A house survey is a crucial step in the process of buying or selling your home. Usually undertaken once an offer has been made, the goal of the survey is to highlight any problems with the house which the buyer might not have been aware of. According to RICS (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors), a quarter of those who decline to take out a survey go on to discover that their new home needs essential work, which can prove costly. Meanwhile, a survey’s results can be used as a negotiating tool to help lower the price if it’s revealed that extensive repairs need to be made.
Commissioning a homebuyers survey can seem daunting. There are different types of report available, and there’s a lot of jargon to understand. Here are the answers to three Frequently Asked Questions to help clear away some of the confusion.
What’s the Difference Between a Structural Survey and a Building Survey?
Structural surveys are carried out by civil or chartered engineers and are specifically to determine if a building is structurally safe. Building surveys are carried out by RICS members and give you a comprehensive written report following an inspection of the accessible areas of the property. These are considered to be the gold standard of homebuyers survey and should be considered if you’re looking to buy a house that’s old, quirky or appears to need renovation.
What About a HomeBuyer’s Report?
If the property in question is less than 50 years old and looks to be in good overall condition, a HomeBuyer’s Report may be a good choice. It’s the most popular home survey type and comes in cheaper than a full Building Survey. A HomeBuyer’s Report will list any issues which might affect the house’s value or problems such as damp. RICS surveyors providing a homebuyers survey will be able to talk you through all of your options to ensure you choose the survey that’s right for you.
How Long Will It Take?
A HomeBuyer’s Report survey can ordinarily be completed in three or four hours, with your report delivered around five days later. Building Surveys are likely to take longer, with the initial inspection potentially taking a day and the written report up to ten days or more. A HomeBuyer’s Report follows a standard layout, whereas a Building Survey report will cover the findings in much greater detail.