Vendor surveys are often undertaken by commercial property owners prior to selling a building. They are objective surveys of properties intended to satisfy the due-diligence requirement of potential purchasers, avoiding the need for them to conduct their own surveys.
Traditionally, a Technical Due Diligence (TDD) report would be commissioned, usually by the preferred bidder, during the final stages of a purchase deal. Such reports would often highlight issues relating to the structure, fabric and the mechanical and electrical aspects that would then impact on the price, which would usually have to be lowered in order to prevent the sale from being delayed.
The Investment Property Forum states that 'the most effective way of streamlining real estate transactions is for the intending seller and its advisors to have familiarised themselves thoroughly with the property and its title before putting it on the market'.
Vendor surveys have become increasingly common as they can help to speed up the sale process. In particular, when the property sector was hit hard by the economic downturn of 2008 many companies trying to sell assets began to commission surveys to speed up the sale and as a means of getting an edge over competitors.
Vendor surveys can include:
- A review of relevant technical and legal documentation.
- A full internal and external survey.
- A survey of, and advice on, building services systems.
- An assessment of deleterious materials.
- An assessment of environmental and energy performance matters.
While vendor surveys aim to facilitate the negotiation and transaction process, they have come under criticism from some property companies, funds and owner/occupiers. There has sometimes been a perception or experience of poor quality or biased reporting which, regardless of how professional the survey undertaken may be, is understandable since the vendor's overall aim is to achieve a sale of the property. As a result, vendor surveys conducted by independent surveyors as opposed to 'in-house' surveyors have become increasingly popular as they are seen to be a neutral party to the transaction.
Some of the advantages of conducting a vendor survey include:
- By highlighting issues at an early stage, the vendor has more time to take remedial steps which could save money.
- Both parties to the negotiation are better informed at an earlier stage, helping to establish trust and better decision-making.
- The need for separate inspections by multiple prospective purchasers can be avoided.
- The need for the vendor to conduct their own survey to confirm the findings of a prospective purchaser can be avoided.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- 3D laser survey.
- Building pathology.
- Building survey.
- Building use studies (BUS).
- Caveat emptor.
- Defective premises - liability and measure of damages.
- Development appraisal.
- Energy audit.
- Ground investigation.
- Home information pack HIP.
- Home report.
- Homebuyer Report.
- Site appraisals.
- Site surveys.
- Soil survey.
- Technical due diligence for development sites.
 External references
Featured articles and news
The origins, evolution and future of Level 3 BIM.
For new and returning Urban Design students, check out our article list divided up into the modules you'll be studying.
Report states that health of urban dwellers could be significantly improved by rethinking transport design.
The Kremlin, the centre of Russian power, includes some of the country's finest architecture.
Report launched outlining steps for a national infrastructure system that is efficient, sustainable, and delivers until 2050.
A review of Justin Bere's concise and well-presented introductory guide to Passive House.
This article describes in detail the tender process for a typical commercial construction contract.
What is energy storage, what are the different types and what is its future?
MAD Architects reveal their designs for a state-of-the-art concert hall in Beijing.
Take a look at BIG's designs for two twisting towers in New York City.
'The filing cabinet' which was labelled one of the best British buildings of the 21st century.