What is a Survey & Valuation?

A survey is a property health check, carried out on behalf of any individual considering the purchase of a property. The inspection will result in a detailed report providing information about the condition of the property and any areas of concern.

Types of Survey

When buying a property there are three levels of survey to consider:

  • A valuation is a basic review of a property undertaken to assess its value.
  • A Homebuyer's Survey is more detailed than a valuation and is carried out on behalf of the buyer. This survey type is generally suitable for most conventional properties that are less than 150 years old.
  • A Buildings Survey involves a more in-depth investigation and is generally recommended for older properties or properties that have been significantly altered.
What survey is right for me? Homebuyer Buildings Survey
For those pruchasing properties for a standard construction  
For those purchasing properties in excess of 150 years  
For those purchasing properties that have been subject to significant alteration  
Traffic light rating 1-3 that gives a clear indication of the property's condition  
Provides clear advice on areas that require urgent attention
Provides advice for Conveyancing Solicitors
Provides advice on repairs required and on-going maintenance
Offers a key risks report
Provides advice on issues that affect the property value
Detailed and in-depth inspection  
Comprehensive report commenting on the condition of its structure  
Provides a description of any defects identified  
Outline of potential problems  
Professional advice on repair options  

Why a survey is necessary

Many people neglect to commission anything other than a basic valuation when buying a home. However, a property survey, involving a detailed inspection of the property will ensure you are fully aware of its condition before you buy it.

It is the buyer's responsibility to be certain that the building is structurally sound; the vendor has no obligation to declare any faults.

The difference between a Valuation and a Survey

It is important to understand the differences between a valuation and a survey:

  • A valuation is a basic check, carried out on behalf of a mortgage lender or a cash buyer to ensure the property is worth the money being paid for it. If you are buying a property it is important you do not rely solely on the valuation, you should also instruct a survey on your own behalf
  • A survey is a property inspection carried out by a qualified surveyor on behalf of the buyer. There are various levels of survey and the option used will be dependent on the property

What a survey tells you

The surveyor will inspect and report on parts of the building that are visible and readily accessible and will assess the condition of those parts. When you receive the survey concentrate on any issues highlighted as urgent or significant. The Homebuyer's report grades problems in the following way

  • Urgent repairs (e.g. faulty wiring or gas leak): this indicates that an issue that needs urgent attention and immediate rectification
  • Significant matters requiring further investigation by specialist contractors
  • Significant (but not urgent) repairs
  • Other significant considerations
  • Matters identified by inspection

Instructing a surveyor

When instructing a surveyor, you should ensure they are
qualified and a current practicing member
of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

Please contact our team to instruct your Surveyor.

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