Two thirds of home buyers use survey results to haggle

New research from Which? Mortgage Advisers reveals two in three home buyers who uncovered problems with their new property in a house survey, subsequently managed to negotiate a better deal.

The Which? Mortgage Advisers survey found that four in ten (43%) were able to use their survey results to pay less, while a further quarter (24%) used the results to persuade the current owner to fix a problem before exchanging contracts. One in ten homebuyers pulled out of a purchase as a result of the findings from their survey. 

David Blake, Principal Mortgage Adviser of Which? Mortgage Advisers said:

“Getting an independent survey is vital when buying a property and could help you save a significant amount of money further down the line. Surveys will either give you peace of mind about the condition of the building or, if there are problems, provide you with a powerful bargaining chip for negotiating or asking the seller to fix any problems.

Additional advice from Which? Mortgage Advisers on surveys:

  • ALWAYS get a survey: You should get a survey done even if you are buying a brand-new home. A new build is not guaranteed to be perfect.
  • The cost of your survey will vary significantly depending on the location, size and type of property. Different surveyors will also charge varying amounts, so make sure you get a few quotes before deciding who to use.

Surveys in brief by Which? Mortgage Advisers:

  • There are three main types of property survey: condition reports, HomeBuyer’s reports and building surveys. While the HomeBuyer’s report tends to be the most popular option, there are no hard and fast rules about the type of survey you should get.
    • Condition report – Gives an overview of the property’s condition and highlights significant issues, but doesn’t go into detail. This survey is suitable if you’re buying a relatively new property with no previous issues, and just want some reassurance that everything is OK.
    • HomeBuyer’s report – More detailed than a condition report. Highlights problems such as damp and subsidence and includes advice on necessary repairs and ongoing maintenance. The most popular type of survey, and the standard choice for most properties that are in a reasonable condition.
    • Building survey – The most comprehensive survey you can get. Provides a detailed analysis of the structure and condition of the property. A good option if you’re buying a property that’s over 50 years old or in a poor condition. Also worthwhile if you’re planning to do significant work or have major concerns about a property.
    • Snagging survey – Identifies defects with a new build property, covering everything from small cosmetic issues to structural problems. Anyone buying a new-build home should have a professional snagging survey done.
  • For a full guide to house survey types, costs and some of the jargon you might see in your survey results, visit:


Notes to Editor

  • Which? surveyed 1831 UK home buyers who had bought a house in the previous two years (Which? National house moving survey)
  • Which? Mortgage Advisers is one of Which?’s commercial services. When an important market fails to deliver value for customers, we develop products and services that put customers’ needs first. Which? Mortgage Advisers provides truly independent, whole-of-market mortgage advice. You can find out more by visiting:

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