Top Tips When Getting a House Survey

When you’ve found your dream property, it can be tempting to rush in and complete the deal. However, even if your deposit is in place and you’re almost certain to get approval on a mortgage, don’t neglect the importance of a property survey.

It’s staggering how many would-be property buyers in Ireland overlook pre-purchase surveys. In fact, according to a recent report, more than 60% of property buyers fail to invest in a property condition survey before finalising a deal. If you want to be confident that your property is fit for purpose, a survey is an essential investment.  

What’s Included in a Property Survey? 

Although you’ll find plenty of building surveyors offering survey services, you won’t get the same level of insights from every provider. If a bank is asking for a survey report to finalise mortgage approval, getting the green light from a survey doesn’t mean your new property is in premium condition.

For maximum peace of mind, you’ll need to arrange a more detailed structural and engineering report. These in-depth surveys will provide you with an exhaustive reference that targets things like building structure, integrated installations, roof condition, and much more.   

What Other Information Should a Survey Cover? 

Surveys will identify more minor issues with a property. Generally speaking, these details are largely aesthetic. However, they can give you an overall idea of the condition of a property and how much money you’ll need to invest to bring it up to spec.

A survey will cover all major structural issues, as well as any superficial flaws. You’ll be provided with suggestions for immediate repairs, as well as any maintenance requirements. A basic survey should inspect a property for issues like rising dampness and address any immediate concerns with insulation and drainage.

A comprehensive survey will also allow you to build a clear picture of the kind of materials used in the construction of your property. If a survey picks up any significant issues, you can use recommendations to arrange further inspections with specialist surveyors.

Don’t be too disheartened if a survey flags up several issues. Unless the news is catastrophic, you can use the findings to your advantage. In Ireland, the average residential property sells for around €285,000. If a survey indicates you’ll need to spend considerable amounts of money to rectify issues, you can use this to steer a negotiation on a lower sale price.  

Can a Property Fail a Survey? 

Technically, a property can’t fail a survey. However, many people avoid arranging for a survey for fear it will throw a spanner in the works for the purchase or sale of a property.

That being said, there are a couple of major findings that could cause issues. One of these is subsidence. Major instances of subsidence may spell trouble for the foundations of a property. Even if a property isn’t showing major signs of structural damage, subsidence makes this a likely issue in the future.

Electrical problems may also deter a prospective buyer. In Ireland, completely renovating electrical installation can cost upwards of €9,000. If your property is selling at the lower end of the national average, these extra costs are likely to deter property hunters.  

How to Respond to Survey Findings 

As previously mentioned, survey findings can be leveraged by buyers looking to negotiate a better price. If you’re a seller who’s arranged a survey, you’ll need to respond to findings differently.

Unless a seller is prepared to rectify issues once they’re flagged, they’ll need to be upfront with potential buyers about them. After all, it’s almost certain that buyers will carry out their inspections during the pre-purchase stage. Once they identify underlying problems, you’ll ruin your relationship and cause a sale to derail.

Even if you’re not in a position to invest in structural repairs and other fixes, being honest about any issues can work in your favour. Potential buyers may be happy to progress with a sale if you’ve declared any major problems. Furthermore, you can choose to agree to remedial works when a preliminary purchase agreement is reached.  

Do I Need to Arrange a Survey for a New Property? 

Just because you’re looking to purchase a new build, doesn’t mean you won’t have to secure the services of a surveyor. At the very least, you’ll want to carry out a snag list survey. These surveys will itemise minor issues that may need addressing over time. 

In most cases, these issues will be minor and fixes are simple. If work on a property has yet to be completed, all problems found in a snagging list survey should be resolved before the completion date.  

Always Use a Professional Surveyor 

Moving home is expensive. To make a saving, it’s easy to cut corners. However, skimping on hiring a certified surveyor is something to avoid. Surveyors fall into several categories, ranging from engineering experts to architects and builders. 

Whatever the background of your surveyor, you’ll need to ensure they’re registered with a governing body. This includes the likes of the Society of Chartered Surveyors (SCSI) and the Institute of Engineers of Ireland (IEI) 

Find an Experienced Surveyor Today 

Looking to purchase a new property? Perhaps you’re in the market for a new build development. Whatever kind of property you’re looking to buy, investing in a house survey is a must. 

At HomeCheck, we specialise in surveys and snag lists for buyers and sellers across Ireland. We’ll make sure you’re fully aware of the condition of a property before finalising contracts and completing a deal. 

From minor issues to structural concerns, our qualified building surveyors will shine a light on it all. If you’re looking to secure a better deal, survey findings will put you in a much stronger position to negotiate prices.

Looking to take the next step? Get in touch with the HomeCheck team today. Drop us a message via the Quote Form for an initial estimate. Alternatively, send us an email at or call us on 1800 938 86