WHICH SURVEY

Whether you obtain a mortgage report or you are a cash buyer, you need to make sure that the property you purchase will not give you any nasty surprises.  You cannot rely upon a mortgage report to give you a detailed picture of the condition of your property. 

Both the Council of Mortgage Lenders and the Consumers’ Association recommend that you obtain an independent survey by a chartered surveyor.  This may find serious faults to your property; it could prevent you from making an expensive mistake or enable you to renegotiate the price to reflect the faults.

You have a choice of three types of reports:

  • A Building Survey (also known as a structural survey). This gives an in depth report upon the construction and condition of the property. It is best suited to old or unusual buildings.
  • The HomeBuyer Report. This is a budget report which grades the faults to the building in order to allow you to make an informed judgement on whether to proceed with the purchase. It provides you with a valuation and outlines what action to take before you exchange contracts.
  • The Limited Survey Report is a detailed survey on certain elements of the building.  It can be a schedule listing defects and costs.

The table below describes the differences between the three different reports:

  BUILDING SURVEY HOMEBUYER REPORT LIMITED SURVEY REPORT
Type of property Residential or commercial property in any condition.  In particular older or unusual properties or ones in disrepair.. Traditionally built houses, bungalows or flats.  Apparently in good condition and built after 1875. Any type or condition of building.
Type of service The report is tailor made for the type of property and your requirements. A standardised report format. Reporting is restricted to the agreed elements or purpose to be reported upon.
Objectives of Service

To provide you with a detailed assessment of the form of construction and condition of the building. Also the cost of remedial works.

To help you to make a reasoned and informed decision on whether to purchase the property at the agreed price. Also to advise you upon urgent repairs and matters to be investigated prior to exchange of contracts.

To provide you with a detailed report on the main structural elements of the building. A specific report in connection with problems identified to the building or a specific report in connection with landlord and tenant requirements (e.g. a Schedule of Condition)

Special features A detailed report upon the form of construction and condition of each element to the building and the overall cost of remedial works. To provide you with a standardised condition rating for each element. Restricted to specific elements of the building or to a certain style of report (e.g. a Schedule).
Valuation Only included if requested by the client in advance of our inspection. Included as a standard. Not usually included.
Form of report Our own style of reporting, tailor made to your requirements and the type of property. A standardised RICS format. Tailored to your specific requirements..

What’s the real value of your home and which survey should you choose?

Find out more about your chosen type of report.

Just click on a type of report at the head of each page to obtain a description.

Conditions of Engagement

What's a house really worth, and which survey should you choose.