Kate has worked closely with the Residential Property Surveyors Association to ensure the products and services they provide are of real value to anyone buying a home. The RPSA Home Condition and Building Surveys tell anyone buying a home, in clear and straightforward terms, what is wrong with the fabric of the property, what they need to do to keep it well-maintained, and if they are likely to face any major bills.
Kate and RPSA Chairman Alan Milstein regularly meet up to talk about how to give the best advice when it comes to maintenance, structural issues, damp, party wall, boundary disputes, and a range of other issues.
What do they do?
The RPSA is a not-for-profit professional association representing independent specialist residential surveyors. Working with Government and Kates' Home Buying & Selling Group, an affiliation of all of the major organisations involved in creating a better home buying and selling process, the RPSA sets demanding standards for its members and delivers a range of products offering clarity and quality to both home buyers and sellers.
The RPSA works with the industry to create new products such as it's unique landlords Mi Buy-To-Let Survey.
How do they do it?
The RPSA speaks to each home buyer to assess their individual needs before taking survey instruction on behalf of the surveyor and collecting the fee.
They provide the client with Terms of Engagement which clearly describe the service the surveyor will deliver.
The surveyor is the "eyes and ears" of the homebuyer and their conveyancer on the ground - let the surveyor know if you have any special interests or concerns and they can report back to you.
The report from your surveyor will include dedicated sections referring to conveyancing matters, environmental conditions and health and safety concerns.
All RPSA surveyors are properly qualified and insured.
Surveyors offer a free post-survey consultation so you can ask any questions you may have.
Surveys are subject to a robust quality assurance regime.
Every RPSA survey includes a good selection of photographs to help you really understand the property and any issues that the surveyor identified.
The RPSA standards for inspections and reports are the highest in the industry ensuring a thorough and comprehensive survey.
How much does a survey cost?
The cost of your survey will be based on the property you are buying and will vary depending on the size, age and location.
A typical survey will be between £400 and £800, but most important of all is the peace of mind in knowing that your future home has been properly inspected by a professional surveyor.
Top three tips
Don't rely on your lenders mortgage valuation. A valuation is simply there to reassure the lender that they will get their money back should the worst happen and you are unable to keep up with your mortgage repayments. A valuation is not a survey and will not provide you with information on the condition of a property.
A survey could save you thousands of pounds. Armed with a clear and comprehensive survey of the condition of the house you may be able to negotiate up to 5 to 10 times (or even more!) the cost of the survey off the asking price, and you will be alerted to repairs which you would not have known about but which may cost you £000's to put right.
Knowing about your property gives you peace of mind. All RPSA surveys include at least 20 photographs (and usually more) to highlight what is good and bad about the property, and you have direct contact with your surveyor to talk about any concerns you have.
RPSA surveys are designed to give you peace of mind and remove the stress of not knowing what defects you might find when you move into the property.
All our information is brought to you by Kate Faulkner, author of Which? Property books and one of the UK's top property experts.