It is not hard to find a surveying company. Asking for recommendations from your lender, solicitor or estate agent is probably the easiest way of finding a reliable surveyor, or you could contact one of the professional trade associations for details of surveyors in your area. The Yellow Pages also lists many surveyors. If you need a specialist survey, make sure you instruct a surveyor with expertise in the relevant area.
Shop around and get plenty of quotes, as it costs a lot to get a survey done and prices can vary. The amount you pay normally depends on the cost of the property you are buying. It is important to discuss in advance how much you will have to pay and what kind of survey will be undertaken, or you might find yourself being ripped off. It is possible that you may have to pay more than once for a survey, if the sale falls through or if you decide not to buy the property on the basis of the survey results and carry on looking.
You are advised to check up on the surveyor's credentials if you are unsure that they are a qualified professional. All surveyors should be a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).
Always talk to your mortgage lender before instructing a surveyor as it is usually possible to get the basic valuation done at the same time, which will reduce your costs.
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If you are not satisfied with your surveyor, see our Making Complaints section.