‘Top tips’ on choosing the right Survey & Valuation Report when you buy!

Purchasing a home is the largest financial commitment we make in our lives. They need to know they are buying the property at the right price for the condition it is in with - no nasty surprises! So you need an RICS professional to inspect the property. Below is a guide on the various RICS reports that you can commission, according to your needs.

Property surveys explained

It is important therefore to ensure that you are fully aware of its true condition in order to allow you to budget for any costly repairs which you may not have been aware of and to help ensure you are paying a suitable price. Unfortunately many buyers wrongly confuse a simple mortgage valuation with a survey, incorrectly relying upon it to make them aware of hidden defects. Whilst a survey will provide a detailed report on the condition of the property a mortgage valuation is simply designed to ensure that the property represents reasonable security against the mortgage on behalf of the lender. There are currently three types of RICS approved survey to choose from, each of which is detailed briefly below in order to help you choose the correct one for your purchase.


RICS Condition Report (survey level one)

A concise, descriptive report suitable for smaller and newer properties. It clearly colour codes property defects which may need attention. It also acts as a valuable MOT for home owners looking to assess the condition of their property.

This service includes:

  • a concise description of the condition of each element of the property
  • colour-coded condition ratings
  • summary of condition ratings and defects of the property 
    This service excludes:
  • a market valuation
  • reinstatement cost
  • diagnosis of defects, or any additional advice on repairs and maintenance.  

RICS HomeBuyer Report (survey level two)

The most popular report for buyers. An economic but detailed report which is suitable for the majority of residential properties, it clearly presents all findings in an easy to read format.
This service includes:

  • description of the condition of each element of the property
  • colour-coded condition ratings
  • comment on defects, and additional advice on repairs and maintenance an overall opinion and summary of condition ratings
  • a market valuation and a reinstatement cost 
    This service excludes:
  • cost estimates for repairs
  • any detailed description of the construction of the building or detailed advice on specific defects 

RICS Building Survey (survey level three)

A comprehensive, tailored report, including a survey of visible and potential problems of the structure and other components of the building and grounds. This report is designed for large, older or unique properties, and for those in an obvious state of disrepair.
This service includes:

  • diagnosis of defects, and detailed advice on repairs and maintenance 
  • a full description of the condition and construction of each element of the property
  • section on energy efficiency
  • colour-coded condition ratings
  • an overall assessment, including an overall opinion and a summary of condition ratings, repairs and suggested further investigations 
    This service excludes:
  • a market valuation or reinstatement cost. 

If you would like to discuss which survey would be best for your purchase please do not hesitate to contact any one of our three offices and we will be pleased to both advise you and provide a competitive fee quotation.

Alastair Boulton pgdipSurveying MRICS
Chartered Surveyor and RICS Registered Value
Tel:01507 522222/01522 538888


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