My estate agent has just told me off


Independent Surveyors

We are highly qualified independent surveyors, which means we are not linked to or owned by an estate agent or lending institute, and as a result we are only working with your best interests in mind. 

We can offer you help and advice with regard to structural surveys, residential building reports, valuations, structural defects surveys if you have a specific property problem such as cracking or dampness, or any other property matters.

Please free phone us on 0800 298 5424 to speak to a surveyor. We feel the quality of our surveys is one of the best on the market. We offer a reasoned view, based upon our knowledge and experience and we don't make a mountain out of a molehill.  Equally if we think the property has problems we say so in a clear, jargon-free manner. 


A case that we have come across, fairly recently, is one where a buyer was actually told off by their estate agent for not going ahead with purchasing the property they had viewed with, you have guessed it, that estate agent.


Estate agents always blame surveyors

Over the years we have come to understand and accept that estate agents will always blame the surveyors for a sale not going ahead. For example in this case an estate agent told the buyer off for not purchasing the house but fortunately buyer had had a survey carried out on the property by a Surveyor who had advised them not to proceed. Surveyors will put their comments down in writing to be scrutinised. Time and time again we find that estate agents will say things and never put them in writing, as you are no doubt aware from other articles that we have written estate agents do not have to be qualified nor indeed have any experience or knowledge of the property whatsoever just be able to sell properties and when something is going against the sale of the property this is when estate agents make many claims and comments rather than put them down in writing like a Surveyor.


There is no such thing as a bad survey

We have made the comment that there is no such thing as a bad survey because whenever you have a building survey carried out or a structural survey carried out by a Surveyor the information you get back is not good or bad it represents their best opinion from their knowledge and experience of the property that they have just seen. It almost feels as if sometimes when we are talking to estate agents they feel we are making up the information that we have found over the years (we never talk specifically to an estate agent about a survey we have carried out for you unless you have given us permission).

In the particular example that made us write this article one of the main problems was an extension that has been carried out which has not had Planning Permission Approval or Building Regulations Approval. We could see this from the way it had been constructed and asked the solicitor to check this and they did finding that neither Planning Permission Approval nor Building Regulations Approvals had been agreed.


You may be interested in our other surveying articles on:-

Secret shopper on Estate Agents

Unhealthy alliance between Estate Agents and Surveyors

Approved inspectors - v - Local Authority Building Control Officers, which are best?


Interestingly the estate agent did not see the fact that there was no Planning Permission Approval or Building Regulations Approval on the extension as a reason for not buying

Interestingly the estate agent did not see the lack of Planning Permission Approval and Building Regulations Approval as an appropriate reason for not continuing with the purchase and told their client that they simply should get insurance against this. Unfortunately, in our experience, and solicitor's experience too insurance policies that are available are written by companies that are often part of the estate agents group as not only do estate agents own the estate agency often they own the surveyors and often own the solicitors and also own the mortgage companies and insurance companies too so these policies are written to get a sale through and as this independent solicitor commented are almost worthless. In this particular case and in other cases that we have come across the Planning Permission and the Building Regulations policy is only applicable where no further enquiries are made by anyone with regard to any problems. This means that if the buyer was to carry out further investigations for example to arrange a meeting between themselves and the Local Authority Planning Department or the Local Authority Building Regulations Control Surveyors then it would void the insurance policy and stop them ever having a claim.


The client is very pleased with the Surveyor, the estate is very unhappy with the Surveyor

It was interesting as when we discussed this with our client they were so pleased that we had spotted the illegal extension as from the buyer's perspective it had just appeared to be a pleasant, spacious loft conversion and rear extension. However, as mentioned, from an experienced Surveyor's point of view there are various factors there that meant the conversion was unlikely to have been carried out with Building Regulations Approval or Planning Permission Approval.


Insist on meeting your Surveyor

As you are no doubt aware buying a house is likely to be the largest investment you ever make; you have most likely heard this phrase many times. You need to put some time aside not only for viewing properties but for also meeting and walk around with your surveyor.

