What comes first, our sale or survey?« Back to Questions List

I'm in the process of buying a new house and wondered when I should instruct my surveyor to undertake the inspection of the property we're buying? Our buyer hasn't, as yet, had their survey done and I didn't want to spend my money unless/until I know the sale will proceed, what should I do?
Posted by Jake the Rake
Asked on June 3, 2014 7:07 pm

This is always a tricky one, like what comes first the chicken or the egg?

In a nutshell there are various factors to consider, including what is happening in the property market, i.e. do you need to move quickly as prices are rising or wait as they are falling (can impact you both ways, i.e. the sale price of your home reduces as well).

If you are able to hold off (and don’t be put under pressure from the Estate Agent, their job is to sell the property as quickly as they can to get their fees) and if you can make sure that your buyer has surveyed your property and that they are still willing to proceed. It’s worthwhile, in advance, getting some quotes from surveyors and having someone lined up to go when you are ready, but hold off if you can from instructing them to make sure that your buyer is going to proceed, otherwise you could spend money on a survey only to find that your buyer pulls out and you can’t move, wasting the money you’ve spent.

It’s also a good idea, again if you can, if you’re buying a leasehold property and in particular one where you want to do something (alterations say) or where they may well be restrictions which would make you pull out (such as a restriction on sub-letting say) to get the legal done first (or at least as much of them as you can without spending too much). You could ask your lawyer to do a quick review and highlight potentially onerous clauses before you go too far down the line.

To summarize then, you should not spend your money on surveys or anything else unless/until you are as confident as you can be that the sale of your own property is going to proceed and that the legal aspects (in particular if leasehold) have been quickly examined for potentially deal breaking clauses. Get your surveyor lined up and primed for action and be ready to go quickly once the time is right. Best of luck.

Posted by John1
Answered On June 3, 2014 7:14 pm