RICS home buyers survey

What to Expect from a RICS Homebuyers’ Survey

If you have found a property that you like and want to purchase, it’s a wise idea to have a survey carried out. During a homebuyer’s survey, a surveyor will inspect the property to identify any structural damage or other problems that could potentially be costly to repair in the future. A building survey will ensure that you have as much information as possible before making a decision on whether or not to go ahead with purchasing the property, making sure that you are aware of issues such as damp, rot, subsidence, structural problems, insect infestations, or the presence of dangerous materials such as asbestos.

Depending on the type of property that you are purchasing, its age, current condition, location, and other factors, there are several types of RICS surveys that you can opt for. The RICS homebuyer’s survey is the most popular option and is usually recommended for those who are purchasing an average property of a fair age and in reasonable condition. Here’s what you can expect when arranging your survey.

When to Get an RICS Home Buyers Survey:

If the property that you are planning to purchase is suitable for a homebuyer’s survey, you may be considering the best time to have the survey carried out – or even if it’s necessary to get one. Getting a homebuyer’s survey might feel like an unnecessary expense when you are already spending a lot of money on a new home, however, the cost of the survey can certainly be worth it since being aware of any issues with the property could help you save a significant amount of money in the future. Ideally, you should arrange to have the survey carried out after you have made an offer on the property that has been accepted, but before the sale is completed.

What Does the RICS Homebuyer Survey Involve?

To carry out the survey, the RICS surveyor will visit the property where they will carry out a full inspection that will usually last up to four hours, depending on the size and condition of the house. The survey is not invasive, so they will not require access to the loft, behind furniture or under floorboards where this is not easily possible. The surveyor will conduct a full inspection of all the exterior and interior features of the home, along with checking the heating system and any visible gas and electric system components. They will also thoroughly inspect the property for any signs of potential issues including damp, wet, and dry rot, subsidence, insect infestations, and anything else that will need your attention once you own the property.

What does a damp survey involve?

Once the survey has been carried out, the surveyor will then prepare a report for you. This report will provide details on any issues that have been found within the property and will pay special attention to problems that require immediate attention, anything that is not within building regulations and may require legal advice, and anything that could become a potential hazard in the future such as the presence of asbestos or structural problems. They will also provide you with an idea of the type of work that will be needed to conduct the necessary repairs, when this should be done by, how long it might take, and how much it may cost.

How Long Will the RICS Homebuyer Survey Take?

The length of time that you can expect your homebuyer’s survey to take will depend on a number of factors including the size and location of the property, along with the type and number of any defects that are found during the inspection. In general, a homebuyer’s survey should take no longer than four hours for the surveyor to complete. A shorter survey option is the condition report, which provides a general overview of the property along with information on any problems that require immediate attention and will take around an hour on average. On the other hand, if you want a more in-depth survey of the property that is likely to take a whole day to complete, you may want to invest in a building survey or full structural survey. This survey goes much in-depth compared to the homebuyer’s survey and is often recommended for older properties, homes with unusual layouts, or a property that you plan to significantly renovate in the future.

Homebuyers Report Cost

When Will I Get the Results?

How long you can expect to wait to get the results of the homebuyer’s survey on the property will depend on the surveyor that you choose, the issues found, and the complexity of the report requested. A more complex report, such as a report for a full structural survey, will usually take longer to put together therefore you can expect to wait around ten working days. For a general homebuyer’s survey of a property, you can usually expect to wait around five working days before you get the report. Your surveyor will be able to provide you with more information on how long they expect it to take to put the report together for you.

How Can I Use the Survey Results?

Once you have the results of the survey, you can use them to make a more informed decision regarding whether or not you would like to continue with the purchase of the property. In some cases, you might find that a property has a lot more issues than you first thought and you decide to pull out of the sale as a result. However, since many sellers are hoping for a quick sale, another way that you can use the report to your advantage is to use it to negotiate a lower price from the seller. Since the seller knows that any other potential buyers are likely going to get the same results from their own homebuyer’s survey, they may be willing to reduce the asking price and accept a lower offer from you so that you are able to save money to use on the future repairs that are needed. Because of this, getting the survey carried out could help you save a significant amount of money in the future along with providing peace of mind that you’re making the right property investment for you.

What Will the Surveyor Need to Carry Out an RICS Homebuyer Report?

Once you have booked the homebuyer’s survey, it’s important to work together with the seller of the property to ensure that the surveyor will be able to get easy access to the property for the amount of time needed to carry out the inspection. Since this survey is not invasive, there is no need to move furniture out of the way or ensure that the surveyor can get into the loft or attic. However, making it as easy as possible for the surveyor to see as much of the property as possible is advised. If you have arranged for a full structural survey to be conducted rather than a homebuyer’s report, it’s important to ensure that the surveyor will be able to easily inspect everywhere in the home including loft spaces, attics or basements, underneath the floorboards and behind furniture.

What Do Property Surveyors Look For?

How Much is an RICS Homebuyer Report Near Me?

The cost of your building survey will vary depending on the size, type and age of the property, the type of survey that you require, and the surveyor that you choose to work with. On average, you can expect to pay around a few hundred pounds for a homebuyer’s survey to be carried out on an average-sized property in reasonable condition. While it might seem like just another expense to be added on to purchasing your new property, it’s definitely worth paying since homeowners who invest in a survey before buying often save around £5,000 on future repairs, while those who do not get a survey could end up spending more than double that in repair costs.

How to Get an RICS Homebuyer Report Quote:

Finding the right surveyor to carry out the homebuyer’s survey on your potential new property is important. You may be able to get a recommendation for a local surveyor from your mortgage provider or your conveyancing solicitor, however, it’s worth conducting your own research since many property experts partner with surveyors and will recommend the companies or contractors that they earn commission from. You may also want to ask around in your social circle to find out if any friends or family members who have purchased a property in the area have any recommendations for surveyors that they trust and have had a good experience with. Alternatively, you can search online to find a surveyor in your area. Since many surveyors are independent contractors who set their own fees, it’s worth asking for several different quotes before making your decision. Make sure that any surveyor you choose is registered with RICS or another accrediting body such as RPSA or SAVA.

If you’re purchasing a house, it’s a wise idea to arrange for an RICS homebuyer’s survey to find any potential defects and provide you with the information that you need going forward.