Property reports on Zoopla that cost £9.99 have been removed from the website after a “short trial.”
Last week, we revealed that an agent doubts the viability of the reports: /zoopla-introduces-property-buyer-reports-at-9-99/.
Soon after, it seemed that the reports had attempted to be removed from Zoopla, but they could still be found online.
Vectis, a member firm of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), compiled the reports.
The RICS comments: “Underpinning our royal charter remit is the mandate to act in the interests of consumers and the RICS applauds innovative thinking and welcomes new products and services that can enhance the professionalism of the sector and add value for the consumer.
“Vectis Chartered Surveyors ran a short trial of a buyer report with Zoopla.
“Following that trial, RICS identified elements of the report, which is not an RICS product and does not include a physical inspection of the property, that could be improved to better meet customer need.
“Vectis and Zoopla share RICS concerns that too many buyers fail to appreciate that a mortgage valuation is not a survey.
“Better informed buyers are more likely to have a survey done to learn more about the home they are buying.”
The RICS explains: “A tool that helps buyers clearly understand their options could prove useful in an era when some mortgage valuations are being provided from the desktop, without any inspection of the property at all.
“Following the trial period, RICS will liaise with Vectis as it improves the report, to deliver useful information to the consumer and improve understanding in the sector.
“The report is not a survey and is not intended to replace a survey, whereas the RICS Home Survey Suite of Condition Report, Homebuyer Report and Building Survey provide buyers with accurate and informed advice following a physical inspection of the property.
“Property professionals can easily guide buyers on the difference between a mortgage valuation and a survey with the RICS, with the RICS, valuation is not a survey, short video.”1
Find the RICS video here: http://www.rics.org/uk/knowledge/consumer-guides/home-surveys/.
A Zoopla spokesperson adds: “It was always a short-term limited trial, which has now ended.”1