Preparing Your Home for a Watsons Surveyor

Watsons Chartered Surveyors have been appointed to conduct a survey of your property. This guide explains how to get your home ready in preparation for your appointment.

When your home attracts a buyer, their mortgage lender will send a surveyor round to confirm its value or this may already have been actioned through a Remote ‘Desktop’ Valuation. It is also likely that your buyer will want to get their own Homebuyer Report or Building Survey carried out by a local Chartered Surveyor to flag up any potential structural issues with the property and check areas that the valuation does not cover. You may have considered getting a Vendor Survey in advance so you are already aware of any potential issues and you can set a realistic asking price based on your Chartered Surveyor’s findings.

Chartered Surveyor carrying out a home survey

It is important to tidy up your home before an RICS surveyor arrives, as a Chartered Surveyor looks for evidence of steady on-going maintenance and upkeep. A tidy, well presented home is likely to be valued higher than a cluttered, untidy home even if they have the same features.

To ensure your home and possessions are disrupted as little as possible during your buyer’s house survey, there are many ways to speed up the process for the Chartered Surveyor:

  • Clear items away from areas with common problems
  • Move furniture away from exterior walls
  • Take plants off windowsills
  • Tidy your home before the appointment.

You might also want to begin packing your belongings early so that most of your prized possessions are out of the way before viewers and Chartered Surveyors come round to inspect the property.

Our Chartered Surveyors are trained to spot areas with potential defects, so if you know there is an area that could be of concern, it is best to notify the surveyor and leave it clear to give them access to it.

If you are concerned about the results the buyer’s survey might return, you may wish to discuss this with the surveyor, and they can give you peace of mind. Our Surveyors want to help their buyer and ensure that the sales process is supported for all parties involved.

It is important to ensure your garden and any outside buildings, such as garden sheds and garages, are also prepared prior to your house survey. You do not want to put all your efforts into clearing and cleaning your well-presented home, only to find that your front or back garden lets you down at the time of the survey. Bear in mind that your Chartered Surveyor will check any plants and trees that may pose a danger to your property, especially if they suspect any structural damage.

Our Surveyors will try and inspect as much as possible during the house survey. That is why it is extremely important to ensure the surveyor can access all parts of the property.

Common reasons that could present inspection issues often include:

  • Heavy furniture blocking areas for inspection
  • Fitted floor coverings, such as laminate flooring and carpet
  • Drain covers causing issues as too heavy to lift
  • Loft hatches and doors being fixed closed or unable to open easily
  • Missing keys to windows and doors – all windows must be able to be opened during a survey
  • Limited access in the loft – if storage items or loft insulation restrict the view for the surveyor, this may hinder the survey
  • Inability to access garden sheds, garages, and other outbuildings
  • Flat roof coverings higher than 3 metres, such as dormers
  • Stored items preventing inspection of a roof space when there is a thick layer of insulation on the joists and timbers are not visible.

Unfortunately, as Surveyors are busy and their time is allocated to a particular inspection, should a re-visit be required then an additional fee may be chargeable.

Our Surveyors need to work safely, as such balancing on a beam in a roof, getting too close to aggressive animals, having ladders hanging over a staircase, forcing open heavy loft hatches or lifting heavy drainage covers may not make an inspection possible and the Surveyor will have to make a judgement on the day. If it is considered unsafe to inspect an area, then the Surveyor will likely report that to you and other arrangements can be made. Again though, in particular if the Surveyor has given notice in advance of the inspection asking for access to all areas to be provided, then it is not the Surveyor’s fault if access is not granted by the Vendor or provided for by the Estate Agent.

One of the most important things you can do for your future property is commission a Home Survey. Buying a home can sometimes feel overwhelming – wondering if this is the right property for you, if it is a good investment and if there is anything you are missing can be exhausting. The importance of getting a survey cannot be understated – it can give the buyer a clear idea of the state of the property, highlight any issues and can save them money further down the line if they need to make repairs.

We think it is important to be able to choose an experienced, highly qualified professional. It is important to be able to pick a professional in the right area, especially as they will have local knowledge or an understanding of typical building work in your location.

We suggest you choose an independent RICS regulated Chartered Surveyor. RICS is the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, which means the professionals you choose will have to adhere to a strict code of conduct, and if you do have any issues with the service you received, you can go to RICS for more information.

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Where we operate
Our talented team of Chartered Surveyors and Registered Valuers are all members of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). Each of our local surveyors live and work in the following counties: Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Cambridgeshire, Lincolnshire, Leicestershire, Rutland, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Yorkshire, County Durham, Tyne & Wear and Northumberland.
Hannah, Chartered Surveyor

Why do I need a home survey?

If you’re considering purchasing a new property, at Watsons we always recommend commissioning your own independent home survey, which will provide you with a clear understanding of the property’s condition. By having a home survey completed, you’re essentially avoiding any additional costs, stress and hassle further down the line, as the survey can help you avoid surprise additional costs for repairs.
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