You will no doubt learn much from this experience and most of all it gives you the opportunity to ask your surveyor questions of your concerns which can be anything from a crack in the wall that you have seen or worries over the lining in a roof (if you have looked in the roof). Allocating time to allow you to have a slow walk around the property without the estate agent and usually without the homeowner being present is invaluable. It is amazing what other things you spot when you have a second or third or even fourth visit to a property.

What we do when we meet a client at a property is to take them for a walk around to show them what the property looks like from a Surveyor's point of view. Don't worry we will not talk about only doom and gloom issues and problems which is why we have a good, bad and ugly section in our executive summaries. We are more than happy to speak about potential loft conversions and potential extensions to the property, re-configurations and refurbishments internally and are sure to speak about many areas that estate agents have forgotten to mention to you.


You may be interested in our other surveying articles on:-

What do Chartered Surveyors do?

Valuation the same, Snap



Why have one of our surveys by an Independent Surveyor?

The first important thing to remember is that very few people can call themselves Chartered Surveyors, approximately 100,000 people in total. This is because they have had to undergo training which takes approximately seven years, which includes academic training and training with a surveyor on a broad range of subject areas and then a specialist area / core subject is chosen which they are examined on again and then are registered by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors as a Chartered Surveyor.

As a Chartered Surveyor you have to keep your knowledge up to date in your specialist work areas.


Building Surveys versus Structural Surveys

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.


Knowledge and Technical knowledge

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.


Clear straight forward and clearly written and illustrated information on your property

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.


Photographs and sketches

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.

For example


Some examples of our sketches and photos



Our circles and ovals and what they mean

Within our reports we utilise a system of ovals and circles to highlight problem areas or characteristics within a property to better explain the issues.
An example of our circles and ovals

Action Required

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.

For example

Rear right hand side chimneys have deteriorated

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 were 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 Defined

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


Examples of our Building Surveys and Structural Surveys

We have hundreds of different of types of Building Surveys and Structural Surveys that we are more than happy to send you because we want you to see how good our surveys are. We have more than likely done 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.


Independent Surveyors

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.


Commercial Property Surveyors

If you have a commercial property, be it leasehold or freehold, then you may wish to look at our Dilapidations Website at and for Disputes go to our Disputes Help site .


Our surveying articles

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).

The contents of the web site are for general information only and are not intended to be relied upon for specific or general decisions. Appropriate independent professional advice should be paid for before making such a decision.


Our rights

All rights are reserved the contents of the web site is not to be reproduced or transmitted in any form in whole or part without the express written permission of


building engineers

Home Buyers Reports Property Surveys - why we're the best. Engineers Reports
© Copyright

1stassociated-logo-for-footer IVSA-badge IVSA-putting-client-first call-us-for-footer

New Survey Software for more information click here Survey Software 1st | Modern Methods of Surveying

We have thousands of free property articles to help you - or call us freephone on 0800 298 5424

We have been working in the property industry for many years and have been
providing free property articles for over ten years. All for free and to help you with buying your next property.

House and Home Surveys and Useful Information

All you need to know about Building Surveys

Building Control, what do they do?

Designers and Architects will they save me money or will they cost me money

Enviroment, Your Building and Garden Gnomes

Estate Agents help sell houses and work for the vendors

Have a Structural Survey to protect you against structural problems

Home improvements, builder problems and ideas for you on how to solve them

How a Surveyor values a property, Chartered Surveyors and Regulated Valuers

How Chartered Engineers and Building Engineers can help you

Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas

NHBC National House Building Council

Structural Surveys and How We Can Help You

Traditional and Non-Traditional Houses and Mortgage Problems

Valuations and how much is the building worth?

