According to new research by RICS, over a fifth of home buyers who did not take out a pre-purchase survey are in a property they would never have bought had they been aware of its true condition before purchase.
The recently released results of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyor’s survey of home buying consumers show that homeowners who did not get a survey are lumped with an average of £5750 in repair bills – matters that would have been highlighted before exchange of contracts by a competent Chartered Surveyor.
Interestingly, despite 94% of respondents being aware of the importance of getting a survey, nearly 1 in 3 failed to do so. Without professional advice, buyers were left in the dark over structural issues, wet and dry rot, infestation, subsidence and numerous other costly issues. Of those who didn’t get a survey, 89% now think it is important to take independent advice.
Peter Bolton King, RICS Global Residential Director, commented:
Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions most people will ever make and yet many consumers are doing so blind to the facts. Serious faults are difficult to identify and costly to repair. By not being aware of them consumers are risking a potential home buying time bomb. This can cause extreme stress and financial strain on homeowners who are often stuck with a property they no longer want but cannot sell.
Also interesting, the same survey highlighted serious misconceptions about the wider home buying process. Nearly 60% of respondents incorrectly identified an estate agent’s primary responsibility as acting for the vendor, with 10% mistakenly believing agent’s act for the buyer and nearly 20% thinking they act equally for the buyer and seller.
The lack of understanding about the home buying process is putting consumers at increased risk as many fail to take out further independent, expert advice. Agents can and should offer advice to buyers, however, only a surveyor is trained to identify issues with a property. The cost of a survey is a small price to pay for this knowledge and peace of mind.
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