When dropping the keys back with the agent after carrying out a residential survey for a purchaser, I am invariably met with a question all residential surveyors will be familiar with: “Well, how did it go?”. Check below our story and some useful residential surveying advice.
If you are, like me, immature, then the urge to be flippant is almost overwhelming: “Everything’s fine…” – then a pause, followed by: “…apart from the Japanese knotweed…” before quickly walking out.
Luckily I am ever mindful of my obligations as a professional, and I normally manage to resist.
But it does always prompt me to think about conflicts of interests. In this situation it’s simple: I am acting for a client, the agent is not my client, therefore I should tell them nothing, whilst, of course, being as polite as possible.
But if you are a residential surveyor, you’ll also be familiar with the vendor, being home on occasion, asking afterwards: “Well, how did it go?” Again, you think, simple: I am acting for a client, the vendor is not my client, therefore I should tell them nothing, whilst, of course, being as polite as possible.
But if the vendor is themselves buying a house, and asks you if you’d be willing to survey it for them, and you are suddenly willing to please so as to land a new commission…? Here, the temptation is not so much to be flippant as to bend the rules…and this is where our training is so important. Even mundane situations can suddenly lend themselves to bending the RICS Rules of Conduct, and never doing so marks us out as professionals.
During my APC, my mentor sent me quote from Kipling’s The Jungle Book: “A brave heart and a courteous tongue. They shall carry thee far through the jungle.” Although not yet one of the RICS Rules of Conduct, at least not until I’m RICS president, I still bear it in mind in these situations.
But I digress, and I’ll finish this column now as I have to write up my survey report from this morning. The house is fine by the way.
Apart from the knotweed.