According to their press release
“The Council of the Residential Property Surveyors Association (RPSA) has written to the Chief Executive of the FSA calling for an investigation into the advice mortgage lenders give their borrowers, noting that only one in five homebuyers obtain a survey or condition report on the property they are buying, yet 80% of homebuyers believe that they get a survey. The main reason for the discrepancy beings that mortgage borrowers believe that their lenders valuation is a survey – which it is not. Lenders do little if anything to disabuse their customers of this notion perhaps because they make so much money out of valuation fees.
In fact lenders put the responsibility on the buyer’s lawyers by way of their lenders handbook. Lawyers tend to bury a clause recommending a survey in their terms and conditions or letter of engagement which most clients do not read.
Which? magazine found in May 2008 that one in four homebuyers who did not get a survey averagely spent out more than £2,500 to put problems right that they would have known about with a survey. For one in ten people the cost was over £10,000.”
So what do we think, well, on the one hand they are absolutely right many buyers do not get a survey and assume that if the mortgage valuation is OK then the property must be OK but we also think that making the leap to suggest that it is the lenders responsibility to suggest that a buyer gets a private survey is wrong. After all the lender’s interest is in lending money and protecting it’s own liability not the purchasers.
The RPSA position is clearly aimed at getting more work for their 200 Home Inspector members. But they also note that lenders make big money out of valuation fees – well, RPSA members you should see what they make out of survey fees – and no, they very very rarely let this business go outside of their in-house or affiliated surveying firms.
Collier Stevens happen to think that if anyone has a responsibility of the purchaser it is their solicitor or, more importantly, us – the members of the RICS, RPSA, ISVA and other interested bodies to make sure that the public know about and understand the need for a private survey, the different types of survey and the relative competencies of the professionals offering those services.
We also think that the public needs a big handhold through the ever widening range of products – Homebuyer Report, Home Condition Report, Building Survey, Valuation Report etc etc.
So here is some clear advice from us, you need a survey [not only because we charge a fee for doing them and I have children to feed] but because they do, actually tell you lots you didn’t know, save you money and quite often get he price you pay for your house down by thousands!. Here’s some advice from the RICS –