Today's Conveyancer Podcast

Better integrating surveys into the home moving process

This week the Today’s Conveyancer Podcast welcomes Rachel Griffiths Head of External Operations and Panel Management at SDL Surveyors. SDL Surveyors are one of the largest independent providers of mortgage valuations with over 200,000 cases per year. They also provide private home surveys directly on behalf of consumers and the topic of discussion in this latest podcast the perennial issue of helping home movers understand the critical differences between valuation surveys for lending purposes, and home moving surveys to identify structural or other defects with property.

Rachel explains that the language of home moving is unhelpful; “survey” “valuer” “valuation” all have different meanings for different parts of the process. She points to stats from 2021 which show that only 3 in 10 home movers instruct their own surveys, and reminds us that the pressure on speed and the development of desktop valuation surveys means that fewer houses are now physically inspected as part of the valuation; around 40-50% currently with that number anticipated to rise to 60-70%.

All of which adds up to fewer expert eyeballs on a property before a home buyer moves in. And with stats suggesting that home movers are spending an average of £5,000 to make their property fit for purpose upon moving in (nearly 1 in 5 home movers spend £15,000 or more) should more be done to alert home movers to costs that could, and should, have been renegotiated during the sale.

Do lenders, estate agents and conveyancers have a greater responsibility to their clients to alert them of this and flag the importance of home buying surveys? Should they be mandated? What impact does the newly implemented “Consumer Duty” requirements on FCA regulated entities like mortgage brokers have? And with the increasing pressure on conveyancers to understand and report on issues like climate change, should surveyors be a more integral part of the home buying process?

Rachel shares her own tips and best practice from her experience in in this interesting and topical podcast.

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