When speaking to a potential client the first question often asked is How much?
To answer this requires more than a little patience from the potential client.
Clearly in their eyes the survey is deemed to be a COST and not an INVESTMENT. It is only through having the time to discuss this fully that they understand some of the fundamentals not only in the REAL VALUE of a survey but also what a powerful tool a Home Condition Survey can be.
So before we consider the price of a survey lets look at some numbers;
The average house price is £163,981 (Based on Halifax July 2011)
25% of people that did not get a survey had to spend over £2500 to put serious defects right.
For 10% of the people they had to pay over £10,000
By contrast those people that did commission a survey were able to negotiate a reduction in the asking price that averaged £2000. (These numbers are based on the Which 2008 survey)
Even if we eliminate the "unlucky" 10% a surveys true value is close to £2000. Based on the average price above,the report is true value is 1.22% of the price. This equates to having their estate agency fees paid.
Even with these numbers some potential clients baulk at paying a fee for a survey and rely on the Mortgage Valuation. The Mortgage Valuation is not an independent survey that a buyer can rely on. Why? Well the easiest answer is to say that for a mortgage valuation the valuer will be on site for circa 20mins, compared to 3-4 hours for a Home Condition Surveyer.
A valuer will answer questions for the Mortgage lender whereas the Surveyor will be studying the property for defects to make the buyer aware.
The valuer gives the Mortgage lender a value on the property should the buyer default on payment, the surveyor gives the home buyer peace of mind.
All Home Condition Surveys are fully covered by £1,000,000 Professional Indemnity Insurance.
So now we understand more about the true value of a Home Condition Survey how much does it cost? As with most things there are variables in terms of age, size, location & detachment etc. As an indication a post war semi detached property would cost only £300 + VAT. That is less than 0.25% of the average price.
This blog is written by Chris Dickens of Dickens Surveyors.