At this time of year (June) the majority of developers are busy trying to get their half year or yearend number in before the 1st of July. It is at this time of year that we normally see an increase of poorly finished houses due to them being rushed by the developer.

What does this mean for new build buyers?

New build house buyers should be aware of this and take precautions by having a professional snagger survey of their newly built house to identify all their Snags.

During the buying process and at handover it will probably have been mentioned numerous times that the site team and builder would like a good survey returned by the homeowner.

The survey comes from the House Builders Federation (HBF) and it is this that the developers chase to achieve their 5-star status.

Not all developers are registered with the HBF it is normally the larger house builders such as Barratt, Taylor Wimpey etc.

What is the HBF Survey?

The survey usually arrives approximately 8 weeks from legal completion, and you will probably get several reminders from your Site team asking you to give them a good survey. 

The survey has an expiry date I would recommend making a note of, so you don’t miss returning it. I know that some people do not like filling out surveys, but it is important you return this one. Good or bad, it does make a difference.

The reason for it is the HBF survey is what gives your builder their 5*rating, you as new house buyers have the power to change this rating. 

Your developer needs a return of 90% of good surveys to achieve this, one bad survey takes a large number of good surveys to eradicate it. 

One of the main questions on the survey is would you recommend a friend. Putting a NO in this box does a lot of damage.

Having sat in numerous build sales meetings with the company directors over the years I can testify how much a bad survey hurts them. 

Don’t forget the director’s and site teams’ bonuses rely on achieving their 5* rating.

How do I use this survey to my advantage?

One thing I tell all my customers is to use the survey to their advantage. Tell your builder that you are willing to give them a good survey if all your snags are rectified satisfactorily. 

Make sure you put a time frame on this to ensure the survey does not expire before they have fixed your snags. Don’t be afraid to use it and let them know you will be giving a poor survey if your snags are not fixed.

If there are issues on your snagging report which you are not particularly bothered if they don’t get fixed such as minor defects, then let your builder know that you are happy for them to be left, but make sure they do the rest in return.

Some builders will offer a sweetener for a good survey, depending on what they are offering it is always worth considering but protect your interest first.

Be honest with what you put on the survey, if you are unhappy with the way you have been treated or if the site team have not responded to your issues then use the survey to show your disappointment or enjoyment of your new home.

For more advice and professional snagging help, get in touch with our friendly team.