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Survey Spain - Services

Valuation Survey - What we do for you.

  • A Valuation Survey is different from a Building Survey in that a Valuation concentrates on noting the positive and negative features of a property, its surroundings and legal rights and duties.
  • We go through the property a room at a time and note the accommodation, character and quality of facilities, layout, design and decoration, and all matters that can influence the value of a property.
    • We also note any major defects, the remediation of which is likely to be a major cost and/or inconvenience to an occupier.
  • Thereafter, we go round the outside and do the same, including any outbuildings, etc.
  • We test the services in general, but not to a detailed extent.
  • Similarly we check the general condition of the property, but not to a detailed extent.
  • We also note machinery, kitchen and bathroom fittings, heating and air conditioning, etc, installations and check they are working where possible.
  • We check the neighbourhood, noting items that may add to or detract from the overall acceptability of the property.
  • We note other properties being offered for sale nearby and in comparable locations that are likely to compete in the same buyer/rental market.
  • We check with local agents, on the internet and other sources for properties being offered for sale nearby and in comparable locations that are likely to compete in the same buyer/rental market.
  • We also compare the accommodation and size of the property with the registered title information and the Catastral description (for property taxes).
    • As they are unlikely to have visited the property, it is possible for a lawyer to prepare perfectly good title deeds, but for these not to describe the property accurately at all.
  • In addition, we comment upon other papers and plans with which we are provided.
  • We are constantly keeping in touch with local affairs so that we are aware of many proposed changes that might affect the desirability of an area and the value of a property.
  • Due to the uncertain time involved in obtaining reliable information from Town Halls and planning departments, we cannot include within our standard reports an investigation of planning zonings and permissions for the property or its neighbourhood other than commenting upon papers provided.
    • However, we are able check these matters on being specifically instructed to do so.
  • We collate all this information, comparing it to the property to be valued, and form an opinion of its current market value.
  • Our Report provides a comprehensive summary of our findings and recommendations, supported by photographs, maps and aerial photos, plus a list of comparable properties and how we have decided upon our opinion of value.
  • We believe that our realistic Survey and Report provides a comprehensive review of the property and its current market valuation so that a prospective seller or potential buyer is better able to judge what is a fair market price for the property in the market at the time of the report.
  • The Valuation Rational clause in our Reports is as follows -
    • The property was valued on the comparable basis, whereby it was compared with properties being offered for sale of similar style, size and location as far as practically possible in the time available.
      • Due to the prevalence of extra-contractual payments and incomplete property descriptions, accurate, reliable sales information is not available in Spain, unless one is directly involved with the final stages of any particular transaction. Unfortunately, this means that the official registries statistics and analysis based upon them does not reflect the true market prices being paid.
      • As a result, the most accurate method available is to analyze from experience the asking prices for comparable properties. Evidence from transactions of which the valuer has accurate information is then applied to the asking prices to provide a general level of discount/appreciation to be applied. In addition, a number of variables can be applied, as appropriate, relating to the unique features of any particular property, it's suitability for any particular use, the probability of any special purchasers, the likelihood of a significant 'marriage value', etc.
    • The property cannot be valued in isolation as purchasers must be assumed to be prudent and to have alternative investment opportunities. Accordingly, the comparative purchase costs, returns, risks and final sale opportunities must all be taking into account.
    • The valuers within Survey Spain have considerable experience of property sales and this experience was applied to the information obtained and analysis in order to decide upon a final opinion of value.
    • Unless stated otherwise, all market values are calculated on the basis of the RICS definition -
      • 'The estimated amount for which an asset or liability should exchange on the valuation date between a willing buyer and a willing seller in an arm's length transaction after proper marketing and where the parties had each acted knowledgeably, prudently and without compulsion.'

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Building Survey - What we do for you.

