As property search agents we regularly instruct surveyors on behalf of our clients to carry out full building surveys and valuations – whatever the value of the property in question, and we were therefore very interested in a story in The Telegraph this week about the increase in litigation from homebuyers against surveyors.
According to some solicitors there has been a 20 per cent increase in the number of people attempting to sue their surveyors. Falling house prices have led home-owners to launch proceedings against surveyors for over valuing their properties in the first place.
For most buyers, a valuation for mortgage purposes is for the bank – not the buyer. This means that there is no recourse for the buyer if the valuation is incorrect, even though it is the buyer who has to pay for something that is essentially worthless!
Although we are property search agents, our job does not end once we have found the client their perfect property – and we always recommend that our clients pay that little bit extra for a full structural survey and valuation, whether they are buying a pied a terre in the city or a mansion in the countryside. Without a good survey you don’t know what you’re investing your money in, and although obvious warning signs such as subsidence cracks and damp can be readily spotted, more serious structural issues are often not as obvious.
If your dream home should be hiding any problems then you can decide whether to walk away, or re-negotiate the deal to compensate for any work that is recommended by your surveyor. At Manse & Garret Property Search we do everything within our reach to ensure that our client is buying at the right price.