Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I need a survey?

Buying a home is one of the most expensive purchases and biggest decisions you will ever have to make. The consequences of not carrying out a survey on your potential new home can be disastrous.

Your new home could have hidden flaws which might mean a great deal of expense, heartache and stress in the long run. Research conducted by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), showed that “on average homebuyers spend £5,750 on repair bills once they have moved into their new home. A home survey will provide the buyer with much more information on the state of the property and any work that will need to be carried out.” (RICS 2015). If major defects are uncovered in your survey, you might even think again about your purchase or you could be in a position to renegotiate the price.

To be a prudent homebuyer, it is imperative to have a survey conducted to advise you of significant defects and associated expenses to allow you to make an informed decision on your prospective property.

I am having a mortgage valuation. Do I need a survey?

If you need a mortgage to buy your house then a lender will need you to pay for a mortgage valuation report. However, this is not a survey and should not be mistaken as such. A mortgage valuation report is a valuation of the property for the mortgage lender to confirm that the property is worth the amount that you want to borrow. However, this report will only highlight obvious defects. If you request an independent survey then the Surveyor works for the buyer and not the lender and will conduct a more detailed examination into the property’s structural integrity, repairs, maintenance and condition.

Why is it important to choose a RICS regulated firm?

RICS is the world’s leading qualification in land, property and construction. RICS is also a regulator of both its individual members and firms, enabling it to maintain the highest standards and providing the basis for unparalleled client confidence in the sector. Chartered Surveyors are qualified professionals who offer you impartial, specialist advice on property issues.

What is the difference between a RICS Homebuyers survey and a Full building survey?

A RICS Homebuyers survey is a report on conditions and will highlight urgent and significant items of repair which will affect the value. It uses a traffic light system to indicate the severity of the problem and provides a market valuation and a building reinstatement cost figure.

The Full building survey is a comprehensive and in-depth evaluation of the property with a detailed description of the construction, any defects affecting the property, the cause and how to repair them. It will also highlight items of future concern and maintenance. In addition, the building survey can be tailored to your own needs to include or exclude certain items. The Full building survey is particularly suited to properties that are unusual or have been considerably extended, particularly large or those built pre-1870.

I am buying an old house. Should I have it surveyed?

Buying a house is one of the most expensive investments most people make during their lives. Every house is different in both construction and condition and many older properties may have been significantly altered and extended over the years. The Full building survey is particularly suitable for older properties and will give an accurate, independent record of the condition of the building at the time of purchase.