  • A Building Survey is not the same as a Structural Survey.
    • A Building Survey is generally a view of everything in detail from floor or ground level plus upper and lower levels where there is safe and easy access.
      • We cannot look at areas that are not accessible without exceptional work or equipment, but usually, if there is a defect, there will be visible evidence nearby.
    • A Structural Survey is much more specific, often involving break into the building structure or decoration, as an intrusive investigation of a specific fault for which evidence has been discovered during a Building Survey.
  • We go through the property a room at a time and note all the defects, checking particularly for dampness, insect attack and structural movement.
  • Thereafter, we go round the outside and do the same, including any outbuildings, etc.
  • We test the services by maximum use
    • Random electricity sockets individually and general electricity and water by having all the appliances on at the same time, simulating maximum use with a full house.
    • We note any problems such as circuits tripping, low water pressure and poor drainage.
    • We will also note any visible evidence of defects.
  • We also check whether machinery, kitchen equipment, heating and air conditioning is working where possible, but always with the proviso that we cannot guarantee that they are functioning to specification and will function again the next time they are tested.
  • Our Report provides a comprehensive list supported by photographs of the evidence of defects, the likely causes and possible solutions, laid out in a 'walk round' setting to facilitate identification by our client thereafter.
  • We also compare the accommodation and size of the property with the registered title information and the Catastral description (for property taxes).
    • As they are unlikely to have visited the property, it is possible for a lawyer to prepare perfectly good title deeds, but for these not to describe the property accurately at all.
  • In addition, we comment upon other papers and plans with which we are provided.
  • We believe that our realistic survey provides a comprehensive view of the property and its defects (if any) so that a prospective purchaser is able to judge what may be required to bring the property to acceptable or better condition.

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'Snagging' or Acceptance Survey - What we do for you.

  • Buyers normally have 15 days after signing the acceptance of a new property to report differences between what they thought they were buying 'off plan' and what they find when they receive the keys. If discovered later, it can be more difficult to get things replaced.
  • Especially if the final signing is being carried out by someone else with the power of attorney, it is always best to have the property inspected in detail by an independent professional and faults and omissions formally recorded.
  • Our Snagging Survey is the same as a Building Survey, except that we check details of each working item or visual area and note minor defects, blemishes and poor workmanship.
  • In addition, where the papers are provided, we compare the specification and plans in the contract with what has been constructed, fitted and finished in the actual building and note any omissions, changes and, sometimes, additions.
  • Where there is already a recorded title and/or a Catastral entry, we also compare the accommodation and size of the property with the registered title information and the Catastral description (for property taxes).
  • We gather all the information and prepare a spreadsheet form Report listing the 'walk round' locations, the defects found, their likely cause and our recommendations.
    • These are referred to appropriate photographs.
  • As with all our Reports, they are composed and issued in English.
    • If the Report is to be passed to a Spanish promoter/contractor and especially tradesmen, we recommend that it should be translated into Spanish. We can have this work carried out for you.
  • Once the promoter/contractor indicates that all the appropriate work has been completed, we can re-inspect the property to confirm that all the work has been completed satisfactorily and/or the appropriate fixtures and fittings have been installed and are working.
    • As we have found on a number of occasions that the promoter/contractor indicates that the work has been completed when in fact it has not been, we strongly recommend that we are only instructed to re-inspect when that indication is provided in writing. In this way, if we find that a substantial amount of the work has not been completed satisfactorily, it has been possible for clients in the past to obtain recompense for our fees for this or the subsequent re-inspection.

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Structural Survey

We rarely carry out a structural survey, as that would involve breaking into and testing the structural elements. It is normally only required to find the cause of a defect for which evidence has been found in a Building Survey.

Standard Report Conditions

  • As part of this report, we recommend that you view the 'General Background' document that explains in more detail the extent of the survey, limitations and other general comments and advice.
  • We have carried out limited tests in use of the services, installations or equipment where practical. We cannot guarantee that they are functioning, will function the next time they are switched on and/or are free from defect. However, all defects found have been noted above.
  • We have only seen the documents listed above relating to the property and therefore this report must not be taken as confirmation that the property described is within the legal title or owners/occupiers are or are not responsible for any particular matter. In particular, unless otherwise indicated, we have assumed that the original building and all extensions, etc., have all the appropriate permissions and licences and are recorded on the escritura along with an accurate description and floor area, as it existed at the date of our inspection.
  • We are unaware of any government planning or other such matters that might affect the property other than any already mentioned. However, due to the time it will take to obtain reliable information, no specific enquiries have been made so we cannot confirm that the property is unaffected. We can carry out these investigations as a separate instruction.
  • We have carried out a visual inspection only and cannot comment on internal, inaccessible or hidden construction details or defects in the property or its surroundings. Any absence of comment on a particular part of the property must not be assumed to mean that part of the property is without defect. Surveys cannot be a guarantee that a property is sound or that all defects have been found.
  • We cannot advise on the existence of contamination, asbestos or other deleterious material within the buildings or on the site. Similarly, we have not checked for any environmental matter within the building or its surrounds that may have an unacceptable effect upon the property or its occupiers. This includes the possibility of future problems as a result of Climate Change, although we will comment where there is an exceptional history or likelihood of flooding.
  • This report has been prepared specifically for the party to whom it is addressed and no liability can be accepted to any third party.
  • This report must not be reproduced in any form without written approval of Survey Spain SL.
  • The copyright of this report remains the property of Survey Spain SL.
  • As all the work is carried out in Spain and Survey Spain SL is based here, all legal matters will be judged according to Spanish Law except those relating to the professional governance of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.
  • The inspection was carried out by Mr xxxxxxxxxxx, who has over xx year's professional experience living and working in the area. The inspection and valuation was instructed and coordinated by Mr Campbell D Ferguson, FRICS of Survey Spain and the Report was reviewed by Mr xxxxxxxxxxxx.
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Our Services Also Include:

