What should you do after a bad survey report?

What should you do after a bad survey report?

June, 2020

As a buyer, you know you need to rely on a survey report, in order to proceed with the purchase. But once you get a bad report, you will instantly start getting cold feet about the property. It is not uncommon for the sale to fall through.

However, a bad survey should not mean the end of the sale. There are some things you can do next and in the following guide we will outline them all:

Talk to your surveyor

The first thing you should do after getting a bad survey report is to go talk to your surveyor. Go through the report with them, so that you can get a better idea of what the problems are and what the implications of them are. If possible, ask your surveyor to go through the property a second time with you.

What you need to know is that certain surveys are much more thorough than others. In most of them, you will have the problems ranked by severity, as well as urgency. If you have gotten a full building survey, you can expect it to be much more thorough, in regards to the details of any defects. Do note that a homebuyer’s report will list said defects in accordance to the traffic lights system, but a building report will go way beyond that and advise you what the best course of action is.

If the report makes a point about some problem, it is your surveyor you should turn to for a further explanation. They will be able to tell you what the problem is, whether it is easy to fix and how to proceed next. Ask the surveyor any questions you have in regards to the report. There is really no right or wrong way to act upon getting a bad survey report; it is only a matter of what best works for the current situation.

Consider whether you need a second opinion

Once you have spoken with the surveyor, you will have some reassurance and a good plan on what to do next. If you still need a little more to consider, you may want to call in some experts. A builder, tradesman or a specialist can give their opinion on the matter and tell you what it will take to fix it.

Either they will put things into perspective, or solidify the opinion that the property is not worth your money and attention. In any case, you will know what to do next.

Find out the price of the fix

It is a good idea to get at least 2 quotes, so as to compare the scope and price. Consider getting your opinion from an impartial tradesman, and not just someone the estate of the seller recommends.

Figure out if the problem needs urgent fixing or whether you can address it over time. The sooner you get your quotes, the sooner you will know what you should do next.

Negotiate the price after a bad survey

Once a survey has revealed some problems with the property, you can negotiate a new price. Feel free to get back to your estate agent with the new information from the report and ask for a revised offer. Getting a discount to match the costs of the repair/improvements needed is more than reasonable. Sometimes you may even request from the seller to fix the issues and then proceed with the deal.

Getting a bad survey report is not the end of the world, as you can see. It is up to you to approach this task to the best of your interests.

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