings of the RICS (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors) report show that many buyers felt saddled with a property they would never have bought had they been aware of its true condition before purchase – as well as facing an average repair bill of £5,750.

The survey of 1,017 buyers across the UK found that consumers are clearly aware of the need for independent advice, with 94 per cent of respondents agreeing it is important to commission a survey.

However, nearly a third failed to do so, leaving themselves ignorant of property issues, such as structural defects, dry and wet rot, subsidence and many other faults, which could become serious matters at a later date.

It is for this reason that surveys are carried out to assess the condition of the property – usually undertaken once an offer on the property has been accepted.

A detailed report on the condition of the property is completed before the purchase goes ahead.

Harrison Murray’s Head of Estate Agency, Nick Salmon said: “Most people think the valuation their mortgage lender arranges is a survey: it isn’t. It is simply a valuation to make sure the property value covers the loan being taken out against it.

“It is unwise to solely rely on such limited advice for what is probably your most important purchase. It’s much more prudent to instruct your own independent survey.

There are three main survey types:

The RICS Condition Report

Choose this report if you are buying or selling a standard house, bungalow or flat built from common building materials and which is apparently in reasonable condition. A Condition Report is designed to give the buyer information they will not get from their lender’s brief mortgage valuation report. A seller can commission one when they put their home on sale so they are aware of potential problems and are not put at a disadvantage in negotiations with their buyer.

The RICS HomeBuyer Report

The most widely used report. Choose this if you would like more extensive information when buying or selling a house, bungalow or flat built from common building materials and which is apparently in reasonable condition.

Building Survey

You should choose this most comprehensive report if you are buying an older or run down property, a building that is unusual or has been altered, or if you are planning major works. It costs more than the RICS Reports because it gives more detailed information about the structure and fabric of the property. The Building Survey will highlight those matters you should give priority to over the items that can be dealt with as part of routine maintenance

It does not include a valuation or insurance rebuilding figure, but we can provide one as a separate service if required.

Harrison Murray, independent estate agents and valuers can help customers arrange their survey.

Nick added: “Surveys can be something of a minefield for people who are new to home buying, but Harrison Murray can gently and professionally guide them through this very important aspect of the buying process.”

Other RICS survey results showed:

• 89 per cent of respondents who did not commission a survey now think it is important to take out independent advice.

• 73 per cent of people who did commission a survey said it provided them with peace of mind and over half felt it was value for money.

• Nearly 60 per cent of respondents incorrectly identified an estate agent’s primary responsibility with one in 10 mistakenly believing agent’s act for the buyer, while nearly one in five thinking they act equally for the buyer and seller.

Study April 2013 / Source – ComRes, which interviewed online 1,017 people who had bought a property or gone through the process of obtaining a property valuation on a property they were looking to buy in the last five years

Harrison Murray are leading independent residential estate agents with 18 offices throughout Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire, Cambridgeshire and Leicestershire. Visit the website at

For more press information contact Cetti Long at Media Matters on (01733) 371363 or email: or Harrison Murray managing director Nick Salmon on 07831 805455.