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What Happens After a Survey on a House?

Martha Lott

Written by

22nd Nov 2022 (Last updated on 2nd Apr 2024) 6 minute read

A property survey is an important milestone during the buying a house process. What happens after a survey on a house will depend on the results. If you’re happy with the survey report, then the process moves forward. If you receive bad survey results, then you’ll have extra steps added to the process.

In this article, we’ll look at the next stages once you’ve had your house survey results, including what to do if you receive bad survey results.

  1. What Happens on the Day of the Survey?
  2. What are Common Issues Found?
  3. What Are The Next Steps After a Survey?
  4. What Happens If My Survey Results are Bad?
  5. How Long Does it Take to get Survey Results?
  6. How Long is Completion After Survey?
  7. Can I Reduce My Offer on a House After Survey?
  8. How to Find a Surveyor

What Happens on the Day of the Survey?

On the day of the survey, your property surveyor will liaise with either the estate agent or seller to pick up the keys. During the survey, they’ll carry out a thorough inspection of the property, both interior and exterior. They’ll look for any issues with the property and give them a traffic light condition rating, depending on the severity.

What are Common Issues Found?

Properties of a certain age will suffer from the same common issues. It’s important to be aware of these so you have an idea of what to expect from your survey. The most common problems found in a property survey are:

  • Damp - Damp is commonly found in many properties and isn’t always a serious issue. If your surveyor views the damp as a problem, then they will recommend a Damp Survey to be carried out.
  • Subsidence - Common in older properties, subsidence occurs when the ground beneath the property sinks.
  • Ceiling cracks - This could be a sign of structural damage but more often than not, ceiling cracks could be paint cracks. Your surveyor will identify these issues.
  • Roof issues - Your surveyor will identify the extent of any roof issues. This could be broken tiles or something more serious.
  • Japanese Knotweed - If left untreated, Japanese Knotweed can cause damage to the property, devaluing it.

If you're buying a new build home, then it shouldn’t have any structural problems as it will be a brand new home. That’s why you’ll only need a Snagging List survey which acts as a checklist to ensure everything is complete.

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What Are The Next Steps After a Survey?

If all goes well with your survey and you’re happy to move forward with the sale, then the conveyancing process will continue. Below we’ve listed what happens after a survey on a house.

  1. Conveyancing Process and Searches - The conveyancing process will be ongoing as you wait for your survey results. Your conveyancing solicitor would have requested conveyancing searches by now so you will need to wait for these results before exchanging contracts.
  2. Mortgage Checks - If you’re happy with the survey results, your solicitor can read over your mortgage agreement to ensure everything is in its place. This is around the time your solicitor will plan a date for exchanging contracts.
  3. Pay Deposit - You’ll have to pay your deposit before exchanging contracts. You do this by transferring the money to your solicitor. You’ll also usually have to get Buildings Insurance at this point.
  4. Exchange Contracts - Your solicitor will exchange contracts on your behalf and then the sale becomes legally binding.
  5. Completion - Completion day will happen between 7 and 28 days after you exchange contracts.

What Happens If My Survey Results are Bad?

If your survey results are bad, you’ll have to take certain steps to resolve this. What you do with poor survey results will depend on the severity of the issues and the willingness of the seller. The seller will not get a copy of the survey so it is up to you to share the results with them.

  1. Work Out Costs of Repairs - First you must understand the results and work out how much it would cost you to carry out repair work. A Level 3 Full Building Survey will often include estimated costs for repairs. You can ask your surveyor to include this information but you may have to pay extra.
  2. Ask the Seller to Fix Issues - You can ask the seller to repair and pay for the issues before exchanging contracts. If the issues are to do with the structure then this may not be possible to complete in such a short time.
  3. Negotiate Offer - If the seller doesn’t agree to fix the issues, you can try and renegotiate your original offer. This should take enough off the asking price to cover the cost of the repair work. Gathering evidence and quotes will help your argument here. It’s important to remember that you’d have to use that money saved to fix the issues if your surveyor has recommended this.
  4. Pull Out of the Sale - If none of the above work, you still have the option to pull out of the sale as it’s not yet legally binding. If the house is in poor condition, it might be wise to pull out as it could end up costing you thousands in repair work.

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How Long Does it Take to get Survey Results?

You should receive your property survey results within 3-7 working days after the survey was carried out. It’ll likely take longer if you had a Level 3 Building Survey as it’s the most in-depth survey available.

Your surveyor might recommend further surveys if required so you’d have to await these results before you can exchange contracts. This could be a damp survey to take a closer look at damp or if serious issues highlighted you may need a structural survey.

To learn more, read how long does a survey take on a house.

How Long is Completion After Survey?

Completion roughly happens 6 weeks after your property survey. This can vary depending on the results of your survey.

A property survey is usually carried out at the beginning of the conveyancing process and completion is the last step.

If you’re happy with your survey results and conveyancing searches, then you can exchange contracts and complete. If your search results require further enquiries, then you’ll likely be waiting longer for completion.

Read more on How Long Do Conveyancing Searches Take?

Can I Reduce My Offer on a House After Survey?

If you receive negative results, you can renegotiate your original offer with the seller. It’s not guaranteed that the seller will accept your offer. If you provide the evidence and quotes to cover the repair work, you’ll have a better chance of success.

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How to Find a Surveyor

Finding a good surveyor will help make the process run smoothly. We’ve listed the best ways to find a surveyor below:

  • Comparison Websites - Using a comparison website like Compare My Move will help you compare and connect with local RICS surveyors.
  • Recommendations - Ask people you trust if they recommend the surveyor they used.
  • Regulated by RICS - You should only ever use a surveyor that’s RICS regulated. All of the surveyors we partner with must be regulated by RICS so you’ll have peace of mind.

Need a Removal Company?

You may also need to consider removals when arranging your survey. Our integrated surveying and removal form allows you to compare up to 6 surveyors and up to 6 removal companies in your local area. This means you can choose the right companies for you and save up to 70% on your total costs.

Martha Lott

Written by Martha Lott

Having guest authored for many property websites, Martha now researches and writes articles for everything moving house related, from remortgages to conveyancing costs.

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