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What is an RICS Home Survey?

Purchasing a property is one of the largest financial commitments you may ever make and a chartered surveyor can help through this process. An RICS home survey will provide you with detailed information on the condition or value of your property before purchasing. Depending on what information you are looking to obtain and the type of property you are buying, there are three types of survey available: HomeBuyer Report, Building Survey and Valuation Report.

HomeBuyer Report

The HomeBuyer Report is the most popular RICS survey due to its concise format and is suitable for most properties built since the late Victorian period (1900). It is not suitable for properties that are:

  • older than late Victorian period (1900)
  • unusually large
  • substantially extended or altered
  • non-standard construction
  • in need of extensive renovation

The HomeBuyer Report will include a schedule detailing the condition of your property, in an easy to read traffic light format. The report highlights any defects that require repairing, as well as any parts of the property that will require works in the near future. It also includes an independent market value of your property and a reinstatement value for your building insurance.

Building Survey

The Building Survey is the most detailed RICS survey offered by a chartered surveyor. It is appropriate for all house types but is rarely suitable for flats or leasehold properties. It is most suitable for houses that are:

  • older than late Victorian period (1900)
  • thatched
  • unusually large
  • in need of major renovation
  • substantially extended or altered
  • non-standard construction

The Building Survey is a highly detailed report on the condition of a property and will report extensively on serious issues or defects. It will also include detailed information on the construction of your property, as well as the materials used. As standard, the Building Survey does not include a valuation but one can be included for an additional fee.

Valuation Report

The RICS Valuation Survey is a short report detailing a property’s independent market value. Though it does not cover the condition of your property, it will comment on any obvious defects that may affect its value. It can be used for many purposes, such as:

  • investment
  • matrimonial
  • probate
  • tax
  • Capital Gains Tax (CGT)
  • shared ownership
  • right-to-buy scheme

The Valuation Report cannot be used for mortgage purposes as it is an independent survey and your lender will normally arrange a separate mortgage valuation on your behalf.

Which type of survey do I need?

When you are purchasing a property, the type of survey you require will depend on the information you are looking to obtain and the nature of your property.

If you are only interested in determining the property’s value, you should book a Valuation Report. This will determine the property’s true market value and is more substantiated than a mortgage valuation or estate agents estimate. The valuation survey is suitable for all property types and ages.

The HomeBuyer Report and Building Survey both report on the condition of a property and which level of survey you commission will depend on the age and tenure of the property you are buying. You can see information above on which types of property each survey is suitable for and what information they include.

How to arrange an RICS Home Survey

We have partnered with surveybooker.com’s chartered surveyor network to provide you with fixed RICS Home Survey quotes. You can compare surveyors based on price, availability, location and report specification to help you choose the best surveyor for your purchase. Your fixed quotes will be emailed to you and you can book your inspection online, or over the phone with surveybooker.com.
Click here for a RICS Home Report