Should Estate Agents be able to sell their
own homes without declaring an interest?
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We are highly qualified independent surveyors (independent meaning we are not linked to any estate agents) and will offer you advice on your property problems and can carry out a building survey on your prospective purchase; whether it is residential or for business. We can prepare a schedule of condition and property report in relation to your lease. We carry out dilaps reports for landlords or tenants.
Please free phone us on 0800 298 5424 for a friendly chat.
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We believe this is known as vertical integration which is when you are not only the supplier but also the retailer and is what the mergers and monopolies commission have looked at with regard to breweries and public houses. We would say that there is a similar situation with mortgage companies and estate agents.
The only problem the banks and building societies then had when selling a mortgage was if the Surveyors did not consider the property suitable equity for whatever reason. This resulted in many banks and building societies not only buying up estate agents but also buying up surveyors.
Although we do not know, we are sure that the same thing happened with regard to solicitors and we now have huge companies that have, in our opinion, massive cartels where they own not only the mortgage lender, estate agent, solicitor and the Surveyors.
We think there is a whole ethical issue here where an estate agent is recommending Surveyors that they own, not to mention them also recommending a solicitor that they own.
Whilst there is said to be Chinese walls with these situations we would question how a company that ultimately owns and pays for wages of the estate agents the solicitors and Surveyors we would suggest that it becomes very hard for them to make unbiased decisions.
Chinese wall defined by Wikipedia the free encyclopaedia
In business, a Chinese wall or firewall is an information barrier implemented within a firm to separate and isolate persons who make investment decisions from persons who are privy to undisclosed material information which may influence those decisions. This is a way of avoiding conflict of interest problems.
In general, all firms are required to develop, implement, and enforce reasonable policies and procedures to safeguard insider information and to ensure that no improper trading occurs. Although specific procedures are not mandated, adopted practices must be formalized in writing and be appropriate and sufficient. Procedures should address the following areas: education of employees, containment of inside information, restriction of transactions and trading surveillance.
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If you are buying a property not only should you have a Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors Surveyor carry out the work but also we strongly recommend that they are a member of the Independent Surveyors and Valuers Association.
Here is the website address of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors
Here is the website address of the Independent Surveyors and Valuers Association
Always have an independent building survey as this will pin point any property problems. Caveat emptor means buyer beware and is why you need to have a building survey to find out if there are any problems within the property; the estate agent certainly will not advise you of any.
Remember the independent building Surveyor that you employ will be the only person working for you with your interests at heart
Nearly everyone still calls us to ask for a full structural survey however in recent years the term building survey has been used. It more accurately describes what the client wants as you want a Surveyor to look at the whole of the property, not just the structure so this would then include for such things as woodworm, wet rot and dry rot and other structural issues and some non-structural issues, for example we will often comment on close by trees, drainage problems, old electrics, old gas installations; all things that are not necessarily structural but can cost you money.
We are not certain what other Building Surveyors do on their surveys but we always combine the technical knowledge we have with the day to day experiences that we have from looking at properties, to give the best insight to buyers as to possible problems. Often we have said that if we can see a slight problem on the surface it may well be hiding other problems beneath such as poor workmanship and materials; meaning the property suffers from problems.
As Independent Surveyors we provided detailed structural survey reports where we divide our reports into easy to read sections with detailed information about the property you have asked us to survey.
We divide the Executive Summary into ‘The Good', ‘The Bad' and ‘The Ugly', to help distinguish what in our mind are the main issues of the property in question.
We believe that photographs taken at the time of our survey together with detailed sketches will help the potential buyer of a property fully understand any property problems and issues clearly.
Examples of our photos and sketches
We also use circles and ovals on our photographs and sketches to emphasise problem areas so that you are not left wondering what the problem is, like the example to the right.
An example of our ovals
Within our structural building surveys we give advice on an approximate cost in the Executive Summary and the main body of the report which identifies how much a problem will cost to solve. We often give alternative ways to solve a problem so you have a choice of different costs depending upon your financial situation.
We had a limited view of the rear right hand chimneys (all directions given as you face the property); where we could see the chimneys from within the roof we could see they are deteriorating.
ACTION REQUIRED: Re-point within the roof space and also check at high level; this is easier said than done as it will require scaffolding to gain access to this area.
Re-pointing is carried out where the existing mortar has failed and broken away to stop damp penetration and further deterioration. The mortar should be raked out to approximately 20mm and then replaced with a mortar of a similar type, therefore, stopping damp occurring.
ANTICIPATED COST: In the region of £1,000 to £3,000 dependent upon how access is gained; please obtain quotations.
Chimney in poor condition as viewed from inside the roof space
We have put hundreds of different of types of Building Surveys and Structural Surveys on our website because we want you to see how good our surveys are. We have more than likely put a survey of a property that is similar to the one that you are looking to buy. If you free phone us on 0800 298 5424 we would be more than happy to have a chat and discussion about the property you are wishing to buy and it is more than likely we would be able to find an example survey that is similar to your property or at the very least from the same era, as we do feel that over the years we have now surveyed nearly every era and most property types.
You will also find lots of testimonials and recommendations on our website from happy customers. We do have customers coming back over the years to use us again and again, as we do have families where every member of the family has used our services over the years. Equally, with commercial properties we have companies that have grown over the years and as they buy new properties we help them with surveys, schedules of condition and property reports.
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If you truly do want an independent expert opinion from a Surveyor with regard to building surveys, structural surveys, structural reports, engineers reports, specific defects report, dilapidations or any other property matters please contact 0800 298 5424 for a Surveyor to give you a call back.
If you have a commercial property, be it leasehold or freehold, then you may wish to look at our Dilapidations Website at www.DilapsHelp.com and for Disputes go to our Disputes Help site www.DisputesHelp.com .
We hope you found the article of use and if you have any experiences that you feel should be added to this article that would benefit others, or you feel that some of the information that we have put is wrong then please do not hesitate to contact us (we are only human).
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