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Jon Charters-Reid, industry expert on buying and selling property and author of How to be a Smarter House Buyer demonstrates why you should use a local surveyor and not allow yourself to be ripped-off by the banks.

So you have finally made the decision to move house. Moving home, which is usually most people’s nest eggs and financial security is probably one of the most important decisions we ever make. The cost of moving house can be anything between £10,000 to £20,000 upwards. What is more interesting is that if we assume a basic house price of let’s say £300,000, which is reasonable to expect in the UK forthcoming economy. Even if you are at the lower end of that and buying houses for less than that it is still a huge investment.

One of the things that I have always failed to understand is that people are literally paying up to and over quarter of a million pounds upwards for a property. Home movers spend thousands and thousands of pounds on furnishing and decoration and literally hundreds of pounds on solicitors and household and buildings insurance. 

When it comes to the most important part of the process they try and save money. Opting for the cheapest survey you can possibly get is false economy. Why would you want to risk a quarter of a million pounds plus for the sake of saving perhaps £150? It does not make economic sense!-What’s more many home movers are employing cowboys. Yes that is correct cowboys-some people are employing UNQUALIFIED people to look round their house. Even worse people from out of the local area who don’t know the market values or local conditions and problems.

It is a fact that there are organisations out there that do up to ten inspections per day, and if they are carrying out your inspection for a low price, there is a strong chance that you are not really going to get value for money and you have to wonder how many corners are going to be cut?

It is prudent to protect your investment by using a top local surveyor. It is a well-known fact that most local surveyors will usually do one or two surveys per day, not ten. They are not part of a large network, they are not part ofa franchise that keeps a percentage of their money, they are simply working for themselves providing you with the best surveys and service that you could have that will protect your lifelong investment.

The average smartphone is anything up to £500. Usually these do not last more than two years before they break or become obsolete. Yet we all quite willingly pay this amount. Five hundred pounds is probably the average cost of a. So when you look at the future, £500 to provide a survey on something that is worth quarter of a million that is going to last you twenty to twenty-five years it really is quite good value for money.

You often find that local surveyors are willing to give you additional aftersales advice, usually over the phone, at no extra cost.

It is always easier when you are getting a mortgage through your bank for the bank to try and add their own surveyor into the equation. This is really quite naughty of the banks because they must give you the option of finding our own independent surveyor. In my book, How to be a Smarter House Buyer, I point out that the banks are taking a massive cut of your fee. So a survey that is probably only going to cost you £500, the banks can charge you up to £1,000, and often they will keep up to half of that cost for themselves as a referral fee. What’s more, they will not even tell you that they are doing this. Clearly the banks try and hide behind the fact that the surveyor has to be RICS. This is true. In reality the Council of Mortgage Lenders say the surveyor must be RICS-qualified. It does not say anywhere and there is no law suggesting that the banks can promote their own surveyor.

Protect your investment – get a local surveyor. It will save you time, money and effort and protect you in the long run.

Don’t use a cowboy – use a local QUALIFIED SURVEYOR.