Firstly, lets look at what exactly a homebuyer survey is and compare to its sister suite of reports namely the RICS Condition Report (Level 1) and the RICS Building Survey (Level 3) which is sometimes referred to as a structural survey.
A Homebuyer Report is a Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) survey to find and document any problems in a property that could cause damage and need future repairs, such as damp or subsidence. A Homebuyer Report is carried out on homes that are in a reasonable condition and built after 1930.
The RICS Level 1 Condition Report is great if you’re buying or selling a conventional house, flat or bungalow built from common building materials and in reasonable condition. It focuses purely on the condition of the property, but does not give recommendations or further advice.
The RICS Building Survey – Level 3 report will identify risks, explain the nature of the problems and explain how the client may resolve or reduce the risk. This is the most detailed survey and is suitable for older properties, non standard construction or properties with obvious defects or issues.
So what is included in a Level 2 Homebuyer survey?
The Homebuyer Survey includes a visual inspection of all major indoor features including ceilings, roof, walls, and bathrooms, as well as permanent outdoor buildings and features including roofing, pipes, gutters, walls, windows, and doors.
The homebuyer report will highlight any significant structural issues in the property such as subsidence or heave. The surveyor will then discuss with you the various options going forward and what to do next.
The report will highlight any areas of damp in the property and more importantly, as we are experts in damp surveys we will advise you on the best treatment options, the cause and cost to remedy.
Your RICS Chartered Building Surveyor will also highlight specific areas where you will need to consult a legal advisor to further investigate these issues and seek specialist attention.
If you opt for the Homebuyer Report with a valuation included, you will additionally receive a valuation of the property which can be used to negotiate its price. Your surveyor will also provide you with are instatement value, which is an estimate of the cost of rebuilding the property for insurance purposes.
It can help you to:
- Identify potential problems and serious issues with the property
- Negotiate a better property price
- Easily understand issues with a ‘traffic light’ rating system
- Be prepared for additional costs if you continue the purchase
- Make a reasoned and informed decision as to whether to proceed, reconsider or renegotiate on the purchase
For example, if your report findings indicate damage to walls which would require repair costing £4000, it would be reasonable to reduce your offer by £4000, or pull out of the purchase altogether.
The Home Buyer survey will be carried out by a local, expert, independent and RICS qualified property surveyor.
Property condition ratings
Your RICS HomeBuyer Report will feature 3 condition ratings to evaluate and describe the condition of the property and how urgently it needs repairing. These ratings are displayed in an easy to understand ‘traffic light’ colour system, helping you to reach an informed decision.
Why use Smith Heritage Surveys?
We provide local independent advice on a range of building types. We offer walk around services as standard and give feedback in person on potential issues and allow you to answer questions about your home purchase at no extra charge.
We operate all over Wiltshire, Berkshire, London, Hampshire, Dorset, Somerset, Oxfordshire and further afield.