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How Snagging Lists Can Help New Property Owners

Owain Banfield
Written by Owain Banfield
6th April 2018 (Last updated on Tuesday 16th April 2019)

In this guide, Compare My Move explain all you need to know about the Snagging List, a basic property survey for new build houses.

If you decide to go for a new build you will expect to benefit from a perfect new home that has not had any wear or tear from previous owners. This is a great pull of a new home, although a perfect and seamless property is not always exactly what you will find. This is due to the fast-build nature of new homes meaning there is a great opportunity for small (or occasionally large) details to go incomplete.

In this guide Compare My Move take you through what you should do to ensure everything is as expected when moving into a new home.

This article will cover the following points

What is a Snagging List? Who Should use a Snagging List? Do I Need A Snagging List? What Happens When a Snagging List is Undertaken? What Does the Report Look Like? Can I Do It Myself? How Much Will a Snagging List Cost What Should I do Once I Get my Snagging List Back? Save on Your Survey

What is a Snagging List?

A Snagging List is a list of all the issues or 'snags' with a new build property, usually defects such as damage to paintwork or small unfinished jobs throughout the property. In some cases, there may be more major issues such large cracks in work surfaces or poorly fitted appliances.

When moving into a new property there should not be any issues with damage occurring over time. You are more likely to find smaller issues that have been overseen by the property development company. In this case you can compile a document called a snagging list, which can be used to negotiate with the developer to get them to complete the work before you finalise the sale.

In contrast, when you move into a pre-owned home it is usually a good idea to get a property survey such as a home buyers report or Full Structural Survey. These reports will look at any damage or potential issues that have occurred over time and may need remedying before you finalise the sale.

Who Should use a Snagging List?

Due to the nature of a snagging list being to negotiate further work with the housing developer, it is not particularly useful for anyone that is not buying a new property from the company that has built them. In cases where you are buying a nearly new property from the first owner a deeper survey like a Homebuyers report is going to be more suitable to highlight any potential damage they have created or has happened naturally since they purchased it.

Do I Need A Snagging List?

If you are buying a new build house, getting a snagging list completed is advised.

Of course, you do not need to provide a snagging report when buying a new property, although once the sale has gone through it is unlikely or it will be very difficult for you to negotiate any further work with the property developers. Doing this before the sale is confirmed puts you into a position of power when negotiating.

Your property will have been checked and signed off in line with building regulations. It will have also had a thorough structural warranty applied from an approved insurance policy provider. Getting this done and remedying any issues is the responsibility of the housing company that has built the property.

However, it is unlikely that these surveys will have caught everything, especially when it comes to cases where a large development has been undertaken and multiple new builds need checking. Getting a snagging list completed is for your peace of mind as a buyer that everything has been completed to a high standard and you are getting what you are paying for.

You may also have to arrange for a Valuation survey as part of your mortgage arrangements.

What Happens When a Snagging List is Undertaken?

Once you have found someone to undertake your snagging list, the professional will then be able to contact the housing developer and book in a suitable time and date for the survey to take the place. Alternatively, you can work with a surveyor recommended by the housing developer themselves, although an independent point of view is always worthwhile.

When they turn up at the property they will work their way systematically through the property, looking at all areas that produce common concerns and snags with new properties. As they move through they will note anything they find which they will then be compiled into a report later.

Due to the relatively simple nature of a snagging list the professional you have used should be able to get the list to yourself and the housing developers within two days.

What Does the Report Look Like?

The report will likely be delivered as an email, although on some occasions it will be sent to you via the post. It is a relatively simple report and should be very clear in terms of what has been assessed as fine and what needs some attention.

The report should list all the areas that the professional has looked at such as brickwork, paintwork (internal and external), pipework, gardens, walls, roof, windows, kitchen, appliances, floors, staircases and loft space. Next to each of these sections there should be a note to highlight that they have all been checked, as well as any notes of defects or snags that have been found with each.

Can I Do It Myself?

If you have some knowledge about buildings and construction you may choose to do the survey yourself. Of course, this means you will also to be able to save yourself a little money in the process. If you do decide to undertake this survey yourself you will need to make arrangements with the property developer to let you on site in order to take a look around.

If you do not have a thorough understanding of buildings and construction we recommend that you hire a professional surveyor in order to conduct your snagging list survey. To do this you will be best placed to find a surveyor specialises in working with new build homes. Although there are no specific qualifications in creating snagging lists, working with a surveyor that has experience and understanding of new properties will put you in a good position when moving into negotiations with the property developer.

How Much Will a Snagging List Cost

Depending on the size of the new build, a Snagging List survey will cost between £300 to £600. Given that most new houses in the UK are in the hundreds of thousands of pounds range, spending this little extra money to give yourself peace of mind is a worthwhile investment to ensure your new home is perfect and ready to move in.  

If you do your snagging survey yourself then this should cost nothing, beyond the cost of your time and attention to the details of the property. However, if you miss anything then of course this may cost you more in the long run.

What Should I do Once I Get my Snagging List Back?

When you get your snagging list back you should start by reading it very carefully. Although there may be notes on there about aspects that need remedying, these are not necessarily huge and require no worrying about. In cases where notes have been made about potential issues you should look over these carefully. In cases where you do not understand the notes or what they mean, a good surveyor should take the time to explain it to you.

When you receive your survey report, it is likely that the surveyor has also have sent it over to the housing developer you are buying the property from. As this is the case you should be able to open communication with the developer about how to move forward with the repairs.

In most cases the developer will be happy to make some small improvements to the house based on your snagging list. It is the responsibility of the housing company to remedy any faults with a new property that have been found. However, where conflict might occur is in the interpretation of a fault. For example, what you and your surveyor may see as a fault the housing developer may see is a natural part of the new building process and refuse to remedy it. In these cases, it is key to negotiate with the developer to ensure you are both happy with the overall condition of the home.

Once these fixes have been made, you may want to get another survey undertaken in order to make sure that each issue has been remedied to an acceptable level. For more information, check out our guide on how to deal with bad survey results.

Save on Your Survey

We hope that you're now fully informed all every aspect of a Snagging List for your new build home. Remember, Compare My Move can save you time and money on a range of survey types when the time comes. Just fill in a quick and easy form, compare surveyors in your area, and save time and money when it matters most.