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FAQ’s


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Marshalls Chartered Surveyors were established in 1979 and concentrate solely on the provision of quality professional survey and valuation services.

Marshall's are fully independent and are not owned by a lender or estate agent. We owe our allegiance solely to our client and you can be assured that there is no possible conflict of interest.

We are completely independent and unlike many, we don't pay or accept commissions. Your survey will never be passed to a third party for a fee share.

You will always receive truly impartial professional advice.

Why bother with a survey?
Surprise elimination - this is the most important part of our service to our clients. If you know about an actual or potential problem before purchase, you can deal with the consequences. This may mean you need to do nothing, or there may be a case for renegotiating the price and sometimes even purchasing an alternative property.

If you are an expert on buildings and construction and you are happy to risk what is likely to be the single biggest transaction you personally undertake, then perhaps a survey may not be for you. However, we advise caution.

What sort of survey do I need?
If the property is relatively modern (usually 1920's onwards), The RICS HomeBuyer Report is ideal. This type of survey should point to any defects or problems that are significant or that need attention. These reports are also most suitable for flats and maisonettes where many areas are shared and inaccessible. The RICS HomeBuyer report is a level two survey, as described in the RICS guidance note: Surveys of Residential Property 3rd Edition. There is also a version with a Market Valuation.

The written report follows the RICS 'traffic light' system of condition rating, which clients find very helpful in reducing unnecessary detail, quickly and clearly highlighting areas of concern.


The RICS Building Survey Report is a detailed survey level three survey, as described in the RICS guidance note: Surveys of Residential Property 3rd Edition. It is our most popular building survey and is suitable for most types of property, unless very large or complex (in these cases, we may recommend The Marshalls Building Survey).

The property will be subject to a thorough and detailed survey of all areas undertaken without causing damage and respecting the privacy of the occupiers. The service installations are visually inspected, but testing is not undertaken.

The written report also follows the RICS 'traffic light' system of condition rating.


If the property is new, you should instruct a snagging list, which is non-descriptive, but gives a list of defects with the property that can be passed to the builder or developer for attention.

Is there anything that a survey won't tell me?
The survey will concentrate on significant items that are likely to affect your buying decision. Minor defects and other information, such as the number of plug sockets, are unlikely to be reported.

You should look at our SAMPLE REPORTS.

Can I get a valuation?

Yes - this can be in conjunction with your survey at extra cost, if required. The RICS HomeBuyer Report (Survey and Valuation) includes a Market Valuation.

All of our Chartered Surveyors are RICS Registered Valuers.

Does the survey include a mortgage valuation?
No. If you are arranging a mortgage, your lender will instruct their own valuer to do complete a mortgage valuation. This is a brief inspection to assess the property as security for a loan. A mortgage valuation is not a survey and you are strongly recommended not to rely on such a report. You should note that often these valuations are often undertaken on a 'drive-by' or 'desktop' basis and the property may never be physically inspected by the valuer.

Are there any 'Extras' I need?
No - our inspections and reports are comprehensive and should provide the survey information you need to aid your buying decision. There are occasions when we have to refer you to specialists to obtain further advice - mainly for more detailed reports on gas or electrical installations. For larger repairs, we recommend you obtain estimates, prior to exchange of contracts.

Why aren't you cheaper?
Marshalls offer competitive fees and excellent value for money. Be assured that your instruction will be undertaken by an experienced local Chartered Surveyor acting only in your best interests.

Some people are tempted by low fees often offered by other surveyors and lenders. This is false economy - surveyors all have similar overheads and you only get what you pay for. Ask yourself - if the fee is much cheaper what corners are being cut? Be wary of inspections offered by unqualified 'surveyors'.

Who will carry out my survey?
One of the partners or directors of Marshalls who are all Chartered Surveyors of many years standing. Our surveyors are highly experienced, have extensive local knowledge and are thoroughly trained in surveying buildings - it's all we do.

We believe it is our job to help you buy the property - no building is perfect and our most useful qualification is common sense.

