So you have got your snagging list, now what do you do with it? In this blog post, we are going through the steps to take after receiving your snagging list. Listen to Episode 8 of our ‘Let’s Get Snagging’ podcast to listen to professional snagger Ian run through these steps in more detail.
Check out some of the snags we have found on our YouTube channel.
Step 1: Check through your snagging list
The first thing to do if you have had a professional snagging survey done is to read through it so you understand it, If you don’t and you have any questions, give your snagging company a call to discuss your questions and they will be able to clarify anything you are unsure of.
Step 2: Send your snagging survey results to your home builder
Once you have read and understood your snagging report, you should send it to your developer’s customer care department, always send any snagging lists to customer care even if you are going to give your list to the site manager. This is because they will then have a record of your snags and any snags that are ongoing, they will know about and will be able to monitor to make sure your site manager is on top of them.
Once they have received the survey results, your customer care team should be in touch to arrange a visit to discuss the snagging list, if you have given it to your site manager then they will most likely go through it with you when you give it to them.
Step 3: Speak to your home builder and have the defects rectified
Following a visit from your customer care manager or site manager make sure you agree on a clear way forward, with an understanding of what snagging defects your developer is going to do and when. Make sure you get dates and try and arrange trades to do the work on the same day to ease the inconvenience.
If there are any snags they won’t agree on, find out the reason for this. If they use the statement oh because it is within tolerance and standards don’t be afraid to challenge this, ask them to show you the tolerance and standard, they are referring to.
Step 4: Book a re-inspection
Once your snagging list is completed. If you have used a professional snagger, it might be a good idea if you are not sure if your snags have been completed properly to book a re-inspection of the work to ensure it is of a satisfactory standard.
What do you do if your builder refuses to rectify the snags?
If you have any reservations or feel your builder is being unreasonable in their response by refusing to rectify some or all the defects identified in your snagging report, contact your snagging company and they will advise you on the next course of action. If you haven’t used a snagging company and your home builder continues to refuse to rectify an issue, the only recourse you have is to make a claim with your warranty provider.
You should be aware there is a cost to making a claim which will need to be paid by you, rather than your builder. This should be fully explained in your warranty document and your developer’s home pack.
Having a professional snagging report will strengthen your claim as the report will clearly identify the defects with time-stamped photos.
What about customer care?
A mediocre standard of customer service is no longer acceptable. So, why do our major housebuilders continually deliver poor-quality homes and customer service?
It is incredible, how some, but not all, of our national house builders, find it acceptable to poorly treat their customers once they have taken possession of their new home, especially when trying to resolve their defects. This can have a huge effect on customers and can cause untold stress spoiling the excitement and experience of owning a brand-new home.
One of the biggest concerns is the developer’s customer care departments. These are often filled with people who either don’t care or have little or no knowledge of how a newly built home is constructed. Some don’t even know about the standards they should be built to and are totally unable to empathise with their customers. Yet, these companies tell you how great their product is and how their customer service is second to none. Trust me it’s not if your developer can save money without fixing your defects they will, because it’s a commercial business after all.
If developers and some site managers would put themselves in their customer’s shoes, it would give them an idea of the stress and anxiety they put their customers through.
It would also be a good idea if some customer care teams put themselves in their customer’s shoes and experience how they are treated, sometimes ignored, fobbed off, bullied, and generally not listened to, ending in their customers feeling disillusioned, frustrated, angry, stressed, neglected, and unappreciated?
Customers should not have to fight to get their snags rectified, or even worse, not knowing if any defects are likely to be rectified at all by their builder. This leaves customers feeling disillusioned, just a number and not important, wishing they had never bought a newly built home. Communication is one area that could be improved upon, which is sometimes missing in some customer care departments, along with sufficient resources to manage customer care promptly without causing undue stress to their customer.
Organising a reasonable time for these snags to be done, without it taking weeks or months of stress, trying to get defects fixed, and being drip-fed trades, instead of all relevant trades, arriving on the same day. How good would that be? All any new build homeowner wants above anything else is to know that their snags will be rectified, the first time, preferably without creating more defects, which need to be fixed yet again, following the first attempt.
Housebuilders need to appreciate their customers who have spent a huge amount of money, buying their new homes from them. No wonder customers complain when their snags are not dealt with to their satisfaction and are only too happy to voice their dissatisfaction on social media. This is all because developers have not managed the expectations of their customers and delivered exceptional customer service. Unfortunately for this to happen, developers would have to put new systems in place as the onsite quality controls developers currently have, don’t work. They are aware of this and are still happy to produce new homes that are defective because they know, new home buyers have no recourse against the builder, to rectify their defects.
Even the Government has realised something needs to be done about the poor quality of newly built homes, and this year sees a new homes quality board and Ombudsman being set up to help improve the quality of newly built homes. Will this help new home buyers? Only if it is truly independent, with no interference from our national housebuilders.
Until then, newly built home buyers are going to have to fight for their rights and insist their defects are rectified. Unfortunately, the only lever newly built homeowners have is the HBF and NHBC survey they receive 6-8 weeks after legal completion. My Advice is to not sign the survey until you are 100% happy all snags have been resolved to your satisfaction.
There are so many unhappy new build homeowners on social media, you would expect developers to do something about it. With social media providing customers with a powerful voice and a very wide reach, it has never been more important to approach complaints in a sensitive and caring way. Housebuilders should look upon these complaints as an opportunity to identify and correct problems within their business. Finding the best professional snagging company is the most important aspect of ensuring your home is safe and up to a good standard.
Happy customers whose complaints have been listened to and resolved in such a way that it meets or exceed their expectations can turn into a powerful ambassador for their business. It’s time for change.
Hearing back from my customers is one of my favourite aspects of professional snagging, find other testimonials from my customers. It’s time for a change and time for building companies to start caring for their customers. Each positive customer experience makes working in this industry even better.