Buying your home could be the most significant purchase you ever make, so it is well worth commissioning a survey to give you peace of mind that there aren’t any significant problems with the property.

A Homebuyers Report is the most popular type of survey available. It is not as in-depth as a Buildings Survey but is more comprehensive than a Condition Report. Here we answer some of our most frequently asked questions about Homebuyers Reports.

What is a Homebuyers Survey?

A Homebuyers Report is designed to give an overall opinion on the condition of a property. It can be offered with or without a valuation and will help you identify any major problems such as subsistence, damp or if the roof needs replacing.

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The surveyor will inspect all visible aspects of the property, but they will not lift floorboards or look behind furniture therefore, they will only be able to identify surface-level issues.

What Type of Property is the Homebuyers Survey for?

A Homebuyers Report is best for homes that are:

  • built within the last 100 years
  • built using conventional materials
  • in reasonable condition

If the property you are considering buying is significantly older than this or has undergone extensive alteration or extension, you may want to consider a Building Survey.

What’s Covered in a RICS HomeBuyers Report?

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) is an international body that regulates and trains chartered surveyors. They provide standard templates for home survey reports which buyers, sellers and property professionals respect. Only licensed surveyors can administer their reports.

A RICS Homebuyers Report, otherwise known as a Level 2 report, covers the following areas of a property:

Outside the property (inspected from ground level)

  • Chimney stacks and roof coverings
  • Main walls
  • Pipes and gutters
  • Windows and doors
  • Garages, conservatories and porches

Inside the property

  • Ceilings and walls (including the roof structure if it is accessible)
  • Floors
  • Built in fittings including kitchens and bathrooms
  • Woodwork
  • Fireplaces, chimneys and flues
  • Services
  • Electricity
  • Gas/oil
  • Water heating
  • Drainage

The report also includes an estimated cost of rebuilding the property for insurance purposes and a current valuation of the property.

A RICS report is not the only option. There are two other accrediting bodies for surveyors, Sava and RPSA, who each offer different surveys similar to RICS. Also, some surveyors offer their own equivalent of the RICS Home Survey Level 2, which may include more information.

Homebuyer report checksHow Much Does A Homebuyers Survey Cost?

The cost of your survey will depend on the location, type and size of your property. Surveyors are free to set their prices, so be sure to get a few different quotes.

The average cost of a Homebuyers Survey is £500 but could be as much as £1,000 for larger properties.

How Long Does A Homebuyers Survey Take?

A Homebuyers inspection takes between 2 to 4 hours to complete. Typically, you will receive your report within 3-5 working days.

What Does A Homebuyers Report Look Like?

A RICS Homebuyers Report follows a standard format and uses a traffic light system so you can see the properties condition and any areas of concern. Each aspect of the property that is inspected will receive one of the following condition ratings.

Green – No repair is currently needed.

Amber – Defects that need repairing or replacing but are not considered to be serious or urgent.

Red – Defects that are serious and/or urgent and need attention urgently

NI – Not inspected, for instance if access was not possible e.g. cupboards or roof space blocked.

The report is written in a way that is easy to understand and without difficult jargon.

Click here to see an example of the RICS Level 2 HomeBuyer Report.

Pros & Cons: Homebuyers, Building Survey & Condition Report

There are three basic types of house survey:

  • Condition Report
  • Homebuyers Report
  • Building Survey

This article has focused on the Homebuyers Report, which is the most popular type of survey. However, the other two options have their pros and cons.

Survey Pros and Cons

Is a Homebuyers Survey Worth It?

We would always recommend getting a Homebuyers Survey or Building Survey on a property you are buying. By having a survey, you will be aware of any issues and potential costs before committing to the purchase. You can use any defects or down valuations to renegotiate the price, or if the repair work required is too expensive, you can pull out of the sale. If you decide to proceed with the purchase, you will be able to budget for any repair work.

Research from RICS surveyed over 1,000 buyers and found that 1 in 5 buyers who didn’t have a survey later found problems with the property. Those who didn’t have a survey had to spend £5,750 on average for repair work they were not aware of.

When you are buying a house, there is so much to think about, and the process can be stressful. You might feel that having to find a surveyor is a complication and expense you could do without. But a survey provides greater peace of mind and could save you a lot of time, money and heartache.

Whether you’re looking to buy or sell, M&M Property provides a tailored, efficient and professional service, and we are proud of our outstanding reputation. To find out more, contact us today.