When we buy a home for most of us it will probably the biggest purchase in our lives, yet still only about 1 in 5 commission an independent report on the condition of the property they buy.
There are likely to be many reasons for this. For instance, people confusing a bank valuation with a ‘survey’, being put off by the caveats surveyors include in the survey, bad press from high profile journalists etc.
But one reason may be that home buyers get too confused by the sort of service they should buy.
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has defined three different survey levels – the Condition Report, the Homebuyer Report and the Building Survey – and the Homebuyer Survey can be offered with or without a valuation. Then, of course, different surveyors and businesses offer their own survey formats – for example the new ‘Homescore’ product, which has a 1 – 10 ranking for building elements, and of course the Sava Home Condition Survey.
The RICS says it wants to standardise the whole approach to home surveys by introducing a new Home Survey Standard with the intention that it becomes the best practice benchmark to achieve consistent and high-quality reports to meet evolving client demands in the home survey market. In preparing the new standards it wishes to consult with consumers, cross-industry stakeholders and surveying practitioners.
Elsewhere it has been reported that it wants to simplify the system of surveys by scrapping the three current options and replacing them with one instead.
So, what does this all mean and will the consumer benefit from all these changes?
Well, we wait to see what this review delivers and, more importantly, what support it garners from the various stakeholders. We must remember that while dominant in the market, providing home buyers with surveys is not the sole preserve of RICS members. CIOB and CABE members as well as surveyors with the original Home Inspector qualification, all offer survey products to house purchasers.
And of course, with the best will in the world, the home buying public and other professions involved in the homebuying and selling process will still need to be educated both about the survey process and the limitations on surveyors due to the very nature of the process.
So, interesting times. Sava looks forward to participating in the consultation process, both as the leading training provider of residential surveyors but also as the operator of an accreditation scheme.
Sava offer a vocational diploma in Residential Surveying and Valuation which specialises in the residential pathway and teaches learners everything they need to become a qualified residential surveyor in 24 months. The course is approved with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, so learners are eligible for Direct Entry as soon as they have completed the course.
You can read more about the Diploma in Residential Surveying and Valuation qualification here.