Research has shown nearly a third of home buyers fail to commission a survey and of those a fifth end up with homes they would not have bought had they been aware of its true condition.
According to RICS data released today, homeowners who did not take out a home survey are left with an average of £5,750 in repair bills.
The market research was conducted by ComRes, who interviewed 1,017 people who had bought a property or gone through the process of obtaining a property valuation on a property they were looking to buy during the last five years.
Alan Milstein, Chairman of the Residential Property Surveyors Association (RPSA), said: “It is worrying that so many people are effectively buying blind.
“While the majority of consumers believe it is important to commission a survey, the research conducted by the RICS highlights the current confusion among the general public and the very real dangers being faced by home buyers who fail to commission a survey on their future home.
“This lack of understanding is not only resulting in the majority of home buyers making an uneducated decision about the type of survey that they instruct, but it is potentially costing home buyers thousands, as they later discover problems with their new home, which would have been identified by a comprehensive property survey.”
The survey found that despite nearly a third of home buyers failing to commission a survey, 94% of respondents agreed it was important to do so.
Peter Bolton King, RICS Global Residential Director, said: “Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions most people will ever make and yet many consumers are doing so blind to the facts.
“Serious faults are difficult to identify and costly to repair. By not being aware of them consumers are risking a potential home buying time bomb.
“This can cause extreme stress and financial strain on homeowners who are often stuck with a property they no longer want but cannot sell.”
Research from the RPSA last year showed that 72%, of their members surveyed, believed that the home buyers they had been in contact with over the last year had not been aware of the wide range of property surveys available to them.
Mr Milstein added: “This lack of general awareness needs to be addressed and we believe that we have a responsibility as an industry to educate consumers about the options available to them.
“All of our members offer homebuyers access to a survey service which can be provided quickly, at a competitive price and is jargon free.”