What is a Home Buyers Survey?

A HomeBuyers Survey (Level 2 RICS Survey) is a non-intrusive, independent visual inspection of a home you intend to buy and is carried out by a RICS chartered surveyor. It’s usually the buyer who arranges and pays for the survey after their offer has been accepted.

This survey is designed to report the condition of the property you want to buy and identify any potential defects or dangers. You’ll also receive advice on urgent repairs, any areas that are non-compliant with building regulations and how any problems can affect the property and its value.

This information will be put into a report along with maintenance and repair recommendations and their likely cost.

Although a HomeBuyers Survey is not a legal requirement, it can help you put your mind at ease when buying a home and avoid any unexpected stress or expense. If you’re considering an older, non-standard, or more damaged property, we recommend you choose a more detailed building survey instead.

what is a home buyers survey

Do I need a Homebuyers Survey?

As mentioned above, a HomeBuyers Survey is optional but strongly recommended as it can provide peace of mind, especially if you are a first-time buyer.

You can use this information to potentially save you thousands in repair costs, help you make informed decisions and to even renegotiate the price if necessary.

A HomeBuyers Survey will also be required by your mortgage lender and could help you get a better price on your home insurance. 

If you’ve already spent a lot of money purchasing your property, this may seem like another extra cost, but it’s more than worth the expense for the reassurance it gives.

What does a Home Buyers Survey cover?

The HomeBuyers Survey is a visual inspection of the property you want to buy, including the interior and exterior.

It looks at the condition of features like roofing, pipes, gutters, walls, windows and doors, heaving, drainage, electricity, gas, heating, plumbing and water services. You’ll also receive an energy efficiency rating for the property to help you understand how much you are likely to pay on energy bills.

You’ll also find out if there are any serious structural problems like subsidence, damp proofing, insulation, woodworm, or rot in the timber and whether there is existing damp in the property.

However, be aware that a HomeBuyers Survey doesn’t cover:

  • Inspection of an inaccessible or non-visible part of the property. This includes places that are unsafe or covered by furniture.
  • Detailed inspection of the heating, electric, gas or plumbing systems
  • Communal areas such as a lift or a hallway in an apartment block
  • Temporary outbuildings

What is the cost of a home buyers survey?

The cost of a HomeBuyers Survey depends on a variety of factors including the type of property, its size, location, and condition.

On average, you can expect to pay between £400-600.

If you want to get a more in-depth survey, we recommend a RICS Building Survey, although it will cost more. Having said that, these surveys are worth every penny, even if you already think everything is fine. You’d be surprised at the problems that can be identified.

How long does a HomeBuyers Survey take?

Usually, it usually takes around an hour for a basic HomeBuyers Survey to be carried out, around three hours for a medium-sized property and up to a day for larger or more complex projects.

After the surveyor leaves, you should be told how long it’s likely to take for you to receive your final report. This should arrive by post or via email within around 5-10 days, although we do recommend that you book as soon as possible to prevent any issues or delays with the survey slowing down the purchase of your new home.

How to find a surveyor

The best way to find a surveyor is to get quotes directly and compare what they offer. You may be offered a surveyor through your bank or mortgage lender but do be sure to weigh up whether each could be a good choice, before you make your decision.

Here are some tips:

  • Check that the surveyor is a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and read reviews.
  • Decide whether you’d like a property valuation at the same time, then make this clear to your surveyor
  • Share any questions or concerns you may have about the property so your surveyor can help you decide whether the HomeBuyers Survey is the best option for you.
  • Ask to meet the surveyor after the survey to discuss any points of concern

Conclusion: Are HomeBuyers surveys worth it?

HomeBuyers Surveys are certainly worth it, given the insight and peace of mind they can provide regarding the condition of your home. They’re not the same as the valuation survey offered by your mortgage lender as your surveyor will visit your potential home, rather than just view the property from outside.

When it comes to keeping your family safe, avoiding structural issues, paying what your property is truly worth and helping you to make a profit on your home, a HomeBuyers Survey is the savvy choice for all home buyers.

Again, if you’d prefer a more detailed survey of your future home, speak to your surveyor about the best options for your unique needs.We can help you find the perfect property in Bath, Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire, or Somerset. Speak to us today to find out more.

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