By Joe Arnold


Help to Buy and the focus on homebuilding have helped new build to become a growth area for your business.

Figures from UK finance show that in the year to June there were 119,636 new build properties bought using a mortgage compared to 107,403 in the preceding 12 months and 98,470 the year before that.

Consequently, in the second quarter of this year, 19% of all homes bought using a mortgage were new builds, up from 18% in Q2 2017 and 17% in the same quarter the previous year. It can be for homebuyers reassuring to move into a property that has a new roof and windows, modern kitchen and bathroom. But just because a property is new, it doesn’t mean that it’s without fault.

A recent report from the New Homes Review (NHR) found that, once new home owners have collected their keys and moved into their new build property, more than 92% said that they had experienced snags or defects in their new home. Half of these people were then unhappy with the service the developer provided to rectify the fault.

A subsequent investigation by the BBC on the back of the NHR report found that some buyers identified more than 350 faults with their new home once they moved in, and the government is taking the issue so seriously that it is setting up a New Homes Ombudsman to protect the interests of homebuyers and hold developers to account when things go wrong.


The trouble with new build is it is often the case that problems are not identified until after the sale has completed, leaving the developer with little incentive to satisfactorily address the issue.

It doesn’t, however, have to be this way. Many surveyors offer snagging list surveys prior to completion on a new build property

A snagging list survey prior to completion, however, could identify any problems earlier in the process, giving your clients the information they need to ensure that defects are dealt with before they move in.

When it comes to new build purchases, time is of the essence and developers will usually put pressure on buyers to complete the purchase quickly. For your clients, who are likely to be emotionally involved in the transaction, it can be tempting to cut corners to meet a developer’s deadline, so you can provide real value by advising on their options throughout the process.

A snagging list survey could provide your clients with the peace of mind that they are purchasing a property armed with the right information, rather than a sour taste that their new home does not meet the standards they were expecting.


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About the author

Joe Arnold avatar

Joe Arnold

Joe is the guiding force behind Arnold & Baldwin and has overall responsibility for all commercial and residential surveys and valuations. Passionate about delivering the highest quality products at the fairest prices possible, he has been consistently searching for new and innovative client-focused services since founding the company with Jobie in 2007

Read more about Joe Arnold

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Professional, efficient surveyors. Get the job done in a timely manner, had our survey back within 5 days of inspection. All team members I spoke with (Tiffany and Billy) were really lovely. Highly recommend. :)


I have only just started working with Stephen and he has already demonstrated the high levels of customer attention and dedication that this company has. The first impression he has caused is such that made me write this review. I have no doubt that the continuous service will be of same level. Looking forward to working further with Stephen. Well done!

Steve Kenny

Lease extension - I found Daniel Grove very professional and had an excellent understanding of all aspects relating to this transaction. Advice was invaluable, and it was nice to come across someone who did exactly what they said they were going to do. Would not hesitate in recommending the firm and Daniel to anyone who has a lease to extend.

Petros Kyrkilis

Amazing job and fully professional treatment. The surveyor went above and beyond to check for everything, when he could have easily claim lack of access. In addition he was more than happy to answer questions over the phone and be there to explain the steps.

Lynn Wilson

Within 48 hours I received my detailed report from Joe Arnold which enabled me to see the property as it was and not through rose-tinted glasses! The report highlighted areas where money might need to be spent and provided guidance on questions for my solicitor - just what I needed. Overall, the survey enabled me to re-assess my offer and in this respect was invaluable. Thank you for a friendly and professional service.

Mark Roberts

100% choose this company. As first time buyers we had a mortgage valuation which said the house was fine. The Arnold & Baldwin survey found over £30,000 of problems. Holes in the roof with daylight visible, damp, woodworm, broken sash windows and poor electrics. This company helped us renegotiate and save a fortune.


Arnold & Baldwin came recommended and I’ve got to say they were brilliant - not just in identifying issues with the property I was looking at but in the way they kept me informed and up to date (ie picking up the phone instead of just posting / emailing communications with you). After dealing with estate agents for so long, it’s nice to have someone who is genuinely on your side.

Kamal Rahman

From my initial interaction with the firm I found them to be prompt, courteous and helpful. I received a detailed Homebuyers report within a week of instructing and was given the opportunity to talk it through with the attending surveyour. Overall excellent service all round, would certainly recommend this firm.

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