Whats the difference between a Chartered Building Surveyor, Chartered Surveyor and an Independent Surveyor

Useful property problem articles by Chartered Surveyors explaining building issues to avoid

External - Helpful information on building problems on the outside of the property

Chimney issues and problems

Cracking and Movement Problems and Surveying Solutions

Flat Roof Problems, how we can solve them

Foundations and Structures and Settlement and Subsidence and Underpinning

Pitched Roofs Problems and Solutions

Roof Problems

Wall Problems

Windows and Doors and Fascias and Soffits and Wet Rot and Dry Rot and other problems

Internal - House problems we have investigated inside

All you ever need to know about floors

Asbestos in your home, what you need to know

Ceiling Cracks and Structural Problems

Condensation, Damp and Black Mould Problems

Cracking and Movement Problems and Surveying Solutions

Windows and Doors and Fascias and Soffits and Wet Rot and Dry Rot and other problems

Woodworm is it a problem or not? Is it active or not?

Services - Building help and advice on costly services

Drainage, what's underground can affect what's above ground

Heating; I just can't get my house warm enough or alternatively I just can't get my house cool enough

You can't mess around with the electric, you need an expert


Commercial Property Services

Building Terms Explained and Directories

Commercial Property Surveys

Commercial Structural Surveys

Leisure Facilites

Offices Large and Small

Shops and Retail

Warehouse and Industrial Buildings

Dilapidations Help and Advice What is a Dilapidations Notice?

A Beginner's Guide to Dilaps

Damp Mould and Condensation

Dampness Rising Damp Mould Black Mould Condensation

Dilapidations and Negotiations

Dilapidations Claim by a Landlord

Energy Saving what can I do?

Finance what is a Financial Adviser (We are not Financial Advisors)

Fire Risk and Help

Health and Safety Risks

Insurance how do I get the correct property insurance?

Landlords Surveying Advice

Property Investment how can I invest in property?

Property TV Reviews by an Independent Surveyor

Schedules of Condition Leasing a Commercial Property

Scotts Schedule and Section 18 Valuation

Tenants Surveying Advice

Weather how does weather affect my property?



Snow and Ice

Strong Winds

Reviews from clients on Commercial Building Surveys

Churches and Charities, helpful reviews from our clients

Industrial Buildings and Warehouses and what our clients say about us

Offices Large and Small, reviews and feedback from our clients

Pubs, Restaurants, Hotels and other Leisure facilities we have surveyed over the years

Shops and Retail, helpful reviews from our clients


First Time Buyers

Buying a Leasehold or Shared Freehold Home

Buying and Selling Houses for the experienced house and home purchaser

First Time Buyers how do I go about buying my first house and home?

Improve your property knowledge with our presentations on house, homes and commercial property

Building Surveys

Building Surveying Useful Information


Dilapidations Presentations in Detail

Final Year Building Surveying Exams for University Students or those that would like to know more

How old is your Building? Which era was it built in?

Party Walls

Surveyors and Design Tools

Disputes and Party Walls

Boundary Disputes

Building and Property Disputes

Party Wall Book Reviews

Party Walls Your Rights and Responsibilities

1stAssociated Surveyors Review for Structural Surveys and Building Surveys

Building Surveys, reviews and feedback from satisfied customers

Buy to let property clients, what they say about our structural surveys

Buying at auction, review of the survey

Buying bungalows and retirement properties and how our surveyors can help

Both at work / busy couples, how we can help and some 1stAssociated client reviews

Families with a young person flying the nest, reviews and feedback

First Time Buyers, what they say about us

Listed buildings, structural surveys

Older buildings, a review of buying an older house

Families with children looking for a new home, feedback and reviews

Buying a Non-Traditional Property

Residential Surveys

House and Home Surveys

Commercial Building Surveys

Commercial Surveys

1st Associated Surveyors Are Also Available in the Following Areas:

East Anglia and East

South and South East

West Country and South West


North and North East



London Markets

London Parks



Areas of Britain

1stAssociated Independent Expert Property Surveyors

Specialists in Home Buyers Reports, Building Surveys and Structural Surveys and Schedules of Condition

All Surveyors are Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors qualified and RICS regulated

and are Members of the Independent Surveyors and Valuers Association

Putting the Client First

We do not accept service of documents by email or fax