What to Expect from a Snagging Survey

Estimated reading time 7 minutes

Moving into a new home can be an exciting time, perhaps even more so when it is a new build and you are the first people that will benefit from living there. New builds, by their nature, should be as close to the perfect show home as you could hope for, but that is not to say they do not come without their problems.

That is why many buyers of new build homes opt for a snagging survey at the earliest opportunity. This way they can move in with full confidence that the property has been built to a high standard and is worth the money being paid for it.

What is a snagging survey?

A snagging survey is an inspection of a new build property carried out by a professional surveyor to examine the property for any defects. These could be small cosmetic issues such as part of a wall not being painted, a door not closing, or a wonky toilet seat, but they can also be much bigger. Structural defects for example or unfinished rooms that require the attendance of professionals to finish could all be flagged up on a snagging survey. It should be noted that a snagging survey doesn’t just cover the house itself, but also the garden, driveway, and garage.

What will snagging surveys uncover?

Once the snagging survey is complete a report is generated. The report will highlight any property issues that fall short of the warranty standards, as well as any breaches of building regulations. As we mentioned earlier, it will also demonstrate where any work may be outstanding that could contribute towards the completion of the house. The report will also provide guidance before or after completion of the property on any outstanding issues requiring remedial work.

Common faults found on a professional snagging survey

There can be a multitude of problems spotted on a snagging survey so it would be impossible to list them all but commonly found are:

  • Skirting boards not flush to flooring
  • Scuffs, chips, and dents on walls and doors
  • Missed painting
  • Split skirting boards and shelving
  • Sinks not sealed
  • Faulty doors
  • Cracked tiles

There are of course many more and that is why it is advisable to hire a professional to carry out your snagging survey to ensure nothing is missed.

When should you get a new build snagging survey completed?

Ideally, you want a snagging survey completed as soon as the new build is completed. The developer will inform you of when the house is finished, you can then book a snagging surveyor so that they can assess the building and inform you of any defects that have been identified. Should you be desperate to move in though, you can opt for a snagging survey to be booked in at any time during the first 2 years of the property’s warranty period.

In many cases, people opt for them before their completion date, with the builders still likely to be on the development, things can often get fixed much quicker.  In some cases though, the developers won’t allow anything to be done until completion. If you are happy to wait, you can. However, should you feel the survey needs to be completed before moving in, your surveyor may be able to speak with the developers and demonstrate your legal position as the buyers of the property.

What is the snagging survey cost?

A snagging survey can vary in cost so if it is something you want to pencil in, do some research before booking a conveyancer. Costs can reach up to £600, possibly more in some cases.

At present, there is no official snagging survey governing body or regulator so you will need to find a professional surveyor who is well-versed in new builds to get the best value for money. Ideally, they should be a member of RICS, (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors).

How long will a snagging survey take?

A snagging survey can be completed in just a few hours. The surveyor will then create their report, normally within just a few days, and send it to both you and the developer.

Is a snagging survey worth it?

In a word. Yes. Even if for a little peace of mind. You are paying lots of money to acquire the property and want it to be in its best possible condition. It could be your forever home after all.

If you choose to go without a snagging survey, you could find major problems occurring that would have been small when you moved in and rectified there and then if you had the survey carried out. This can prove to be extremely costly if you notice the extent of these problems after your warranty has expired.

Can you do a snagging survey by yourself?

You can conduct a snagging survey by yourself but it isn’t advised. Professional snag survey experts can spot problems that you may not see yourself.  Should you think you will be able to complete one sufficiently, do some research and discover what you should be looking for. Create yourself a list of all those things and create a list of questions that you could put to the developer.

Before starting though, you should ask your developer if the building work is complete. Only proceed once the completion of the building work has been confirmed.

Once you have that confirmation, carry out your assessment. Anything that appears incorrect or just doesn’t seem right should be noted on your snagging list. You have the two-year warranty to fall back on but if you notice things sooner, the easier it is to get them fixed.

In some instances, problems may not appear until after you have been in the home for a while. Still add them to your list, even if you have submitted one already. Then send these additions to the developer.

Do developers have to fix the issues found in a new build snagging survey?

Unfortunately, new builds find themselves exempt from many consumer protection legislations. This can see a delay in problems being rectified. Where with many items you may purchase them and have defect corrected within 14 days, with housing it is significantly different. In some cases, developers can be given up to 8 weeks to rectify any defects.

You can use your solicitor to your benefit to help push through issues surrounding developers. If your snagging survey is completed before completion, ask your solicitor to contact the solicitor of the developer and have it confirmed by them that all snags will be rectified before the completion date. If a date before completion cannot be met, have them confirm a date on which the repairs will be made.

Should you move in and then have a snagging survey completed, ensure it is completed as close to your moving-in date as possible. The longer you leave it, the easier it is for a developer and their team to claim the snags are from general wear and tear rather than poor build quality.

Before any contracts are exchanged, make sure that a clause is put in the exchange contract that states, that all snags will be made good and what time frame they will be completed within. If you leave this part out, the developer could agree to fix them but return in one month, one year, or never.

If you are looking to move into a new build and want a fast house sale, speak to Gaffsy. We are the experts at making it possible for you to sell your house fast. With our way of working, we can have a sale completed in a timeframe that suits you allowing you time to find the dream home you want to move into. With no fees either, we even cover legal fees. Why not find out more about how we buy any home and help you complete your property plans.

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