In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “Should I send my survey to the estate agent?”.
Should I send the survey to the estate agent?
This depends. You may want to send the survey to the estate agent if it will help you gain leverage when trying to renegotiate the properties price. Aside from this, there is no other reason to send the survey to the estate agent.
The role of an Estate agent
When Buying a property it is important to remember that the estate agent does not represent you but instead they represent the seller and they are financially rewarded for this transaction usually through a percentage of the sale price.
This means that it is in the estate agents interest to increase the sale price of a property.
Unusually, this relationship has sometimes come at the peril of sellers who have instructed overzealous and greedy estate agents and thereby price themselves out of sales which would have typically been satisfactory to both the seller and the buyer.
So, with this being said you can see why sending the home buyers survey to the estate agent may not be a great idea as the estate agent may try and use whatever is the survey to convince you and the seller that the property should be sold at a much higher price..
What is a home survey?
A home survey is a survey which you can order to check the value and suitability of your potential new house.
There are various stages of a home survey and each differs in price and ofcourse in the amount and extent to which checks are carried out.
A home survey should not be confused with the conveyancing work a solicitor undertakes and the survey a mortgage lender will undertake.
If you want a home survey then you should buy this yourself and not rely on the one the mortgage lender has ordered, even if you have had to pay for it.
Why you shouldn’t send the survey to the estate agent
There are various clear and obvious reasons why you shouldn’t send the survey to the estate agent.
The survey reveals that the property is underpriced
If the home survey you have ordered reveals that the property is undervalued then you should certainly not send this to the estate agent.
If you send the home survey to the estate agent and it reveals the home is undervalued then the estate agent will seek to use this against you and increase the asking price on the property.
This will lead to further negotiations and potentially slow down the property sale. It may also lead to you being gazumped and will certainly leave you in an uncertain and vulnerable position, especially if you have already accrued costs (such as the survey cost) which are not recoverable.
You paid for the survey
As you know, estate agents will charge you for everything. They would charge you for their time, if they could, so why give them something for free? Something which they would gracefully turn around and use against you?
More importantly, you are not a charity. You paid for your and if the estate agent wants one then they should accrue the same cost and pay for their own survey.
You have no legal obligation to send the survey
You also have no legal obligation to give the survey to the estate agent and this in itself is enough reason not to.
When you should send the survey to an estate agent
There are a few times when you should send the survey to an estate agent, they include:
The survey reveals the houses overpriced
If the home survey reveals that the house is overpriced then this is a great time to use this as a bargaining chip and go back to the estate agent and try and get the price reduced.
The survey revealed asbestos issues
If the home survey reveals asbestos issues then you will naturally want to get the cost of treating or further investigating the issue deducted from the asking price of the home.
You should certainly investigate the asbestos issue further as asbestos can lead to health issues.
The survey revealed structural issues
If the home has structural issues then it is very possible that it may be unsuitable for sale and grossly overpriced given the potential cost of repairs.
You should bring these issues to the estate agent immediately and look to get a reduction in the property’s price if you want to go ahead with the purchase.
You should also be aware that a structural issue may also affect your chances of getting a mortgage.
The survey revealed damp issues
Just as with the structural issues above, if the home survey has revealed damp issues then you will naturally want to get this investigated further and this may lead to you deciding against buying the house.
In this case, you should certainly send the home survey to the estate agent so they are aware of the issue and can make necessary remedies to satisfy you.
The survey revealed Japanese Knotweed issues
If the survey revealed Japanese Knotweed issues then you should send the survey to the estate agent and seek to get a reduction in the price that the estate agent wants for the property.
You should also consult with your mortgage broker and lender because some mortgage lenders will not lend on a property with japanese knotweed issues and you may need to get a specialist mortgage lender who is happy to lend on a property with Japanese Knotweed issues.
Using a Government scheme for your mortgage
Government schemes help you reduce the amount of mortgage deposit you may need to put down, reduce the price of the property or create a structure that increases your mortgage affordability much sooner than it would have been.
Some of these include first-time buyer government schemes whilst others in this list are accessible to you even if you are not a first time buyer.
