The Ultimate Guide To Home Surveys


If you’re selling your home, we always recommend conducting a home survey to ensure that issues such as mould, rot and cracks are identified and dealt with before you show potential buyers around. As most buyers will want a survey carried out anyway, this gives you time to fix problems that could be a real turn off for buyers, or result in lower offers being made. Therefore, in this post, we look at the different types of surveys you can get and what they will check, as well as tips on how to prepare your home and what to do if you receive a bad report.


What Exactly Is A Home Survey Anyway?

A survey is a detailed inspection and assessment of a property’s condition. Pointing out structural issues and if any major repairs are needed, the surveyor will also provide commentary on your property, discussing wall and glazing type, for example. The majority of qualified surveyors are members of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), and we recommend hiring one of them as they carry professional indemnity insurance. Hiring a local RICS surveyor has the added bonus of local market knowledge to.



What Type Of Survey Should I Get And What Do They Check?

There are various surveys that you can choose from, varying in depth and cost. We outline the main surveys below:


Condition Report

Cost: £300+

This is the cheapest and simplest survey, recommended for newer homes which tend to suffer from few issues, if any. Using a rating system, areas of the home are given either ‘Green’ (the area can be cared for with normal maintenance), ‘Orange’ (investigations are advised) or ‘Red’ (urgent repairs are required).


HomeBuyers Report

Homebuyers Reports provide considerably more detail than a Condition Report and are available in two forms: Survey Only; Survey And Valuation.


Survey Only

Cost: £350+

This type of survey reports on issues such as damp, rot and subsidence and provides advice for repairs and maintenance. The survey is non-intrusive however, meaning the surveyor won’t look behind furniture or under floorboards, therefore only pointing out surface-level problems. They will usually suggest areas to inspect before the buyer signs a contract however.


Survey And Valuation

Cost: £450+

The most popular type of survey includes the information provided above, as well as a property valuation and insurance reinstatement. The latter tells you how much you’d receive should your house burn down.


Home Condition Survey

Cost: £400-£900

Conducted by the Residential Property Surveyors Association (RPSA), Home Condition Surveys include information such as broadband speed, a damp assessment and identifies issues for the conveyancer to check. Photographs are taken for ease of understanding.


Click here to view an example of a Home Condition Survey.


Building Survey

Cost: £500-£2000

This comprehensive survey provides details on property defects such as damp, woodworm and rot, and the costs of repairs, as well as construction information. It gives advice for necessary repairs, telling you what will happen if those issues are not addressed. Recommendations for further inspection are also given if required.


Always check if your Building Survey includes an insurance reinstatement value and a market valuation, because unless stated, it may not.

We recommend these surveys for properties over 30 years old, properties that have had extensive alterations or those that will be heavily renovated.


If you’re unsure which survey is right for you, feel free to give us a call for advice and guidance.




How To Prepare Your House For A Survey

Here are our top tips for preparing your home for a survey:

  • Declutter and ensure your home is as clean as is possible, removing plants from windowsills and scrubbing away mould from your kitchen and bathroom, as well as giving the carpets a thorough cleaning.
  • Fill in any hairline cracks.
  • Fix any minor defects, such as cracked tiles, dripping taps and loose handles.
  • Make areas such as the loft, basement, boiler and fuse box accessible, moving any furniture or belongings out of the way.

While the survey is underway, we recommend leaving the house empty, taking your children and pets with you.




What To Do If You Receive A Bad Home Survey Report

A bad report can be a blessing in disguise, as it allows you to fix major issues before potential buyers discover them for themselves. After receiving a bad report, we recommend asking the surveyor to go through the report with you, so that you understand what the issues are and their consequences.

Where the survey has stated that something needs further investigation, ask the surveyor to expand on this, telling you whether it’s a major or minor issue and if you should call a builder, specialist or if it’s something the buyer will be concerned about.

If you do decide to fix the issue, shop around for quotes. A small investment in time and money could be the difference between an offer being made, reduced or withdrawn.


Whichever survey you choose, hiring a surveyor allows them to identify issues that you can work on to ensure your house is in the best possible position for sale.


For further information and guidance on home surveys, please call one of our offices today:

Radcliffe: 0161 723 1155

Burnley: 01282 427 445

Greenmount: 01204 882233

Ramsbottom: 01706 48 966

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