Santiago Herreros de Tejada from ST Consultores explains the importance of getting a reliable survey on a Spanish property before completing your purchase.
Why a Spanish Property Survey?
As is standard in the UK, it is recommended to obtain a survey when buying your Spanish home, as it will reduce the chance of discovering any defects or nasty surprises about the property’s condition after you’ve bought and will help you assure the safety and suitability of the property. If through the survey there are any structural problems, this will help you to negotiate the price or insist certain works be carried out before the house is purchased.
Which Types of Surveys are there?
Decide which type of survey you need - Condition Reports, Building Survey and Structural Reports. The scope of the survey you need mostly depends on the concerns raised prior to your interest in buying the property. Seek advice on this.
A Structural Report is the most comprehensive report and includes defects, repair and maintenance options. You will usually need this type of survey if, for example, the property is more than 50 years old, unusually built or run-down, if the property has been extended or altered, or if you are planning a major conversion or renovation this survey will be the most helpful. The Structural Report is usually only necessary if the building is old or suspected of being unsound or if you are planning major works.
Which is the diﬀerence between a Condition Report and Building Survey and which one should I choose?
Both condition report and building survey (even structural report), do not include market valuation due to it being a technical report. So, if we understood our need as a technical report focused on pathology expertise, you can choose between “Condition Report” and “Building Survey”.
In both cases, an expert will visit the property, will check its condition, spaces, parking lot, storages, and surroundings. Both reports will tell you about the problems that may be hazardous and show potential issues and defects. And, of course, both will define things that will need further investigation to prevent serious damages to the fabric of the building.
With the Building Survey, you can take advantage of knowing an estimate of costs for identified repairs and recommendations as to any further actions or advice which need to be obtained before committing to purchase.
That is why we recommended the Condition Report option if you are sure about the condition of the apartment and you only need the professional advice of an expert. This could be the logical choice if you assume as a buyer the needed repairs on the property have been discounted in the asking price. Please be careful with these aspects.
A bargain is never worth it if there is structural damage to the property or needs refurbishment. The Building Survey report provides you a budget with the necessary repairs, may be an important information to take into account previous to the deal.
Do the Surveys include Valuation of the Property?
No, both condition report and building survey (even structural report), do not include market valuation due to it being a technical report. The valuation and the pathology expertise are different and imply different technicians.
How long does it take to deliver a report?
It varies depending on who delivers the report but as an average, it could be said that between three and five working days since the visit of the property.
Which is the cost of a Survey?
The cost depends. The average cost is approximately €450. Several companies offer surveys in the English language according to RICS standards from €350 onwards. In any case, depending on the specific needs of the client the property survey cost could be higher.