Robert Abbey (Professor of Law) gives expert video advice on: What is a Homebuyer's Report?; What problems can arise after the survey?; What can I do if the property is not worth the asking price? and more...
What is a Homebuyer's Report?
A Homebuyer's report is a survey that is carried out on behalf of a buyer through the lender. So the Homebuyer's report is a combined arrangement, but it tells they buyer about the state and condition of the property they're hoping to buy.
What problems can arise after the survey?
Several problems can arise after a survey, usually arising from the results of that survey disclosing something that's of an adverse nature. So, for example, the survey could say that the property is affected by a dry rot problem. And if that is the case, some remedial work has to be carried out to the property. And then, of course, it's a question of who's going to pay for that remedial work; is it the seller or the buyer?
What can I do if the property is not worth the asking price?
Normally a survey evaluation will tell you what the value of a property may be. If it's dramatically different to the asking price, or the price that you've offered, you need to seriously reconsider your offer. The point is that an evaluation will normally reflect the true market value of a property, and it of course can mean that the value of the asking price. or your offer is inflated. So, reconsider and perhaps re-offer through your estate agent.
What can I do if the survey reveals severe problems with the property?
If your survey reveals severe problems with the property, my advice to you is not to buy the property.
When would I need a structural survey?
As a counsel of perfection, you should always get a structural survey. What I mean by that is you should know about the structure every time you buy a property. Of course, structural surveys are expensive, so it may be that you think you should only get a structural survey when your reduced type of survey points up that there are structural issues affecting the property you're proposing to buy.
The seller is doing work on the property. What should I do?
If the seller is carrying out work to the property as a result of the survey, you should make sure that the work on the property is carried out to your satisfaction and possibly to the satisfaction of the lender's surveyor. So you should, at all times, check what work is being done on the property, to make sure it's to a proper standard.
Who pays for necessary work revealed in the survey?
The question of who pays for the work required by a survey is very much down to negotiation. I would suggest that a buyer should always ask the seller to pay for work needed as a result of the survey, but of course the seller will say that the buyer should pay for work needed because of the survey, because it'll be for the future benefit of the buyer. Therefore, who pays is down to negotiation.
If the survey reveals problems, should I get an additional survey?
If the survey reveals structural problems, I would always urge you to make sure you take out a full structural survey, to make sure that the property is secure.