How Should I Respond to Single Survey Category 3 Findings?
According to a recent YouGov survey of 2,100 adults, single people, those who rent and the ‘squeezed middle’ (35-54 years old) generation are currently most likely to have less confidence in their ability to cover mortgage and rental payments.
In fact, the same research estimates 28% of the ‘squeezed middle’ generation feel vulnerable about being able to pay their mortgage for the rest of 2023. It’s reported that 21% of such mortgage owners will also have taken on additional debt due to cost-of-living increases. Such statistics are a stark reminder of some of the pressures affecting many house sellers and home buyers in Scotland’s current housing market and consequently the decisions they choose to make.
It will come as no surprise that a property seller will be very keen to avoid additional costs when preparing to put their property on the market. Therefore, findings within the single survey should be carefully taken into consideration by the seller before placing a property on the market.
Single Survey findings
As a RICS registered chartered surveyor who prepares independent and professionally conducted Home Reports throughout Scotland, I have written up countless single survey assessments as part of the legally required Home Report documentation.
This part of the Home Report specifically focuses on the condition and value of the property, highlighting any issues for the seller and providing the potential buyer with such information before offers are submitted.
There are three categories within the single survey that I must consider when inspecting a property:
Category 1 – No immediate repair required.
Category 2 – Repair or replacement requiring future attention, but estimates are still advised.
Category 3 – Urgent repairs or replacements are needed now. Failure to deal with these may cause problems to other parts of the property or cause a safety hazard. Estimates for repair or replacements are required.
For the purposes of this piece, I won’t dwell on the detail within each category. Instead, I’ll address what I believe is the best approach if you as the home seller are presented with category 3 issues in the Home Report.
Next steps for category 3
Rest assured that you are far from alone when faced with a category 3 issue. Earlier this year the Sunday Post reported a 19% increase in complaints by tenants across 22 local authorities about issues related to dampness in social housing properties. Tenant or homeowner, any type of property can be affected by such an issue.
Category 3 issues can be wide-ranging – from identifying structural wood damage, rotted timber or structurally defective walls to the observance of mould and dampness. All are unwelcome findings and left unresolved can affect the value and price sought for the property. However, very often they are easily resolved – albeit by incurring more cost before putting your property on the market.
My advice is to calmly take stock of your situation and carefully examine the facts before taking any action. I certainly welcome the opportunity to discuss and clarify any issues that may have been identified in my report and require your further attention.
Once I’ve run through the key points, you may realise the issue is easily fixed. However, on occasion it may be necessary to seek further advice from a professional tradesperson, to fully understand the costs that are involved to rectify the fault.
With this information, you can make an informed decision if you wish to pay for the required repairs. Alternatively, you may decide to take these urgent repairs into account when you and the selling agent determine the asking price for your property. After all, you may be able to negotiate with a potential buyer. If their heart is set on purchasing your property, they may be willing to purchase if you can agree a mutually acceptable price.
Of course, you may be one of my many clients who receive a ‘clean bill of health’ in the single survey and can quickly proceed to finalising your Home Report documentation and put your property on the market. However, if you do need to address issues identified within the single survey, hopefully, the above provides you with some clarity on how best you can resolve the matter and proceed with your property sale.
Andrew MacKenzie is a qualified Chartered Surveyor with over 20 years’ experience within the Scottish Property market. He specialises in all types of residential valuations including Home Reports, Private Valuation reports and Development Appraisals.
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