Can I ask to buy the previous buyers survey?

(25 Posts)
Blahblue Sat 08-Aug-20 11:43:57

We are in the process of buying a house and are about to get the survey done.

The house previously has another buyer but their sale fell through and they had a change of circumstances so they decided topull out. They had already done the survey though, so I was wondering is there any reason I can’t ask them to sell me the survey they had done? I would probably offer them half the price they paid.

My thinking is that they have no use for it and half the money better than no money? I know that they used the estate agents recommended surveyor as would I so would trust the report.


OP’s posts: |
BettaSplenden Sat 08-Aug-20 11:44:50

I don't think you can. Ours said on it it was for our use only and not to be shared or resold

Snaleandthewhail Sat 08-Aug-20 11:47:00

We were in the pulled out position and our solicitor said we may be able to sell the survey (we paid for the more thorough one) on to the new buyers. But they never asked (which is a shame as then they’d have realised that they paid over the odds for a house which looked ok but where the buildings survey found lots and lots of problems...)

Whycantibetangy Sat 08-Aug-20 11:48:17

Flippin heck @BettaSplenden thats a right ol racket, they could change the front cover sheet and charge full whack for a photocopy!

Surely that cant be right?

Blahblue Sat 08-Aug-20 12:45:39

Thanks for the replies, just seems a bit mad to pay full price for a survey when we know that one has just been done!

Also it’s a bit of a win win in my eyes (unless you are the surveyor grin) we get a cheaper survey and the previous buyers recoup some of their losses.

OP’s posts: |
Jackparlabane Sat 08-Aug-20 12:53:38

The content usually belongs to the surveyor but if they tell you which surveyor they used they'd probably sell it to you for a token fee.
If you don't keep the surveyor in the loop you have no comeback if something serious was missed.

ChewChewsBiscuitTin Sat 08-Aug-20 13:44:25

You could, assuming it didn't specifically state otherwise in the report which I would imagine it would (I'm a tax adviser and any advice I give is always under t&cs that state it can't be passed on or relied upon by anyone not party to the contract). Even if it didn't state otherwise you would be very unlikely to have any come back with the surveyor if there was an issue relating to the survery later on.


bilbodog Sat 08-Aug-20 16:11:09

Ask - sometimes you can.

CasuallyMasculine Sat 08-Aug-20 16:15:15

We’ve just received our survey yesterday.

It specifically says it’s only for the person who paid for it - us.

If someone came along and offered to pay half what we had to pay I’d tell them where to go.

OP, surely you factored in the cost of a survey when you decided to buy a house?

BackwardsGoing Sat 08-Aug-20 17:04:06

In theory you could. But if the survey was in any way incorrect you would have no redress with the surveyors.

Their contract is with the person who commissioned it, not you.

ZigZagPlant Sat 08-Aug-20 17:05:54

You can, it’s entirely down to the discretion of the prev purchaser who instructed the survey.

Just as you can buy previous buyers searches (provided they are in date).

ZigZagPlant Sat 08-Aug-20 17:07:02

If someone came along and offered to pay half what we had to pay I’d tell them where to go.

So you could recoup some of your losses, but instead you’d rather cut your nose off despite your face.


cabbageking Sat 08-Aug-20 17:10:52

Ask the estate agent if it showed up any problems. It is usual to share it with both sides and if the EA is aware of a problem he should share it with you.

fairislecable Sat 08-Aug-20 17:11:59

I know a situation where buyer A had a very full and expensive survey done but due to a personal situation had to pull out of the purchase.

Buyer B paid half price to buyer A, with the knowledge that any later problems could not be referred back to the surveyor.

It was very useful to buyer B as it gave him the heads up on possible problems.

Win win all round.

BlackberrySky Sat 08-Aug-20 17:15:15

There is no harm in asking. Personally, if I were the original purchaser I would have just moved on and wouldn't want to get involved with anything else for fear of extra hassle, but not everyone may feel this way.

CasuallyMasculine Sat 08-Aug-20 17:21:25

No that’s not the reason. It’s just not for sale.

And it’s “to spite your face” not “despite”, though I quite like the latter grin

littlelionroars Sat 08-Aug-20 17:26:31

We bought a house that had a sale fall through due to the chain falling apart.

The house had previously been surveyed and by complete coincidence I contacted the surveyors who has already done a report on the property only a few months before.

The surveyor gave me a few options, one of which always us paying full price for a new survey. But the suggested we just buy the previous report they already had prepared. They removed all the previous buyers info and updated to ours and we paid like a third of the usual cost.

If you are going to buy the report, get it directly from the surveyor. Don't try to buy it for the previous buyers.

fairydustandpixies Sat 08-Aug-20 17:41:40

No, you're not allowed. I tried that - the surveyor only prepares it for the person instructing them and it can't be sold on. I believe because of any claims that may arise if something popped up that hadn't previously been missed, it would invalidate the surveyors insurance.

ZigZagPlant Sat 08-Aug-20 18:01:22

And it’s “to spite your face” not “despite”, though I quite like the latter grin

Fortunately you were still able to interpret my post. Thanks for the heads up. hmm

ZigZagPlant Sat 08-Aug-20 18:04:02

I believe because of any claims that may arise if something popped up that hadn't previously been missed, it would invalidate the surveyors insurance.

You are allowed, but as you’ve said the second purchaser has no ability to claim the surveyor for any errors.

ZigZagPlant Sat 08-Aug-20 18:04:30

I’ve worded that so badly - the second buyer does not have any recourse against the surveyor in the event of an error.

cabbageking Sat 08-Aug-20 18:36:33

The estate agent should reveal any info they know about any issues about the house. If they have seen the report they will share what they know.

anotherBadAvatar Sat 08-Aug-20 18:46:04

We did.

Previous buyers pulled out (for good reason, nothing to do with the house).

We “bought” the survey and the solicitors searches. All done through the same solicitor, so I presume above board.

WombatChocolate Sun 09-Aug-20 16:19:59

You could do what is mentioned above and buy the survey from the surveyor not the previous buyer.

To do this, you'd have to find out who they had survey done with. EA might tell you that or make contact with the previous buyer and ask if they would be willing to share that info.

As in the example above, the surveyor might sell the previous report for a fraction of price of a new survey. This will mean the findings are valid and you have comeback on them if they failed to discover something as it will then officially be your report too. If it's someone else's you probably won't have any comeback on them. This might not bother you if it's a very modern house or really for little more than valuation. However, if you want a survey because you have some concerns about the property, it's important that the findings hold the surveyor to them...and that only occurs if you buy it off the surveyor.

Buying the searches from the previous buyer is a good idea.

Bear in mi d that most surveys are worded very carefully so the surveyor won't face any challenge on their findings and be sued in reality, if a previous buyer is willing to sell you their survey, even if they're not meant to, it probably won't impact the future on a modern house. I wouldn't do it on a period property though.

RandyLionandDirtyDog Sun 09-Aug-20 16:25:51

I think you’re being a bit short sighted OP.

If the survey has missed something crucial such as wet rot, you’ll be stuffed as you won’t be able to sue the original surveyor (no contractual responsibility towards you as a third party) and you won’t be able to sue the people who sold you the document either.

Contact the surveyor directly and ask them if they’re willing to do you a deal.

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