FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
I’m not sure what to look for when appointing a surveyor – is there some sort of quality mark or rating I can look for to be sure the survey is done properly? How do I tell if a surveyor is any good – ie how do I find the right surveyor!?
Asked by: Philippa
This is a fundamental question Philippa, because not all surveyors are the same. So how can you tell if a surveyor is any good?
Chartered surveyors have to be qualified members of RICS – the Royal Institution of Charted Surveyors. This is the governing body of the profession and enforces strict ethical, quality and training standards. You can see their logo emblazoned across our front page!
Chartered Surveyors have studied to degree level to achieve the qualification MRICS or FRICS after their name (Member or Fellow). In contrast anyone can call themselves a plain old ‘surveyor’ – double glazing salesmen are sometimes not averse to adopting this title!
It’s an important question you ask also because not all surveyors deal with residential property. Surveying covers a wide range of property related subjects – from shops and offices to business rates, development, calculating quantities and property management. But even residential surveyors vary in ability and expertise – some are more suited to valuing than assessing buildings for defects. Some will know very little about, for example, historic buildings.
This is why Rightsurvey provides you with quotes from independent local RICS chartered surveyors who have many years’ experience assessing residential properties of all types and ages. We also have a special category you can search under for Listed / historic buildings.
One thing to beware of is that mortgage lenders commonly offer to arrange a Homebuyer or Building Survey at the same time as their mortgage valuation. But the banks take a chunk of the survey fee you pay and normally appoint valuation surveyors from big corporate firms who are generally less experienced and under pressure to pack more surveys into the day. Some panel firm surveyors even dictate reports using ready-made standard phrases known as ‘surveytext’.
To ensure a high quality service Rightsurvey members are experienced local RICS chartered surveyors. They will know what defects to look for depending on the age and type and location of a house or flat.
They also know when NOT to flag up issues which are not significant – things like old, non-active beetle bore holes – so as not to worry buyers unnecessarily. They will also be happy to discuss the report with you afterwards, should you wish.