A survey is an important part of any property transaction. This building survey will tell buyers and sellers if there is anything important that needs fixing either before a sale, or that may affect the market value of the property. Building surveys carried out in advance of a sale being completed are generally designed to help buyers to make an informed decision on whether or not to proceed, to assess whether or not the purchase price is reasonable, and to determine if any action needs taking before contracts are exchanged.
There are a range of different building surveys that can be carried out including the RICS Condition Report, RICS HomeBuyer Report and RICS Building Survey. The Building Survey is the most in depth report and is recommended for listed properties, buildings more than 30 years old, properties with an unusual construction, properties that you plan to renovate, or properties that have already undergone extensive renovations.
What Will The Surveyor Check?
1 – General Condition
One of the most important aspects of a building survey is a report on the general condition of the property. This will involve all aspects of the property, and often gives information based on a traffic light system.
2 – Damp Proofing
A building survey should include a detailed description of the results of damp tests, and a report on the condition of existing damp proofing within a property. If issues are found here via a damp survey, the report may include recommendations on the actions that should be taken to rectify the issues.
3 – Major Faults
All building surveyors should check for and report on any major faults within the property. These are faults that either need dealing with urgently, or may affect the property’s market value.
4 – Urgent Problems
The building surveyor will give detailed information on any urgent problems that should be inspected by a specialist before contracts are signed. This could include any structural damage, electrical faults and other serious problems.
5 – Timber Condition
Building surveyors should always check for any damage to any timber in the property. This will include checking for woodworm or rot, amongst other things.
6 – Technical Information
The surveyor should investigate the technical specifications of the property’s structure and the materials used. This helps to identify any properties that are of non-standard construction that may cause issues from a mortgage perspective.
7 – Energy
Some modern building surveys will include an investigation into the energy efficiency of the property. If this is included, it will include an Energy Performance Certificate.
How Much Will a Survey Cost?
The cost of a survey will vary depending on where in the United Kingdom you are, and what kind of survey you require. The value and size of the property may also have an affect on the price that you pay for the survey.
As a guide:
- Condition Reports should start at around £250
- HomeBuyer Reports start at around £350, with an additional £100 or so for a valuation
- Building Surveys start at £500, however this can vary greatly depending on the age, size and unique features of the property
- Home Condition Surveys generally start from £400