house survey or snagging list

Home Survey or Snagging List: Which Is Best for a New Build Property?

One of the great things about buying a new build property is that… it’s new! For this reason, there shouldn’t be the structural problems or other issues you may come across with older buildings. However, you shouldn’t assume absolutely everything will be perfect.

Often, builders overlook small details when finishing new builds and it’s irritating to move into a property to find there are imperfections.

For this reason, it’s wise to get an independent specialist to check for ‘snags’ before you sign the contract. A relatively inexpensive snagging list will point out problems for the developer to remedy, meaning you don’t have any arguments post completion. Find out more about new build snagging surveys and when you should get one done…

What is a snag?

A snag usually means a small defect or problem that needs to be addressed to make the property feel properly finished. It could be minor damage such as:


  • A cracked tile
  • Marked paintwork/paint drips
  • A scratched window
  • A broken hinge



Or something due to poor workmanship e.g.:


  • Major cracks
  • Improperly fitted fixtures
  • A leaking pipe
  • Surfaces that aren’t level



What is a snagging list?

If you ask Trinity Rose to carry out a snagging survey, we will compile a list of defects/issues that you can ask the developer to rectify. This new build snagging list isn’t officially a survey but will include a whole range of things, from unmet Building Regulations to minor damage and sloppy decoration. Basically, a snagging list is acknowledgement of everything that needs to be done to ensure the property is to the standard you’d expect from a new build.

What is a Home Buyer Report?

A HomeBuyer Report is a survey that will look at visible and potential problems in a property that might require work. This mid-range survey is a great option for reasonably new properties and goes into detail on surface level issues.

Which survey is best for a new build?

We always recommend that a professional has a look around a property before you sign any contracts. The findings not only alert you to issues, but support any requests you make to the vendor/developer for tackling problems. However, the kind of survey you opt for is up to you.

Different kinds of property require different levels of investigation. One of the really appealing things about new build homes is that they should be relatively problem-free, especially when it comes to major structural defects.

For this reason, a snagging survey is usually the perfect choice. Of course, if you want to delve deeper and have more thorough checks carried out, you could ask for a HomeBuyer Report: it certainly won’t be the wrong choice. However, the kinds of problems associated with new builds are normally aesthetic or very minor, so anything beyond a snagging report is usually unnecessary. If you’d like help choosing the most appropriate survey for a property, we’ll be happy to offer our professional guidance.

Do I need a survey when I have a new build home warranty?

New build properties are often covered by warranties that usually last for many years. For this reason, some people think they don’t need a snagging survey. However, warranties sometimes don’t cover the things you’d expect and it’s far better to have all issues resolved before you move in.

Warranties can also be complicated and/or split into different periods. For example, you might initially be covered against the firm going insolvent; then the defects insurance period kicks in once the house is built, lasting a couple of years; and finally, the structural insurance period may cover the remaining warranty time.

With the above example, after a couple of years have passed, the builder wouldn’t have to fix any smaller problems such as leaking windows due to poor workmanship. If you don’t realise there’s an issue until this point, you won’t be covered and may have to pay for repairs yourself. A new build snagging survey should catch issues like these so they can be rectified by the developer before you move in.

Who pays for snagging?


  • Usually, the buyer pays for a snagging survey but you can sometimes pass the cost on to the developer.
  • If you submit your snagging list within two years of the completion date, the developer/builder should pay to fix any snags.
  • After two years, you will have to resolve any snags at your own expense.



The small cost of new build snagging survey is well worth the peace of mind that you’ll get the new build home of your dreams, in the condition you’d hope for and expect.

Who carries out a snagging survey?

Technically, anyone can carry out a snagging survey; you do not need to be RICS registered to compile a snagging list. However, an experienced Chartered Surveyor will know exactly what to look for and a signed report from a professional carries a lot of weight with developers. During the inspection, your surveyor will thoroughly check the property for defects, problems and aesthetic issues. They will compile a signed, comprehensive snagging list which you can then present to your developer to resolve before you sign the contract.

Get in touch

If you’re buying a new build and would like to arrange a snagging survey, or have any questions at all, please get in touch. Our experienced team will be happy to help.