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What will the surveyor actually "do"?

(9 Posts)
AnonymousBird Thu 22-Oct-15 12:56:36

Surveyor coming here to do full structural on Monday. I've never had or seen a surveyor in action, as we've never done it on any purchase. He is going to be here for 3 hours apparently, but presumably he can only examine by eye rather than probe, or remove or lift anything (ie. carpets) so once he has measured and examined, I am not sure what else he can do? Do they use scanners or other equipment to somehow test the walls and their construction? Will he go up on the roof?

Genuinely interested, as I am not sure if I need to be on hand or not for the full 3 hours (and it's half term!). We have a complicated house in terms of its age, construction, extensions and so on, and it isn't necessarily obvious as the whole thing has been entirely redone, and I don't see how he will find out various things about the house unless he asks me.

And if he does ask me, how far does one go? Am I under some sort of onus or duty here? Or does he ignore me and simply make his own assumptions about things, and if does that, and gets it wrong, can we challenge it/provide evidence to the contrary?

Had a really bad experience with the Energy Certification guy who came to the house, I offered assistance which he flatly refused and he then got the certification all wrong as he didn't know where to look for things and made entirely wrong assumptions about the build, materials, age of the property and so on, and was forced by the estate agent to come back and do it again from scratch, so on something as important as the structural survey I am keen to avoid a repeat!!!

Thanks anyone for tips and advice.

specialsubject Thu 22-Oct-15 14:05:35

just to check - you are the seller? In which case leave him to get on with it, offering a cuppa on arrival and tell him clearly that if he has any questions, just ask.

he works for the buyer so there's not much to be done. Except (bitter experience) wait for a grossly incorrect report and then challenge it. To be fair that doesn't happen every time.

cocking up an EPC really takes talent, it is a pointless computer model so that guy must have been a real fool.

Snoopadoop Thu 22-Oct-15 14:07:13

He works for the buyer, not you. You leave him the facilities to make himself tea or coffee, or you make him one yourself if you're home and leave him to it.

Snoopadoop Thu 22-Oct-15 14:07:54

I've said him here angry blush, he could easily be a her! Apologies.

AnonymousBird Thu 22-Oct-15 19:35:56

yes, absolutely accept he is instructed by the buyer, so kind of figured he would just get on, but there is stuff here he simply won't find or be able to know without asking questions, and I would rather he asked and got pointed in the right direction than assuming things aren't here/don't work/aren't as expected and then we have a whole stage of unravelling and re-doing in a week or two.

And yes, cocking up the EPC is extraordinary, I even said to him, you will need to know a b and c, he said, very patronisingly, madam, I do these ALL the time, I think I know what I am doing. So I said ok, but I suspect it will go wrong.

It went wrong, estate agent furious and when I said that I had offered to point out a b and c, the agent immediately said I am sending him straight back round and I am going with him!!! I'd gone on holiday by then otherwise I would just have had to say something to the guy when he reappeared....

(Him/Her interchangeable, but in the case of the EPC, it was a "he"!)

AnonymousBird Thu 22-Oct-15 19:41:23

Still bamboozled though, as to what takes 3 hours?!

Snoopadoop Thu 22-Oct-15 20:05:42

If they ask you can show them. What they can't see or get to they state they can't see or get to on the survey. They go everywhere and look at everything. They look at touch things they can look and touch. So for example they won't lift the carpet of your stairs but say they are very creaky, they might look at them from underneath if they can through an under stairs cupboard. If they are walking upstairs and feel a loose floorboard they comment on the loose floorboard they don't delve further. They'll go up into the loft but if it's full of crap and they can't reach certain parts safely they'll say they couldn't reach certain parts safely. They'll look for moisture content and damp. They'll note if the windows are condensationy. They'll inspect inside and out. They comment on the weather, for example if it is very sunny they won't be able to tell if the patio is prone to surface flooding so they'll state the weather and not comment in surface water. If you have glass in doors they'll try to determine if it's safety glass. Lots of stuff really. 3 hours isnt that long when you work out how many rooms + loft + outside + roof + garage.

RaphaellaTheSpanishWaterDog Thu 22-Oct-15 22:23:37

We've previously sold a couple of period houses where the buyers had just a Homebuyer's Report that took in excess of three hours shock so it is quite likely that a full structural survey will take even longer......depending on house size/configuration, obviously!

The first of these wasn't even a massive house or anything (around 1600 sq ft) but he spent aaaages up a ladder with binoculars and camera studying the roof, taking lots of pics etc. He didn't even venture into the attic as - despite coming equipped with his own ladder - the hatch was over the staircase and he was reluctant to attempt it. Then he made loads of errors in the report which our buyers thankfully realised were just that.

He dud accept a coffee, but was quite abrupt and made it obvious he wasn't there to strike up a conversation.

Second one was a much larger and older house with nooks and crannies galore. He was very thorough - except in regard of the windows which were brand new timber sashes at the front and original ones at the back. The old ones were notoriously hard to open and the only thing we didn't replace in our refurb so I was worried he'd give them a damning report, but he didn't even try to open them grin.

I was home the whole time and offered tea/coffee which he accepted when he was half way through. He was much more friendly than the other guy, regaling me with tales of unmortgageable houses he had surveyed.....not sure if that was a good idea as it made me rather worried about the outcome!

RaphaellaTheSpanishWaterDog Thu 22-Oct-15 22:25:10

did not dud grin

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