The file is downloadable immediately upon payment and is supplied in printable pdf A4 format. The initial part introduces the idea of what an inspection is, how to do it and what it's aim is - you have to try to be neutral and avoid personal taste in colours etc. Usually you will quickly make an initial property visit and then if it is of interest arrange for inspection visits - these will include your own inspection and probably others based on what you find and what is common practice such as an electrical inspection.
'Survey' is a very general term used by both experts and untrained. Professional surveys such as a structural survey are very specific - these surveyors will not generally speaking turn on a tap to check if it is leaking - even the more expensive detailed RICS surveys only check a 'sample' of services. You pay the price when they miss checking the drain with a hidden leak and you have no legal comeback!
Read more about why inspection and insurance is necessary at our article on House Survey and Insurance.
Many of the so called 'Home Surveys' are 'non-intrusive' - they don't move or open or start, switch on or off anything or at most will turn on a few of the taps or switches. You can do the primary survey and if you decide that you want the property, that is the time to hire professional knowledge - skip the ads for 'home buyer' etc. and save yourself money.
If this is your first home, you should read about the benefits of the First-time buyer house inspection checklist.
Our Survey Checklist divides up the property into internal areas room by room and externally. There are reminders to check various easy to miss items and services. You check, find any faults and can then get estimates to fix them. Sum up the total repair figure and approach the vendor to ask for a discount off the selling price. It is that straightforward and as you can clearly display where your price came from, you are in a strong bargaining position.
If you find no major problems, you have the re-assurance that you have thoroughly viewed the property. At this point you decide for professional surveys such as structural or electrical checks.
At £20, the Inspection Checklist could save you thousands.
If you have a house for sale, we also have a a Vendors Inspection Check list at House Sellers Checklist .co.uk
Generally you should take at least 1-2 hours to look at the property and do not rush yourself. Any reasonable seller allows inspections as they know you are interested in the property. If you are refused enough time to view the property, walk away as you simply do not know potential problems - even new builds can have bad workmanship.
Always do the survey during daylight hours and also drive past the house at night to see if there are any problems such as parking etc.