How much does it cost and how do I pay?
Fees depend on the type report required and the type, value and size of the property to be inspected. There are various payment methods and we accept all major cards. Alternatively, you can call or visit one of our offices.

How quickly can you do the survey?
When you instruct us, we will book the survey immediately and inspect as soon as possible, usually within a few days. Our surveyors usually undertake surveys in the morning and you should receive a telephone call with a verbal report later in the day. We will take time to discuss the survey findings with you so that you can make an informed decision about your purchase.

Marshall's Chartered Surveyors are widely recommended for speed of service and common sense advice. We aim to e-mail RICS HomeBuyer and RICS Condition reports within 24 hours and Building Surveys within 48 hours.

What will my report look like?
Our reports are usually delivered as signed PDF's, written in plain English. The reports are not 'dumbed' down, but are still easy to read and understand.

There are some sample reports on our SURVEYS page.

Can I ask the surveyor questions?
Yes - your surveyor is here to help. You can highlight areas of concern, plans for alterations or any other matters in advance. The surveyors will also be happy to discuss the report with you.

What if I change my mind?
You have the statutory right to cancel, without giving any reason, within 14 days of your formal instructions (you can tell us verbally or in writing). However, if you have asked us to proceed with your instructions immediately, you may be charged an amount which is proportionate to the work already undertaken. If our instructions have been fully completed within the 14 day cancellation period, your right to cancel will be lost.

Marshalls will not proceed with the instructions if, after arriving at the property, we conclude:
a) that it is of a type of construction of which we have insufficient specialist knowledge to be
able to complete the instruction satisfactorily; or
b) that it would be in the typical Client's best interests to be provided with an alternative type of inspection, rather than the service instructed.

In case of such cancellation, Marshalls will refund any money paid by the Client for the Service, except for expenses reasonably incurred. In the case of cancellation by Marshalls, the reason(s) will be fully explained.

What if I have a complaint?
If you have a complaint, please contact our Head Office:
Marshalls Chartered Surveyors
Suite O, The Kidlington Centre
High Street
Kidlington
Oxford
OX5 2DL

You can also read a copy of our formal COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE .

Do you have terms and conditions?
Our TERMS and CONDITIONS  vary according to the survey type. These terms outline the inspection we will undertake and they should be read carefully. 

What if I have any other questions?
Please call or email one of our OFFICES


Surveys

Marshall's undertake a full range of residential property surveys.

We cover Oxfordshire and West Berkshire, along with adjoining areas of Hampshire, Buckinghamshire, Gloucestershire and The Cotswolds.

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Valuation

Marshalls Chartered Surveyors are RICS Registered Valuers highly experienced in the local property market.

We undertake residential valuation instructions for all purposes, including shared ownership and Help to Buy.

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FAQ’s

Marshalls were established in 1979 and have in depth local knowledge and experience of all types of building.

We might not be the cheapest, but you can be confident that we are the experts in our field.

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Commercial

In addition to residential surveys and valuations, Marshalls offer a full range of commercial services, including commercial surveys, schedules of condition and dilapidations advice on behalf of both landlords and tenants.

Note: we do not undertake commercial valuations.

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Party wall

Marshalls offer a full range of specialist Party Wall services, working for both building owners and adjoining owners.

If you have received party wall notices from your neighbour or you are planning to carry out works, we can advise you of your options.

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Lease extensions

A lease is a wasting asset and as the remaining term becomes shorter, a residential property may be difficult to sell or mortgage.

You may need to consider a lease extension or possibly a freehold purchase.

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Property advice

A range of pages offering useful advice on various survey, valuation and general property matters.

From asbestos and bats through to toxic mould and woodworm, we hope this general property advice is useful.

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Contact us

Marshalls have offices in Oxford (01865-863020) and Newbury (01635-529777).

We cover Oxfordshire and West Berkshire, along with adjoining areas of Hampshire, Buckinghamshire, Gloucestershire and The Cotswolds.

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