December 12, 2016

Home Surveys

Surveys for home buyers

For most people, purchasing a home is one of the largest investments they will ever make, and yet the decision is often made on the basis of only one or two brief viewings. Unfortunately, even a home that appears to be in good condition may have hidden defects that even the vendor may not know about. While they may not change your decision to buy, you would certainly want to know about them before you commit to the purchase.

Although in most cases there will be nothing serious enough to stop you proceeding, having a full understanding of the condition of the property allows you to accurately budget for what you may have to spend when you move in. In some cases it may give you grounds to negotiate a fair discount on the purchase price. Above all, it gives you peace of mind that there is nothing seriously wrong with the property that could significantly affect its value or cause unexpected expenses once you have moved in.

Since there is very rarely any remedy available after completion if you have bought a house with problems you didn’t know about, getting a thorough survey appropriate to the property is vital to protect you from potentially unlimited time and expense in the future.

Having a Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) standard survey conducted by a RICS Chartered Surveyor such as those at Anderson, Wilde & Harris means that you can have confidence that your survey will be conducted to a high standard, following strict rules and best practice. The surveyor will provide their report on a RICS template, making it immediately comparable with any other survey of the same type conducted on any other building, easy for you to share with other professionals, and easy for you to quickly identify key information and any significant areas for concern.

What kind of survey do I need?

Anderson, Wilde & Harris understand that buying a property is a daunting task that already involves a lot of expenses, and purchasers want to make the best decisions and protect their interests without spending unnecessary money. Our expert advisors have years of experience assessing all kinds of different buildings. We will happily discuss the property you are purchasing and any particular concerns you have, and advise on the best kind of survey to suit your needs. All prices given below are starting prices and we will agree the actual cost depending on the size and proposed purchase price of the property.

Contact us on 020 7061 1100 to discuss survey options and prices, or to book a survey.

RICS Condition Report

The RICS condition report is a basic assessment of the condition of different parts of the property. It is provided by an accredited Home Inspector and can be legally relied upon in the future as an accurate report.

The condition report will highlight any obvious areas in urgent need of attention but may not identify more hidden problems, particularly on older or unusual properties, nor does it provide any advice on how any problems could be fixed. It is most suitable for newer homes and those built from conventional materials and generally in good condition.

If areas of concern are highlighted by a condition report, they can then be investigated in more detail by a chartered surveyor who can provide advice on how any issues can be remedied.

A RICS condition report starts at £500 + VAT

RICS HomeBuyer Report (Without Valuation)

A HomeBuyer Report includes all of the features of the Condition Report but also extends to a more thorough inspection of the property by a chartered surveyor to help identify any unforeseen issues. This will include checking the condition of any woodwork in the property, checking for damp, assessing the insulation, and flagging any major faults. The surveyor will only review accessible areas of the property, however, and will not view beneath floorboards, inside walls or into crawl spaces.

As well as a report on the condition of the whole property, provided in an easy-to-view traffic-light system for different levels of problem, the HomeBuyer Report provides advice on specific defects and what one-off repairs and ongoing maintenance you might need to carry out in the future.

A RICS HomeBuyer Report without valuation starts at £525 + VAT

RICS HomeBuyer Report (With Valuation)

The HomeBuyer report is also available with a professional valuation. This provides insurance rebuild costs, highlights any potential effect on the value of the property caused by defects, and provides an overall assessment of the market value of the property. This can be particularly useful if it suggests a value significantly lower than your offer, especially if this is the result of a defect that you were previously not aware of. If you choose to negotiate with the vendor as a result, a professional survey by a RICS surveyor is a valuable tool in demonstrating why a defect might justify a reduction in the price of the property.

A RICS HomeBuyer report with valuation starts at £575 + VAT.

A HomeBuyer Report, with or without valuation, is ideal for a property where you might have concerns due to its age or visible signs of problems like damp, or where you plan to undertake some smaller-scale building work after moving in.

Building Survey

A Building Survey makes a more extensive assessment of the structure and fabric of the property. As well as carrying out the same inspections as in the HomeBuyers report, the surveyor will also undertake a more thorough examination to discover hidden flaws. They will carry out a full structural survey including a technical assessment of construction methods and materials, and will provide you with a comprehensive report. This not only covers all the defects identified, particularly highlighting those that are urgent or significant, but also provides detailed advice on repair options.

A Building Survey is essential when purchasing a particularly large or old home, or if you are planning major work on the house after purchasing.

The Building Survey starts at £625 + VAT. It does not include a valuation as standard, but your chartered surveyor will be happy to provide one for an additional fee.

Get in touch

If you would like to discuss survey options with us, or would like a quote for conducting a survey on your property, contact us on or 020 7061 1100, or by using our web form.