SUTCLIFFE Torrance is celebrating its 15th anniversary – and there is much to celebrate!

Founder/principal John Torrance chose to start the business after 20 years’ professional experience in both private practices and public bodies.

Needless to say, that expertise has led to substantial growth for the business over the last 15 years.

Based in Whitegate near Northwich and serving the surrounding areas, Sutcliffe Torrance offers a variety of chartered surveying property services to clients, not only house surveys.

They include valuing houses for buyers or for official bodies such as courts and housing associations, measuring boundaries and making Land Registry plans, listing commercial properties’ repairs, advising on planning applications and more.

The practice is regulated by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and is licensed to produce the well-respected RICS HomeBuyer Report.

Here, John, a chartered surveyor and RICS registered valuer, discusses the purposes of home surveys and the service that Sutcliffe Torrance offers...

“At Sutcliffe Torrance we are frequently asked what a survey does and how it can help a buyer.

Some buyers even want a report to ‘damn’ the property, to negotiate a lower price or get out of an agreed deal.

But most buyers want to know what they could be taking on – they want to know if any serious or minor repairs and works are needed so that they can work out if they want to go ahead with the property ‘warts and all’, and at what price.

Over the years at Sutcliffe Torrance we have found that what is nearly always wanted is, quite simply, a prompt, straightforward and balanced view of the property, as it is – neither seen through rose-tinted specs nor condemned for minor defects.

A buyer-occupier, who is ready to spend up to many hundreds of thousands of pounds, clearly wants to buy the property, likes it and is looking forward to living in it.

It is often thought that the only point of a house survey is to find faults – as many as possible – and thus to be as negative as can be.

But we find that clients appreciate a report which looks helpfully at the positives as well as the negatives.

For example, plus points such as exceptional or roomy layout or improvement possibilities may be mentioned.

Minor defects should not be exaggerated into major problems, perhaps ‘shattering the dream’ pointlessly.

The RICS brief on the HomeBuyer Report puts it very succinctly: “The aim is to help a buyer make a reasoned and informed decision on whether to go ahead, and to avoid unpleasant, and perhaps expensive, surprises.”

Sometimes, the purchase is an investment. Here, personal attachment to the home is less important and a list of essential maintenance works may be the main, if not sole, consideration.

Surveying calls for attention to detail and thinking carefully about a client’s best interests, which, of course, includes costs.

Our policy is to concentrate on each individual client’s task one at a time, completing reports within 48 hours after inspecting if humanly possible – i.e. no interruption or mixing in with other clients’ jobs, which would delay everybody all round.

And with our office costs being so low, we are happy to pass on savings to clients.”

You can download the home surveys consumer guide at for more detailed information on surveys. To find out more about Sutcliffe Torrance, email, visit or call 01606 301 868, leaving a message if necessary.