Financial & Legal News

The importance of a House Survey

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There are a number of checklists to go through when you’ve seen the house of your dreams - of course appointing a good conveyancing solicitor is important, but a survey should also be one of the first points of call once your offer on a house has been accepted.

Our residential conveyancing team had a client pull out of a house purchase after they had spoken with a house surveyor.

“It is so important to get a survey done at the early stages of the conveyancing process to avoid any disappointment,” said Conveyancing Executive, Emma Collinson.

“In this recent case we had been instructed a month earlier, the clients were excited about their new potential property, only for the survey to come back five weeks later with major problems.”

Concerns with a house survey

“The surveyor raised concerns in relation to elements of cracking to the front elevation of the property and the rear elevation. The surveyor believed the adjoining house had been subject to a degree of movement greater than what would usually be termed as “settlement” and may in fact be subsidence.

The surveyor advised the client that the property is unsuitable for purchase and not to proceed with the purchase under any circumstances,” added Emma.

Of course, it’s not always as drastic as this and surveys can just help reassure a buyer and help them avoid expensive and unwanted surprises further down the line.

“A house is probably the most expensive investment you’ll ever make so a few hundred pounds spent on a professional survey to check out your investment is money well spent and if remedial work is needed you may want to negotiate on price to rectify any issues,” said Emma.

“In this case our client has found another property which they are now proceeding to purchase.

This was all based on an initial inspection from a surveyor and it just goes to show how crucial it is to instruct a surveyor alongside a solicitor,” she added.

How long does a house survey take?

A house survey can often take 1-4 hours and is a physical survey of your home. A full structural survey, often recommended for older properties are more in-depth and it can take up to 8 hours to complete.

What do house surveyors look for?

A house surveyor will look at the:

  • roof
  • chimneys
  • guttering
  • ceilings
  • walls
  • partitions
  • uncovered floors
  • fireplaces
  • chimney breasts and flues
  • staircases
  • woodwork
  • bathroom fittings

They also check all utilities on site, as well as the garden and environment in the area, noting any legal issues for the attention of your conveyancing solicitor, advising on costs of any work if needed and the valuation of the property.

How can we help

For help and legal advice on your house sale or purchase contact our residential conveyancing team who can help make your move a smooth one.  Contact our team today on 0161 785 3500 or

Please note that the information and opinions contained in this article are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to provide legal advice. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers Ltd or any of its members or employees. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking, or refraining from taking, any action as a result of this article.

This blog was posted some time ago and its contents may now be out of date. For the latest legal position relating to these issues, get in touch with the author - or make an enquiry now.

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