Government schemes are not available to you if you are getting a buy to let mortgage.
The Government schemes include:
- Lifetime ISA– gives you a government bonus of £1,000 if you save the maximum £4,000 a year.
- Help to buy ISA– gives a maximum bonus us £3,000 if you save the maximum allowed of £12,000. Before you get either you should consider which is better. Lifetime ISA vs Help to buy ISA.
- Help to buy equity loan– gives you up to 40% as a 5-year interest-free equity loan. You begin to pay interest at 1.75 % after the fifth year and 1% plus RPI for every year thereafter.
- Shared ownership– You can buy between 25% to 75% of the property initially with a shared ownership mortgage and then buy more using a staircasing mortgage.
- Armed forces help to buy– similar to the help to buy equity loan but specific for the armed forces personnel giving them an increased chance of acceptance.
- Rent to buy– This is the right to buy scheme on which this guide is currently discussing. A different marketing name is just used. Watch out for this when shopping to avoid missing out on eligible properties due to confusion.
- Right to buy– allows you to buy your home at a discount price.
- Preserved right to buy– same as above.
- Right to acquire– similar to the above.
Depending on where you live, you may also be able to take advantage of home buying schemes provided by your local council. Example: In Norwich, the local councils provide the Norwich home options scheme.
Use a mortgage broker for your new home
You may want to use an independent mortgage broker to help you get a mortgage on your new home.
Mortgage brokers are important as they can access mortgage products from across the whole of the market in some cases.
This could be over 11,000 mortgage products. This may have some advantages rather than going directly to a mortgage lender.
A mortgage broker will look to understand your financial circumstances and then provide recommendations on which mortgage products may be suitable for you based on your mortgage affordability.
After giving you these mortgage recommendations, most mortgage brokers will seek your consent to apply for a mortgage in principle.
This will allow you to shop for your home as more estate agents and sellers may take you seriously and it will also give you confidence that your mortgage is indeed a possibility before you make a full mortgage application.
Once you have found a home you want to buy and are satisfied with the mortgage offer for your mortgage then the mortgage broker will then look to get you a mortgage offer.
This will come with a key facts illustration document which details out the features of your mortgage including how much you will pay per month.
It will also contain information on if there are any limits such as early repayment fees, or annual overpayment limits.
If you are happy with everything you can then go on to secure your mortgage with the help of a conveyancer.
Your conveyancer will manage the legal searches on the property to ensure there aren’t any issues with it.
They will oversee the sales agreement to ensure it is in your best interest, they will manage the transfer of mortgage funds, exchange contracts with the seller or their conveyancer and set a completion date with the seller or their conveyancer.
FAQs: Should I send the survey to the estate agent?
Below are some of the most frequently asked questions about sending the survey to the estate agent.
Should you share a homebuyer’s report with the estate agent?
Yes, you may share some extracts of the homebuyers report with the estate agent if you want to renegotiate the price of the house and need to show where renovations will be needed based on the report from the home buyers report.
Is it worth paying for a homebuyers survey?
Yes, it may be worth paying for a homebuyers survey as a homebuyers survey allows you to get a good picture of the suitability and value of the house you are looking to purchase.
A homebuyers survey also gives you an idea of how much renovation work you may need to do to improve the suitability of the home.
Most importantly, with a home buyers survey you can negotiate the price of the house if you find that the property is overvalued or will need renovations.
Can you negotiate the house price after the survey?
Yes, you can negotiate the price of a house after the survey as the survey may have provided you with more information which you weren’t aware of before.
You Can negotiate the price of a house up until the exchange of contracts.
How do surveyors check for damp?
Surveyors check for damp by using an electrical conductance moisture meter. An electrical conductance moisture meter will measure the percentage of water wherever the probes are inserted.
In this brief guide, we answered the question “Should I send my survey to the estate agent?”.
If you have any further comments or questions, please let us know.
If you need financial advice and you live in the UK then you could contact the Money Advice service over the phone or via chat for impartial advice.
You can also contact the debt charity “Step Change” if you are in debt and need help.