The Property Survey

That moment when your offer on your dream home has been accepted can be one of the most exciting parts of the house-buying process. But there are, of course, a few more important steps to take before you seal the deal – and one of the most important is getting a meaningful survey done.

This is a fairly straightforward process but it is important that you are aware of your survey options so you can get the right type of survey to suit your needs.

Most qualified surveyors are members of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and the surveys are designed to alert you to any existing issues or potential issues with the property.

A credible survey gives you, as the buyer, reassurance about the condition of the property. It also gives you a powerful bargaining chip, if needed, to help you negotiate a lower buying price, or to ask the buyer to fix any problems before you buy.

There are three main types of survey:

A Condition Report

This will give an overview of the property’s condition and highlight any  significant issues, but it won't go into great detail.
The condition report uses traffic light ratings for the condition of different parts of the property.

Homebuyer’s Report

A Home Buyer’s report is more detailed and it will flag up problems such as damp and subsidence. It will also include advice on necessary repairs and ongoing maintenance and it will point out any adaptations to the house which that don’t meet current building regulations.

This is a non-invasive survey, so the surveyor will not check under floorboards, or move furniture and fixtures. A Homebuyer’s report will simply flag up any surface points of concern.

This report will, however, include both a market valuation and a rebuild cost.

Building Survey

This is the most thorough of the three main survey types, giving the buyer a comprehensive analysis of the condition and structure of the property. It is usually commissioned where the property is an older type of property and there are more likely to be issues. 

It will list defects and give advice on repairs and maintenance and it puts the property under more exacting scrutiny.

You can also ask for the report to include projected costs and timings for any repair work. Depending on the size of the property this survey may take a day to complete.

Other inspections to be aware of include the Mortgage Valuation.

This is not a proper house survey.  It is simply the mortgage lender’s valuation carried out on behalf of the lender, designed simply to establish when the property you want to buy is worth the amount you are planning to pay. It won't tell you anything about the condition of the property.

A new build snagging survey is designed to identify defects with a new build, from minor cosmetic issues to structural problems.

You can use this report to ensure the developer fixes any issues within your two year developer warranty.

Our team of expert Conveyancers at JCP can help to guide you through the buying and selling process, whether you are a first time buyer, moving up the ladder, downsizing, or a residential landlord.