What is a Homebuyer Survey?

by | Jul 14, 2023

When it comes to purchasing a new house, it is critical to undertake extensive research and assessments. Obtaining a homebuyer survey is an important step in this procedure. A homebuyer survey is a thorough examination of a property by a professional surveyor to assess its condition and detect any problems.

This blog post will explain a homebuyer survey, its importance, and how it may help potential homebuyers make the best decisions.

What is a Homebuyer Survey?

A homebuyer survey, also known as a Level 2 RICS survey, is the process of visiting and looking for any damages or problems in the property you are going to buy. A surveyor will evaluate visible portions of your property to report on the home’s condition and point out any flaws. It will provide an excellent overview of any major issues with the house. It is ideal for anyone purchasing a modern house or any other property in good condition.

Types of Homebuyer Survey

You can choose different types of property surveys based on your property’s condition.

RICS Homebuyer Report

It is typically suitable for conventional properties. This report will look closely at any structural issues, including dampness or subsidence, and any other hidden problems. This report doesn’t record anything behind the walls or beyond the floors. Some HomeBuyer reports contain a property mortgage valuation, so if the survey finds a lower price than the mortgage valuation, you may be able to renegotiate your offer. If no valuation is supplied, you might utilise the report’s repair recommendations to renegotiate the cost.

RICS Condition Report

RICS condition report finds the potential risks and legality issues and describes the property’s overall condition. This report includes no valuation or advice and is best for conventional houses in good condition or new houses.

Building Survey

This is the most thorough survey and is appropriate for all residential buildings. It’s especially useful for older homes that need maintenance.

It’s highly comprehensive and, in some cases, worth the extra money, but it normally doesn’t contain a valuation. Although this survey cannot examine under flooring or behind walls, it includes the surveyor’s opinion on the possibility of hidden faults in this region.

The surveyor should also advise you on feasible repair or maintenance options. You might try to save money by comparing the specifics of the repairs needed to the lender’s valuation.

RICS Building Survey

This survey is as comprehensive as a building survey and provides the same level of inspection depth. But it uses a very clear and simple presentation to make sure you can easily find out the major issues. A complete analysis clearly displays the property’s state and faults. It also offers advice on defects, repairs, and maintenance solutions. The RICS Building Survey includes guidance sheets on how to deal with some of the most common issues discovered at the property.

What is Included in a Homebuyer Survey?

  • Introduction: Includes the intention and purpose of the homebuyer report and how it will help you.
  • Inspection: Includes time and date, details of surveyor, and other important information about the survey.
  • Overall Opinion: Includes overall opinion on the market value and the property’s condition.
  • Property: Outlines the property’s specifics, such as its kind, construction date, number of rooms, and surrounding.
  • Outside the property: Describes the property’s external elements, such as the windows and doors, chimney, extension, and main walls. Each piece is also given a condition grade.
  • Inside the property: Describes the property’s internal characteristics, such as fireplaces, ceilings, walls, flooring, and bathroom fixtures. Each piece is also given a condition grade.
  • Services: This refers to the property’s service quality. Electricity, heating systems, gas, water, water heating, and drainage are a few examples. This section also includes a condition grade for each service.
  • Concerns for Your Legal Advisers: Identifies concerns discovered throughout the survey that your legal counsel may wish to look at further.
  • Risks: Includes a list of faults that pose a threat to the structure, grounds, or people. Although the flaws may have been mentioned in the condition ratings, this will provide a basic summary.
  • Valuation: Provides the surveyor’s judgement on the property’s market worth on the inspection day, as well as the current reinvestment cost. The surveyor will explain how they arrived at the valuation and the assumptions they used.

What is Not Included in a Homebuyer Survey?

  • Examination of any property’s elements that are not visible. A Building Survey is a more thorough evaluation that includes assessing the property’s non-visual components.
  • Detailed inspection of heating or plumbing systems and electrics. But they can advise you what to do if they suspect any issues.
  • Inspection of environmental and other contamination dangers.

Are HomeBuyer Reports Worth the Money?

A survey is not a legal necessity when purchasing a house. However, it can save a significant amount of time, worry, and money in the long run. It will provide you with peace of mind and should lessen the likelihood of high repair costs once you’ve moved home. You may also utilize the HomeBuyer’s Report results to lower the asking price.

Costs of a Homebuyer Survey

The average cost for a homebuyer survey usually ranges from $400-$1000. But it varies depending on many factors, including:

  • The survey you choose
  • The property’s value
  • The property’s location
  • How long the survey takes to inspect the property and prepare a report

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Mortgage Valuation Survey?

A mortgage valuation is a specific type of property inspection performed by a lender to confirm the property’s value. It ensures that the property is worth the money you are paying.

How Long Does a Homebuyer Survey Take?

Homebuyer survey commonly takes 2-4 hours, although it may take more time depending on the size of the property and the number of issues found.

What Should I Take a Homebuyer’s Survey?

When you receive an offer on your property, it is the ideal time to have a survey. If the survey shows severe issues, you have the option of negotiating a lesser price.

Is A Homebuyer Survey a Legal Requirement?

A homebuyer survey is a legal requirement, but it provides you with information and advice about the property’s overall condition and market price.


A homebuyer assessment thoroughly evaluates a house’s construction, interior, and exterior features. A licenced surveyor normally conducts the survey, analysing several property elements, such as its condition, structure, and any problems. The goal is to discover any areas that need maintenance or repairs so that the buyer can make an informed decision and appropriately negotiate the purchase price.

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