Ask us for advice

How does conveyancing work?

FREE no obligation Quote
16th August 2022

Your guide to the Homebuyers Survey

With a variety of house surveys for aspiring homeowners to choose from, it can be confusing to know which one is right for you.

A property’s condition and age will inform buyers of the survey they should employ. Your estate agent or mortgage lender may also provide some guidance, but if you’re unsure, it is best to contact chartered surveyors, such as My Conveyancing Specialist.

A homebuyer survey is a mid-range survey that provides a detailed condition report for a property. For most modern homes, this survey provides an adequate level of detail, highlighting issues to be addressed and further investigation if required.

Throughout this article, you will learn whether the homebuyer report is the right survey for your property.


Why do I need a homebuyer survey?

When purchasing a property, you never know what hidden defects could be lying beneath the surface. Damp and structural issues are two of the most common issues causing the most significant unexpected costs. Investing in a property with these issues puts any buyer at financial and personal risk.

A homebuyers survey stands to address the unknown characteristics of a property. Whilst the inspection is non-invasive, it provides plenty of insight into the current condition and history of the property.

Get your bespoke quotation here

What to expect during the survey

On the day of a homebuyers survey, one of our RICS accredited representatives will attend the property to conduct several internal and external checks. As a non-intrusive inspection, the surveyor will only access areas within reasonable reach. They are limited in accessing floor space or wall cavities that would require the removal of fitted carpets or floorboards.

Utilising an RICS standardised checklist, your surveyor will conduct a regulated inspection of the property. Throughout the survey, each item on the list is graded based on its condition. The traffic light rating system makes the report simple to digest and addresses the most prominent features in a home. 

During the inspection, a surveyor will conduct the following series of events:

  • A visual inspection of the interior and exterior property to identify and rate each significant feature. This may include roofing, gutters, pipes, walls, windows and doors where applicable. Further inspection of the water, gas, electricity and water heating components is completed, and an energy efficiency rating may be provided. 
  • The surveyor will document any defects within the property. Any significant faults will include further details and recommendations for rectification. Any serious subsidence issues will be identified, and inspection of damp-proofing, drainage and insulation will be carried out where possible. Whilst your surveyor cannot carry out intrusive measures, an inspection of woodworm and rot in the properties timbers will also be analysed if visible. 
  • As well as details of the inspection of the property, a valuation can be included within your homebuyers report. An accurate market value for the property will be calculated in accordance with the condition of the property and current property market trends. 

The information included within a homebuyer report often plays a decisive role in purchasing a property. The survey uncovers problems ranging from urgent defects to ongoing maintenance requirements that can influence the legitimacy of the asking price. Where major faults are identified, buyers are armed with evidence to renegotiate their offer. Overall, the homebuyer survey finds ways to account for necessary repairs and save money prior to the completion of a sale.


House survey costs: How much will I pay?

Several factors are considered when calculating your homebuyer’s survey quotation. At My Conveyancing Specialist, we strive to provide the most affordable quotations across the UK. 

When calculating the cost of your survey, we’ll require some details about the property you are intending to buy. This will include its estimated value and the price you have offered to pay. Depending on the type of survey and value of the property, you may pay more for a homebuyer survey due to the level of detail that goes into a report. 

The homebuyer survey costs more than a property valuation as it provides an additional assessment of the relative condition of the house and includes recommendations for works to be addressed. This type of survey is the most commonly requested survey for properties in the UK as it is reasonably priced and provides extensive insight into properties in reasonable condition. 


The benefits of a homebuyers survey

Save money in the long run

Data published by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has indicated that homeowners who don’t utilise a survey face costs of around £5,750 worth of repairs.

Whilst the additional cost of a homebuyers survey can seem expensive, it can save you from unexpected repair work in the future. Understanding the property’s condition before committing to purchase empowers buyers to arrange for the rectification of certain defects before the completion of the sale.

Ammunition for renegotiations

Until the point of completion, the conditions for the sale of the property are entirely negotiable. Many buyers aren’t aware that they can alter their initial offer, especially in line with the results of a homebuyers survey.

If the report indicates significant defects throughout the property, it could be valued lower than your initial offer. The report will provide a reason to negotiate a lower price. This will enable buyers to cover future repair costs and deal with significant defects. 

A mortgage valuation isn’t for the benefit of the buyer

During your mortgage application, the lender may request that a valuation is carried out. This is to ensure that the loan amount you requested aligns with the property’s current value.

Although the buyer often has to cover the cost of this survey, it isn’t for their benefit. The surveyor will assess the property’s condition, but details are not provided, so the report typically cannot help you make a purchase decision.

Alternatively, the homebuyers report includes a comprehensive survey of the house, to which a valuation can be added. This provides plenty of detail, helping buyers to make an informed decision about their purchase.


Why choose My Conveyancing Specialist

We know just how complicated and frustrating buying a house can be. The entire process can seem impossible when facing countless house viewings, offer negotiations and complicated conveyancing. 

At My Conveyancing Specialist, we endeavour to eliminate the hassle of buying a home. That’s why we offer free online quotations for premium conveyancing, and RICS accredited surveys.

You’ll also discover the convenience of the following features:

  • Fixed Fee Guarantee

At My Conveyancing Specialist, our services are upheld with integrity. As part of our guarantee to clients, we ensure you’ll always receive a fair and honest price. Our Fixed Fee guarantee provides peace of mind that your personalised quote will never change between now and your payment. 

  • RICS certified

Purchasing a house is often one of the most significant purchases that can be made in a lifetime, making it vital to choose the right property. To achieve this, working with a professional surveyor certified by the royal institution of chartered surveyors is essential. Only then can you prepare your expectations by fully understanding the condition of a property.


Our other survey options

At My Conveyancing Specialist, we aim to provide a complete service for property buyers. As well as our highly-regarded conveyancing services, we provide free quotations for home surveys across the UK. 

Homebuyers surveys tend to be the most popular choice amongst buyers of properties in reasonable condition. It is preferred due to the comprehensive insight into the condition of visible features within a property.

The homebuyer report is not to be considered a basic survey. It is a mid-range survey complimented by a range of options that are more efficient for larger or older properties requiring major works.  Click here to generate a bespoke homebuyer survey quotation.

At My Conveyancing Specialist, we also offer affordable quotations for the following services:

  • Property Valuation

Unlike the homebuyers survey, a property valuation inspection will not provide extensive insight into the current condition of the property and any remedial works that may be required. Instead, a certified surveyor will complete an assessment of the location of the property and its existing condition to calculate a valuation in line with the current property market. 

When working with an RICS accredited surveyor, such as My Conveyancing Specialist, plenty of lenders will utilise the results of this report as a mortgage valuation.

You can get a Property Valuation Quote here.

  • Building survey

A building survey, or structural survey, is one of the most in-depth, non-invasive inspections available to home buyers. This comprehensive assessment provides a more detailed evaluation of the property than a homebuyers survey. 

A full structural survey is most suitable for dilapidated or older properties likely to undergo extensive renovation work. The survey can be modified according to the buyer’s needs to enable access to vital information regarding the condition of certain areas of the property. 

You can get your Building Survey Quote here.