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News & opinion

27 SEP 2019

Modernising Home Surveys

In April this year, RICS launched an industry and consumer consultation on proposals for a new Home Survey Standard.

The result of the review clearly identified the need for a professional statement: RICS professionals must work to ensure a consistent approach in serving the changing needs of the market and helping improve the home buying and selling process.

Most surveyors agree that something needs to be done to improve the client experience that RICS members provide to consumers and, the standard will deliver more clarity and more open communication that could potentially benefit every property transaction. Feedback from the consultation – based on engagement with members, industry stakeholders, lenders and consumers – positively reflected this necessity.

No survey, no fear?

Despite no shortage of horror stories about Homes from Hell, a recent ComRes survey for RICS found that one in four recent homebuyers failed to procure any kind of home survey before buying their chosen property.

Equally alarming is that a fifth of recent homebuyers (21%) bought some type of home survey - but don't remember what it was. There is, it seems, rather a lot of confusion about home surveys, with vast numbers of people transacting huge sums of cash on the basis of uninformed choices.

When RICS were consulting with members and industry stakeholders, Phil Spencer explained how the proposals from RICS will help solve consumer confusion as they search for the Home Survey that is right for them.

At Arnold & Baldwin, we are already working with existing technology companies and new entrants, like Airbus, to develop tools in line with the new standard. We recognise that our clients need to be able to utilise all of the datasets available on a property, and that new tools, such as Geospatial technology, will be instrumental in delivering more comprehensive information.

The future of residential surveying is extremely exciting. Our sector is currently under the microscope as government and industry seek ways to modernise the home buying and selling process, and this new standard is here to facilitate change.

The professional statement will be published in November 2019 and will become effective in May 2020. RICS will be having a launch event to coincide with the publication and members are invited to attend. To register, contact Ana Bajri, Associate Director, RICS.

Joe Arnold is Managing Director at Arnold & Baldwin

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