Thinking of moving house – who do
You will meet many people when moving house but who is really on your side and not just trying to sell you something?
We believe that they are all trying to sell you something, it is just which services work for you. We are house surveyors who carry out structural surveys, building surveys and home surveys. We also look specifically at problems such as structural reports, engineers reports and specific defect reports. We are happy to talk to you about practically anything property related, please free phone 0800 298 5424.
Free phone 0800 298 5424
Who do you meet when you are moving house?
Most people start on a website. This is an interesting one, do we trust the websites we look at and what sort of things make us trust websites more? Having just been on a website course we can advise you of some recently gained knowledge but not as yet put into practice.
Do you trust the estate agents website?
They say trusting a website is based upon the overall look of the site and whether it is professional, together with other elements such as trust badges which are badges such as those given out by professional bodies for example the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and the Royal Institution of British Architects or the Independent Surveyors and Valuers Association. Also Social approval badges, by this they mean such things as award winning estate agents (if there is such a thing) or runners up national contests such as Best Mortgage deal as often advertised by banks and building societies.
Is the website current and up to date?
We were also advised that there needs to be some element to show that your website is current such as news feeds about things on property for example or press releases that your company has done, awards, etc or the website needs to be a brand; by this we mean a brand that is well known such as Rightmove and Zoopla. It can have an image as well such as Cadburys Flake, we can't think of any websites that have an image off the top of our head; if you can please phone us on 0800 298 5424 and we can add it to the article.
Estate agent or house seller
Estate agents are normally the first people you meet after you have seen the properties on the various websites and you have arranged a viewing. You are normally shown around by the less experienced estate agent often known as a negotiator who sorts out the property particulars as opposed to a lister who takes on the property. We are aware of one well known estate agent who offers 0% deals sometimes when they are moving into areas and tell us they go to war for their clients; in our experience they certainly do and ethics certainly take a back seat in our opinion.
Can you trust them?
This is debateable as they are working for the seller. We would say in some traditional estate agents there is more of an emphasis on customer service for the buyer as well as the seller but most companies are using very strong selling techniques. Generally estate agents are on commission with very low pay.
Surveying articles that may be of interest to you:
If you are thinking of moving house you may find the following surveying articles are of interest to you:
Financial advisor or mortgage seller
If you meet the financial advisor in the estate agents they are normally related to the estate agents and are more often than not owned by mortgage selling companies. We feel sometimes there can be pressure on you to use their own in-house mortgage adviser (mortgage seller). If you meet the mortgage adviser (salesperson) in the bank or the building society then that is who they are selling for.
We would add that often when you use a mortgage adviser that is within the estate agency or indeed if they insist that you get checked to ensure that you have enough money, which in one way is fair as long as the mortgage adviser keeps this confidential, then we feel often the estate agents know how much money you have to spend.
There are private financial advisers but you rarely come across them unless you seek them out. Whichever way, they are definitely not working for you in most cases unless they are independent.
They may get the best deal for you but we would argue that they are working mainly for themselves and usually on a commission basis.
Estate agents sealing the deal
Quite often when the deal is closed or near to being closed then you are referred to a more senior estate agent as being the person who needs to make the decision.
This estate agent will be very skilled in closing a deal. Again, they won't be working for you and they will be incentivised to work by the purchaser.
Other things we can put on websites to gain trust
Testimonials by well known faces and names such as Coronation Street or Eastenders stars or Radio Stars or West End stars. Better still is a testimonial by someone related to your industry for example in case of surveying it would be someone like Phil Spencer who we believe trained to be a surveyor but never finished the course. The rumour is that he actually failed it but we personally do not know.
We are advised also in some cases that academic references are good or experts in the field.
Long gone are the days of the traditional banker that knows the area and knows the people where you can have a personal service unless you are a member of a private bank.
We personally feel like we are being sold to every time we walk in the bank although there is still a friendly feel with some banks particularly in smaller rural areas.
Mortgage Companies Valuer often known as the Surveyor
The usual massive mistake that is made is that people think that the valuation has been carried out for them on their behalf as they pay for it. Having worked for a building society that later became a bank and also a smaller building society we are very well aware, as mortgage valuation surveyors for these companies, that the primary reason for the valuation is as security against what the bank or building society is lending. They may reveal this one, two, three page document to you. In the ones we have seen they make a recommendation for you to have your own building survey carried out.
The Mortgage Valuer's upsell
Just as in restaurants where they are trying to upsell you a dessert, usually the estate agents that work for the mortgage companies that also own the financial advisers and also own the solicitors are looking to upsell your valuation to include a home buyers report and type two survey, the middle survey or whatever they wish to call it for them to carry out whilst they are doing the valuation. The problem with this is that they are still working primarily for the mortgage lender. Their skill relates more to valuation rather than a building survey and indeed some valuers won't carry out home buyers reports and the vast majority won't carry out building surveys or structural surveys as they are also known.
Also the other issue with the home buyers report is that it is very limited and it is also surveying by numbers as many surveyors use a numbering system where they call out these to use a standard phrase.
Most people don't know a good solicitor from a bad solicitor as they don't tend to use them very often and therefore tend to go to the one recommended by the estate agent or should we say sold to them by the estate agent as often they are on commission.
Even more disturbing is that often the solicitors are part of the same company. Interestingly they will act for the mortgage company and yourself at the same time and will often have, we feel, different interests. We believe this relationship with the housebuyer and the mortgage supplier should be clearly stated.
Again, you are in this strange situation where the estate agent who is working for the seller of the house recommends a surveyor. We understand how you may well have built a relationship with that estate agent as you do have to when buying the property but you still need to remember that they are working for the house seller. If you are looking for a surveyor we would recommend the one you find is an independent surveyor, as we are, as they will truly work for you. We would also say have a building survey and have the very best survey you can afford as a mistake buying the wrong house can be very costly.
We would highly recommend you always have your own independent survey and meet your Surveyor at the property. Before you book him make sure you see a copy of the type of survey they do and you know they are experienced in your type of building.
Meet the building surveyor at the property
We always recommend if you have the time available and can get to the property whilst the survey is being carried out that you meet your surveyor who will be more than happy to talk to you about any concerns and possible problems that you think the property may have together with any potential alterations and improvements that you may be looking to carry out to the property.
Of course we are also always happy to speak to you about the survey report once it has been completed.
Compare our website and compare our surveys
Please feel free to have a look at our website to see for yourself the quality of our website, articles and our Building Survey reports. We pride ourselves on our professional standard and easy to read reports written in plain English which we have been carrying out for many years on every age, type and style of property across the UK.
We can email you examples of our structural surveys
If you are interested in having a Structural Survey we can email you examples of our structural surveys please call us for a friendly chat on free phone 0800 298 5424.
We would also be happy to email you some examples of our tailor made reports, Schedules of Condition, Structural Surveys and Property Reports.
We can talk and talk about property
We hope you found the article of use and if you have any experiences that you feel should be added to this article that would benefit others, or you feel that some of the information that we have included is wrong then please do not hesitate to contact us (we are only human).
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