  • Homebuyers Reports in the style of UK RICS
  • 'Off-Plan' Construction Progress Reports - Initial opinion of the market value and comment on expectations for the future. Thereafter we can provide monthly reports of building progress.
  • End of lease Damage reports - Inspection immediately prior to the occupier leaving a rented property. A snagging list acting for either the owner or occupier. May include further follow-up and negotiation with the landlord/tenant on your behalf.
  • Accurate Measurement to the RICS Codes - Measurement to a consistent standard, that can also be related to the Spanish legal measurement norms.
  • Structural Surveys - A full survey of the structure of the building and services, which can include taking apart parts of the building and fully testing services. This usually involves building trades specialists e.g. plumbers, electricians, engineers and laboratory analysis.
  • Project Co-ordination - Where work is required on a building, we can organise the making of plans and obtaining permissions and quotes.
  • Minor Works Management - Co-ordination and Supervision of minor building works.
  • Construction Valuation - In larger contracts we organise estimation of % completion and valuation for progress payments.
  • Search and Find - We carry out searches for Commercial property (offices, shops, leisure, etc) including negotiating lease or purchase terms.
  • Development and Investment Appraisals -
    • We carry out searches for development and investment opportunities in the form of land, buildings or related businesses.
    • We also provide property ‘due diligence’ and investigation, market studies and current and prospective value opinions.
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Home Sellers' Packs - it can pay to be prepared!

The facts of a property! How many times have agents and sellers worked hard building relationships with buyers, only to find these dashed by suspicion when its found that the property they are praising has major physical, legal or administrative flaws? Everything goes 'down the drain' - or not if that's what is the problem! What a waste of time for all concerned. It has to be assumed these days that most buyers and their professional advisors will carry out due diligence. They will check who are the owners; what liabilities there are in the title; what are the costs and outstanding debts against the property; and so on. Once a client has decided to buy, everyone wants it to go through as quickly as possible, but very often problems only surface when the paper gathering is being carried out. Here we have to speak in defence of lawyers! Their job is to ensure that everything that should be, is legally transferred and anything that shouldn't be, is avoided. Owners and agents can brush problems under the carpet, put heads in the sand and hope that they find a buyer daft enough to pay their money without any checks - and depressingly we know that there are some out there! But these problems will inevitably surface at some time and will cause hassle, anger, grief, worry and much wasted time.

Isn't it better to get them identified and cleared if possible, prior to or during the marketing period? We are referring to the preparation of a Home Sellers' Pack. This is just a simple matter of getting all the essential papers together - the escritura, the last five IBI and community receipts, the minutes of the last community AGM, electricity, water and telephone receipts. A sensible buyer should request all that stuff. If any problems are found, they can be dealt with or at least known as being there, before time and expense is wasted on marketing. And of course included within that should be a building survey report. Again, if problems are found they can either be dealt with by the seller or accepted as being there and the price modified accordingly. It's likely to happen anyway during the purchase negotiations. Having all that available to pass to potential buyers is a great reassurance for them and will certainly mark out that property and the people associated with it, as being above the mass in a market where information comes in dribs and drabs and may not be given at all. Packs such as these are common in many countries. By providing them you take away some of the barriers that can be created by the strangeness of different conventions in a foreign land.

In trials of them in Scotland and in Bristol in SW England, agents reported a 50% reduction in sales falling through. 50%! They were found to reduce the price renegotiations and speed up the transactions. Especially important when you have a keen buyer and you don't want them to go off looking elsewhere whilst sellers take weeks finding 'lost' papers or getting quotes for work. Yes, there have been reports of seller's being reluctant to cover the cost of these packs, but all the work is going to have to be done at some time anyway and its just that it comes up front rather than being a scurry around and panic at the end.

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