Do I need a Survey?

Do I need to have a survey of property done?

Buying a property is a significant investment, and it is essential to ensure that you make an informed decision. A property survey is an important step in the buying process, as it can uncover potential problems or defects that may not be visible to the untrained eye. In this article, we’ll explore why a survey is advisable before purchasing a property in Ireland, when to have a survey carried out, and what happens if problems are discovered after the purchase.

Why a survey is advisable?

A property survey is an assessment of the condition of a property carried out by a qualified professional such as an architect, engineer or surveyor. The survey will examine the structural integrity of the property, as well as its condition, including any defects or issues that may need to be addressed. A survey can also identify any potential problems with the property’s heating, plumbing, and electrical systems.

Having a survey carried out can help you make an informed decision about whether or not to proceed with the purchase of a property. If problems or defects are identified during the survey, you can use this information to negotiate the price of the property or to request that the seller address the issues before the sale is completed.

When should I have the survey carried out?

It is advisable to have a survey carried out before you sign a contract to purchase a property. This will give you the opportunity to identify any potential problems before you commit to the sale. It is also worth noting that some surveyors may not be available at short notice, so it is important to book a survey as early as possible in the buying process.

Does a bank valuation not cover these things?

It is important to note that a bank valuation is not the same as a property survey. A bank valuation is an assessment of the value of a property, usually carried out by a valuer appointed by the bank. The valuation is intended to confirm that the property is worth the amount that you are borrowing.

While a bank valuation may identify some issues with a property, it is not a comprehensive assessment of the property’s condition. A survey, on the other hand, is a detailed examination of the property’s condition and can identify potential problems that may need to be addressed.

What happens if problems are discovered after a property is purchased?

The principle of Caveat Emptor (Buyer Beware) applies to property transactions. Therefore if problems are discovered after a property is purchased in most cases, a purchaser will have no recourse against the Vendor. The purchaser would be responsible to rectify any defects or structural issues with the property. The exception to this would be in cases where the Vendor has misled you.


How do I choose a solicitor for my property?


Buying or selling a property is a significant financial transaction that involves a lot of legal documentation and procedures. To ensure a smooth and successful transaction, it’s essential to have a competent and reliable solicitor by your side. A solicitor is a legal professional who can specialise in property law and can guide you through the legalities of buying or selling a property. However, with so many solicitors out there, how do you choose the right one for your needs?

  1. Look for a specialist in property law

The first thing to consider when choosing a solicitor for the purchase or sale of a property is their area of expertise. Not all solicitors specialise in property law, and you want to find someone who has experience in this area. Look for a solicitor who has a track record of handling property transactions and has a good understanding of property law. The solicitor who recently represented a family member defending a road traffic matter might not always be the best deal with property matters

2. Consider their experience

Experience is an important factor to consider when choosing a solicitor for the purchase or sale of a property. Look for a solicitor who has handled similar transactions in the past and has experience dealing with the specific type of property you’re buying or selling. A solicitor with a proven track record can provide you with valuable guidance and advice throughout the transaction

3. Look for someone who communicates well

Good communication is essential when working with a solicitor for the purchase or sale of a property. You want to find someone who is responsive, proactive, and keeps you informed throughout the process. Look for a solicitor who communicates clearly and concisely and is available to answer your questions and concerns.

4. Consider their fees

Another important factor to consider when choosing a solicitor for the purchase or sale of a property is their fees. Solicitors’ fees can vary widely, and it’s important to understand what you’ll be paying for and how much it will cost. Look for a solicitor who is transparent about their fees and provides you with a clear breakdown of the costs involved.

While the cost of a solicitor’s services is an important factor to consider when choosing a solicitor for the purchase or sale of a property, it should not be the only deciding factor. Picking a solicitor based solely on price can lead to a suboptimal experience, and potentially harm your transaction.

A solicitor who offers significantly lower fees than their competitors may be inexperienced or may cut corners, which can cause problems and delays during the transaction. It’s also essential to be aware of any hidden fees, as these can quickly add up and make the overall cost more expensive.

On the other hand, a solicitor who charges high fees does not necessarily guarantee the best quality of service or expertise. It’s important to consider the solicitor’s experience, credentials, and reputation in addition to their fees.

5. Read reviews and testimonials

Finally, it’s always a good idea to read reviews and testimonials from past clients when choosing a solicitor. Look for a solicitor who has positive reviews and a good reputation in the industry. You can check reviews on the solicitor’s website, Google reviews, or other review platforms.

6. Get recommendations from friends and family

Seeking recommendations from friends or family can be a helpful way to identify potential solicitors for your property transaction. Recommendations from people you know and trust can provide valuable insights into a solicitor’s experience, communication style, and overall quality of service.

When seeking recommendations, it’s important to consider the source of the recommendation. For example, if a friend or family member had a positive experience with a solicitor for a different type of legal matter, they may not necessarily be the best choice for your property transaction.

You should also do your own research and compare the recommended solicitors with other options. Consider factors such as the solicitor’s experience, qualifications, and fees, as well as any reviews or testimonials from past clients.

Ultimately, while seeking recommendations from friends or family can be helpful, it’s important to make your own decision based on your individual needs and circumstances. Choose a solicitor who has the expertise and experience to handle your specific property transaction, and who you feel comfortable working with throughout the process.


Choosing the right solicitor for the purchase or sale of a property is crucial to ensure a smooth and successful transaction. Consider the solicitor’s area of expertise, qualifications and credentials, experience, communication skills, fees, and reputation when making your decision. With the right solicitor by your side, you can navigate the legal complexities of property transactions with confidence.

Sweeney McHugh Solicitors have a number of experienced Solicitors who deal with property purchases and sales on a daily basis. Please feel free to contact our office for a no obligation quotation on fees or to discuss your next transaction.