Whether you are planning to buy or sell a property or invest in real estate, having a qualified and reliable RICS surveyor by your side is crucial in all cases. A RICS surveyor is a chartered professional who can provide expert advice on the condition and value of a property, helping you make informed decisions and avoid costly mistakes.
However, there are so many options, so finding the right RICS surveyor for your needs is challenging. In this guide, I will walk you through the essential steps to help you find a RICS surveyor. From understanding the importance of RICS accreditation to knowing what to look for in a surveyor, I've got you covered. Read on to learn!
First Thing First: What is RICS?
RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) is a globally recognised professional body for monitoring and regulating chartered surveyors who are experts in the fields of land, property, construction, and infrastructure. The organisation sets standards for professional conduct, provides education and training, and promotes best practices in surveying.
It's crucial not to overlook the significance of engaging a RICS surveyor when purchasing a house. RICS, as the regulatory and governing body for its members, ensures that they adhere to professional conduct standards. This means that if you have any concerns about your surveyor's behaviour, RICS can take appropriate action upon receiving a complaint.
How to Choose a Surveyor?
Identifying a starting point for selecting a chartered surveyor can be daunting. To assist you in your search, here are some key factors to consider when finding a surveyor.
Must Be Regulated by RICS or RPSA
When it comes to Level 2, Level 3, and Valuation Reports, it's essential to engage a chartered surveyor who is regulated by RICS. This is the first and foremost important step before assessing the other attributes of the surveyor.
In addition, for Snagging Surveys or Party Wall Surveys, ensure that your surveyor is accredited by RICS or RPSA. You can use the search tool on the RICS website to verify the accreditation of your chosen surveyor.
Experience Also Plays a Key Role
When choosing a surveyor, it's crucial to review their experience, which is typically detailed on their website. While a newly qualified surveyor may still be capable, you may need a surveyor with extensive or diverse experience for your specific survey.
Suppose you have viewed all the portfolio documents but still have some doubts. In such a case, consider requesting additional information about their surveying experience and services to gain further peace of mind before making your decision.
Consider Seeking Recommendations
Consider seeking recommendations from family and friends who have previously hired a surveyor for their property. You can rely on their suggestions to connect you with a reputable surveyor, knowing they have had a positive experience with them. It can provide reassurance to know that the surveyor has done a good job for someone you trust.
Price May Also Be an Important Consideration
Exercise caution when encountering surveyors who offer their services at either excessively high or suspiciously low rates. There may be hidden fees or the risk of overcharging. It's common for many people to aim for a middle ground by comparing surveying costs to obtain an average quote, ensuring transparency and fairness in pricing.
Positive Reviews Showcase Credibility
Before making a decision, it's crucial to review the feedback and reviews of the surveyor from their previous clients. Seek out companies with predominantly positive 5-star reviews, as this reflects a high level of satisfaction from previous clients.
Conversely, it's wise to avoid companies with consistently negative reviews, as this may indicate subpar service quality. In short, checking reviews can provide valuable insights into the reputation and reliability of the surveyor.
Look for In-Depth Local Area Knowledge
It's advisable to engage a local surveyor with in-depth knowledge of the local area. Opting for a local surveyor can ensure that you benefit from their local expertise and insights, which can be invaluable in accurately assessing the condition of a property.
While larger surveying companies may have surveyors spread across the UK and provide a satisfactory service, they may lack familiarity with the history and intricacies of properties in your area. And this experience is necessary for a better valuation.
Where to Find a Surveyor?
Securing the services of the right surveyor when purchasing a house can offer peace of mind that you will invest in a good property at the right price. But this is only possible when you find a professional surveyor for this. The following are some reliable ways to find a trustworthy and accredited surveyor.
If you use a comparison website, this can be a reliable approach to finding a surveyor. You get multiple options of chartered surveyors to choose from against different criteria. For instance, with Compare My Move, you can engage with up to 6 surveyors, enabling you to compare quotes and secure the best possible price for your survey.
Local Surveying Companies
Selecting a surveyor who is local to your area makes logical sense. They are more familiar with the local region and can be particularly valuable if you're purchasing a listed building or a unique property requiring specialised knowledge. A local surveyor can provide added expertise and insights tailored to the specific nuances of the property market in your area.
It is highly beneficial to engage an independent expert who is completely independent of the transaction. Big corporations frequently rely on successful sales to market their associated services, such as mortgage assessments, insurance, and property transfer, and they may also have collaborative work-sharing agreements with other major firms that provide these services.
On the other hand, an independent surveyor is not influenced by such potential conflicts of interest and can provide unbiased and impartial advice, ensuring that their recommendations are solely based on the property's condition and your best interests.
Suppose the property you are considering purchasing has unique complexities or requires specialised expertise. In such a case, it's essential to tamp down your search for a surveyor accordingly. For instance, if the property has a known damp problem, consider finding a surveyor who can also conduct a damp survey.
While not always feasible, it's worth discussing your specific concerns with the surveyor to see if they can provide particular attention to those areas during the survey. This proactive approach ensures that any specific issues or concerns you may have about the property are thoroughly addressed, providing you with comprehensive and tailored insights into the property's condition.
Your lender or mortgage adviser often maintains a list of affiliated surveyors with whom they regularly work. They may recommend a surveyor from this list, or you can choose to find your own. It's worth noting that these affiliated surveyors are typically large UK companies with surveyors based in multiple locations.
While they may offer convenience and familiarity with the mortgage process, it's still important to thoroughly evaluate their qualifications, experience, and reputation to ensure you choose a reliable and competent surveyor for your specific property purchase.
When Do I Need a Surveyor?
A property surveyor may be needed in various situations to conduct a comprehensive inspection of a property and provide expert assessments, advice, and reports. Here are some common scenarios when you may need to hire a surveyor for a property survey:
When purchasing a home
When buying a property, especially an older or unique one, a survey is often recommended to assess its condition, identify any potential issues, and provide a detailed report. Doing this can help you make an informed decision about the property's value, necessary repairs or maintenance, and any risks or liabilities associated with the purchase.
Home renovation or remodelling
Suppose you're planning to renovate or remodel a property. In that case, a property survey can assess the property's structural integrity, provide advice on the feasibility of the project, and ensure compliance with building regulations and codes. They can also offer guidance on property boundary issues, access rights, and other legal or technical aspects related to the renovation or remodelling work.
Property disputes or legal matters
In case of property disputes, such as boundary disputes, right of way issues, or easement disputes, a property survey can provide expert opinions, measurements, and evidence to support your case in court. They can also assist with land surveys, valuations, and other technical assessments required for property-related legal matters.
Property management or maintenance
If you own or manage a property, a survey can be useful for conducting regular inspections to assess its condition, identify maintenance needs, and provide recommendations for repairs or improvements. Doing this can help ensure the property is well-maintained, compliant with regulations, and safe for occupants or users.
Insurance or financial purposes
Property surveys can also be required for insurance purposes, mortgage financing, taxation, or other financial requirements. A property survey can help determine the value of your property, assess risks or liabilities, and comply with legal or financial regulations.