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Would you trust a vendor's survey?

(7 Posts)
blanchedevereaux Tue 21-Jun-11 11:42:04

We have had offer accepted on a 250 year old farmhouse.

It was under offer 2-3 weeks ago and a full survey threw up possible movement due to broken/inadequate drains. The buyer then tried to renegotiate the price and then pulled out.

Since then, the vendor has had his own survey done with a well respected local structural engineer which shows the movement is historical. We put offer in at weekend (not knowing any of this history) and it was accepted. Previous buyer now also wants to re-offer but vendor prefers us (DH and him hit is off really well, we are in better position to move) so we should still get it.

We were going to fork out for full survey as well but estate agent thinks it is a waste of time. Vendor is happy to share his survey with us. WWYD, should we get a (third) opinion or would you trust the vendor's survey? Is it worth running it past another surveyor just for their opinion? I haven't seen the report yet so may not cover everything I require anyway as there is a substantial outbuilding too.

House is £500k so not an insubstantial (well, to me) amount. Obviously mortgage company may have their own requirements.

Thanks for an experiences.

narmada Tue 21-Jun-11 11:53:23

Definitely get your own survey. I would not be comfortable at all using a survey commissioned by the vendor. Who knows - the surveyor could be less than straight and known to the vendor? Not likely but possible.

If there is any suggestion of movement, then as many professional opinions as you can afford is a good idea I would think.

EldonAve Tue 21-Jun-11 12:05:15

No I would want my own survey

How do you know the other engineer is "well respected"?

Estate agent is working for the seller not you and just wants his commission

Pendeen Tue 21-Jun-11 12:05:18

The structural engineer - if she / he is a member of a profesional body (look for letters like: MIStructE, MICE, CEng etc) - will almost certainly to have inserted clauses in the report restricting liability to her / his client (vendor) only. This means the report is for your information only and you will probably have no recourse to the engineer if there are problems.

If you present this to a chartered surveyor or another chartered engineer (or even an Architect !!) they will probably advise that you obtain your own survey as their PII (Professional Indemnity Insurance) would not allow then to comment.

Having said that it would be silly to simply ignore a professional engineer's opinion but, for £500k - which is a lot of money (especially round these parts) I would have my own survey. Your mortgage company will have their own valuation done - for which you will have to pay - but this is nothing like as comprehensive as a full building survey.

Good luck!

blanchedevereaux Tue 21-Jun-11 12:15:13

Thanks everyone. Your opinions pretty much mirror my gut feeling. We were prepared to pay for full survey anyway so will just take what we are given as extra info.

microserf Tue 21-Jun-11 15:24:44

get your own survey, so you can have a cause of action to sue against the surveyor if there are mistakes.

Pendeen Tue 21-Jun-11 15:36:59

Microserf, just curious - is that the main reason you would commission a building survey?

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