Let’s have a rant…

Buying a newly built house can be stressful for the new home purchaser. Some builders are notorious for poor communication leaving their customers in limbo not knowing what is happening with their new house and when the completion date is likely to happen.

Completion dates

Most builders will give you a completion date window of two months, in reality, this will boil down to just 2 weeks’ notice, sometimes only a week. As we are in the silly season (June – July) of year-end completions I have customers who have no notice at all and will be expected to complete their new house with just 1 day’s notice, this is ridiculous as the CML certificate will have been signed off the day before.

This can be extremely stressful and gives the new homeowner no time to organise removals, carpets etc. There is no way that the house has been fully snagged or the customer possibly being given the opportunity for a home demonstration before legal completion. There is enough going through your mind on completion day without having to fit in a home demonstration.

Your builder will insist you take legal completion especially if you have used their solicitors which is never a good idea, however I appreciate home buyers’ circumstances can be different. This is just so the developers can get their numbers in to satisfy their shareholders, no consideration is given to their customers or the amount of stress and anxiety they put them through.

Snagging list demands

Once you have received your keys the builder then demands you give them a snagging list within the first seven or ten days. This is ridiculous and has no bearing on your rights under your warranty agreement, this is purely part of their internal process to help the site manager to get you handed over to the customer care department.

This is never properly explained to new house buyers which makes them panic about having their new house professionally snagged within the first seven to ten days. This is not always possible, and I would advise all new home buyers who are considering using a professional snagger to tell their builder that.

Give the builder a list of snags you have seen but always tell them that this will be followed by a full snagging report. I would advise you to make yourself familiar with your warranty agreement and what your rights are. If in doubt, ask your sales representative to explain it to you which they should have done before legal completion.

Here are some useful links to the three main warranty providers and an extract from the NHBC Buildmark cover explaining what you are entitled to under your warranty agreement:

NHBC Buildmark Cover Extract:

Years 0-2 – For the first two years after legal completion (of the first purchase of the property)

Builder warranty

This is the builder warranty period. In NHBC we sometimes refer to this as “section 2”. Your builder will provide this initial warranty and agrees to repair defects that do not comply with NHBC’s Technical Requirements. This would not include wear and tear or maintenance issues.


Resolution service

We provide an independent resolution service should the builder not meet their obligations under Buildmark.

Before we can consider offering our Resolution service, you must have:

  • notified the builder of the items you want rectifying within the builder liability period
  • allowed them a reasonable period of time and access to complete the necessary work.
  • have exhausted the builder’s complaint process and received a final written response from the builder.

There may be circumstances where our Resolution service isn’t suitable. If that is the case, we will explain why.

If you believe your builder is insolvent, please contact us for further advice.

What does this mean?

There is nowhere in this document that asks for a snagging list within the first seven or ten days. Therefore, try not to panic and be coerced into rushing into giving your builder a snagging list – you have 2 years to do it.

Always be open and upfront and tell your builder that you are getting a professional snagger to inspect your house. This sometimes has the effect that the builder will spend a little more time ensuring your house has fewer defects.

Check out some of the snags we have found on our YouTube channel.

If you are wanting more advice, or a professional snagger to inspect your home, let us know

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