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76% of advisers urge home buyers to take out a private survey

Over three quarters (76%) of advisers recommend taking out private surveys when purchasing or remortgaging a property, according to TMA Mortgage Club’s premium advisers.

The majority of advisers recommend that before buying, borrowers should take out a private survey as they offer a thorough analysis of the property and conduct valuation reports that are more comprehensible than the lender. This means borrowers and lenders value a property differently, causing a disconnect. Advisers believe that a private survey provides borrowers with more protection, saving them money in the long term as it is the only way to identify any defects in the property.

Ongoing research by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) backs up this claim and has identified that, on average, homeowners spend £5,570 on repairs after moving in due to not investing in a full private survey.

Brokers need to ensure that they are able to fully advise their clients on this part of the process, given that the practice of taking out a RICS survey report is becoming more standard. Whilst lenders will recommend a surveyor to complete a valuation, this isn’t extensive enough to offer soon-to-be buyers security in the property they are pursuing.

David Copland, director of TMA Mortgage Club, said: “It’s great to see so many brokers already advising their clients to take out a survey, but we would like to see it across the board. A home is one of the most expensive purchases a person makes and whilst our advisers are on hand to make sure that their clients get the best deal, we should be ensuring that they are not about to commit to a home that could cost them thousands of pounds.”

Some 43% of brokers polled by TMA don’t believe that a survey (Home Report) should become a required part of the valuation process in the rest of the UK, despite it being mandatory in Scotland. More research shows that advisers are unsure on where to refer their clients. Currently, nearly a quarter (24%) of advisers polled refer clients to the lender’s firm of choice for a private survey, while over a quarter (28%) use a local surveyor and only 5% refer to a nationwide firm.

Copland added: “Going forward we will ensure that TMA members are aware of all the surveys available and will help them to develop a strong relationship with a firm that they can refer their clients to, so they don’t have to solely rely on the lender’s provider.”

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