Conveyancing .. the legal process for buying, selling, and remortgaging properties

Home buyers report

Home buyers report

If you are buying a property and it is not a new build and covered by a builders guarantee, they can be worthwhile to uncover issues that will cost a sizeable amount of money in the future.

There are different levels of surveys you can buy; most people will choose a survey based on the perceivable condition of the property. Even though some of the surveys can be expensive measured against future possible expenses that can occur.

RICS condition report, this will describe the current condition of the property, and it will identify risks for potential legal issues and any urgent defects. No advice is given on the survey and is one of the cheapest reports costing around £250.

RICS HomeBuyer Report

A homebuyers report, this is usually good for conventional properties in half decent condition , the average cost is around £350 to £400, This survey will highlight problems that are structural , this includes Damp issues and subsidence , other issues like woodworm can be identified also.

The report does not look beyond the walls or underneath the floorboards, it will also in some circumstances offer a property valuation. If and when any Major issues identified E.G damp, it is possible to get a specific Damp report carried out by a professional, the cost of works can be identified by this specific report and you can then negotiate with the seller who will cover this indentified cost.

RICS Building Survey

The RICS Building Survey provides the same level of in-depth inspection as a building survey, but uses a simple a clear presentation style and a 1, 2, 3 rating system to ensure that you can easily identify the most serious issues. . This is mainly aimed at larger or older properties, or if you’re planning major works.

A detailed report provides you with an in-depth analysis of the property’s condition highlighting a range of issues which includes advice on defects, repairs and maintenance options. Included with the RICS Building Survey are advice sheets on how to deal with some of the more common problems that have been found at the property including an outline of repair options and the consequences of not dealing with any potential issues highlighted within the report.

The typical cost is around £400-£500.

Building or Full structural survey

The most comprehensive survey and can be used for all residential properties. It is often very good for older homes that might need repairs. Cost for this survey are anywhere from £600 upwards and will provide details advice on repairs. The report is very detailed but in most circumstances will not provide a value for the property , so when buying a property you will need to also order a valuation report often this is done as part of a mortgage application and unless you are a cash buyer will not need to order one directly yourself.

What to do if your survey uncovers problems

A surveyor’s report nearly always finds some issues, especially with older homes.

You can go with them when the survey is carried out and ask questions about things that concern you.

This is about your future home, so don’t be afraid to speak up.

The most common things you’ll have to investigate after a survey include:

  • Electrical installation
  • Problems with the roof
  • Central heating system
  • Damp and timber issues
  • Complications which will need a structural engineer

What to do next:

  • Find out whether any problems, such as a poor damp-proof course, are still covered by a guarantee
  • Ask the surveyor to give you an idea of how costly it will be to sort out any problems
  • For more major works, ask a builder to give you a quote
  • Use these estimates to try to renegotiate the price or ask the seller to fix the issues before you complete the sale

Remember it’s not just about cost but also the amount of upheaval that repair work will cause.

If it all seems too much, you can walk away as you’re not committed yet.




This website is owned by and forms a part of the business conducted by Value Conveyancer Ltd, company registration number 09221971. We are partnered with LPL (a trading name of Read Roper & Read Solicitors) who have been awarded the Law Society's Conveyancing Quality Scheme accreditation. More information can be found here.