The importance of a house electrical test
Many overlook the importance of a house electrical test. Whether you are buying or selling, Home Buyers Electrical Reports can bring peace of mind to your negotiations.
It’s about avoiding a potentially costly leap of faith. Buying a house is a large undertaking, so whether it be a new home to live in, or an investment, there are certain considerations that must be taken into account to ensure the property is a sound purchase.
What is a house electrical test?
A house electrical test, or Home Buyer’s Electrical Report, goes much further than local searches and surveys of the structure and building works. Often overlooked, the status of the electrical installations has become a crucial focus element in the purchase of a property.
Some building surveys will recommend a full review of the electrics as well as necessary remedial works, but even if yours doesn’t, we believe it is critical in the decision-making process. From a safety point of view, a house electrical test is truly important.
How can the electrics affect the value of a property?
The state of the property will have a large bearing on the value of the property and depending on its state, can even put some house buyers off. For example, if there is a great deal of work to do before the property can become habitable, it will deter those who are unable or unwilling to complete it as a project. A house electrical test will:
- Provide buyers with a true picture of the status of the home, so they can make an informed decision
- Reveal whether the house needs any major electrical works. This should be disclosed in the buying process and factored into the price
- Highlight the need for a re-wiring job. These can cost new owners thousands, so could be taken off the asking price.
What will your house electrical test reveal?
Your house electrical test, which will be a Domestic Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR), or an enhanced Home Buyers Electrical Report, will reveal the true state of all the electrical systems within a home. This includes the fuse board, wiring, sockets and anything connected to the mains supply.
You’ll find out what is safe, what is not, where any weak points are, if there is any wear and tear that needs addressing. All notifiable works will be disclosed as part of a comprehensive report.
The following questions will also be answered during your house electrical test, which will help to paint an overall picture for potential residents or landlords of the property:
- Are fittings fire-rated where they need to be?
- Are fittings correctly specified for bathrooms and shower rooms?
- Is re-wiring needed? A new fuse box or consumer unit? Is earthing and RCD protection in place?
- Is there adequate heat and smoke detection already in place?
If you are planning extensive works to the house after purchase, the investigation will give you a clear indication as to whether the electrics will support it.
As the seller of the house, you could either have the work completed before exchanging, or pass the information on to the prospective buyer. If you are the buyer , you will get a quotation for how much the work will cost and then you can use it as part of your price negotiations.
What are the potential problems if you avoid a house electrical test?
It is of course entirely at the buyer’s discretion whether they require a review of the electrical installations within the property they are buying. Circumstances such as buying a house at auction might negate such a requirement, or for example if the house were a new build.
However, in most cases it is strongly advised for there to be an assessment made. There are different levels of investigation which can be offered. Some of which might be recommended by your building surveyor. Failing to follow up on these could, in fact, result in the solicitor not allowing the sale as there could be huge implications if issues were found at a later stage.
If the house is in a significant state of disrepair, which could include the electrics, the mortgage lender might not provide their loan.
- An EICR or Home Buyers Electrical Report is just as important as a gas check and in safety terms – and far more important than an EPC (Insulation report).
- A huge proportion of house fires are caused by electrics and as such, there are health and safety risks for the people who might be resident, and a financial risk for the building itself.
- As a result, insurance might be difficult to secure or might be invalidated.
- A Home Buyers Electrical Inspection can save lives.
- Every key area of the house should be reviewed before a sale or purchase, so that all goes through in good faith without expensive work required afterwards.
Overlooking the electrics during a house sale or purchase can be a grave mistake and both parties should take responsibility to ensure these are thoroughly assessed before any price is agreed. The state of the electrics could result in danger or expense, which you do not want to incur if you are the buyer. Equally as a seller, you have a responsibility to sell the house in a safe condition.
Two levels of electrical survey
At Hexo we offer two different electrical surveys for home buyers and sellers.
Domestic Electrical Installation Condition Report or EICR:
This is a standard Domestic Electrical Installation Condition Report, or EICR, which will highlight any faults and their severity. We will also give a quotation for any remedial works required.
Enhanced Home Buyers Electrical Report:
This includes a standard Domestic Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR), as well as check of 100% of the sockets, switches and other fittings in your home. It also entails a detailed electrical inspector’s report on the following areas:
- Evaluation of the capacity for extension
- Recommendations on smoke and heat detection
- Summary of the findings on wiring condition
- Findings on sockets/fittings
- Electrical Fire Safety issues
- Detailed quotation for the remedial works
How much will a Domestic Electrical Installation Condition Report cost?
So how much will a Domestic Electrical Installation Condition Report cost? Well, at Hexo Services we believe in being clear about pricing. You can find a rundown of costs via our Prices pages, and our fees are based on the size of the home and the amount of circuits within in.
For your money, you will receive a comprehensive document that can be sent to your bank or mortgage lender, solicitor and estate agent. It can also be used in the negotiations process.
How we can help
Whichever side of the selling or buying process you are on, Hexo Services will be able able to assist with a comprehensive review of the property’s electrics. We can advise you of how in-depth it needs to be, conduct the report and complete any necessary repairs or improvement works to give you complete peace of mind. Get in touch with us and we’ll be happy to help.