What does a surveyor do?

It is a surveyor's job to provide expert advice on the value and condition of a building. When a surveyor becomes chartered it shows that they have reached a very high level of professional competence. Surveyors who reach this level will almost always be a member of the RICS.

When you have found a property to buy, it is highly recommended you instruct a chartered surveyor to cast an expert eye over it. Your new home is likely to be one of the biggest purchases of your life, so it makes sense to get it checked over by a professional.

What is the RICS?

In the UK, the regulatory body for surveyors is called the 'Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors' or 'RICS'.   When a surveyor is a member of the RICS it means that they are regulated by them. They undergo a yearly audit of their work and have to adhere to the RICS high standards or their membership is revoked.  

What happens when a property is surveyed?

This will depend on the type of survey you buy. There are three basic types of residential survey:

RICS Condition report
RICS Homebuyer Report
RICS Building Survey

For the Condition Report & The Homebuyer Report the surveyor will carry out a visual inspection of all parts of the property that can be easily reached and seen. They are unlikely to lift floorboards to inspect heating pipes or remove electrical fittings or bath panels or do things that could damage the property or pose any physical danger.

A Condition Report gives a basic rundown of the property and is usually the preferred choice if you are getting a newer property which you just need to be checked over for any major issues.

A Homebuyer Report will provide you with more detail from the inspection and currently this comes with a market valuation of the property. This is why the Homebuyer Report is the most popular type of survey.

A RICS Building Survey (sometimes referred to as a Structural Survey), provides a much more detailed inspection and also a far more detailed report. This type of report is usually advised if you are purchasing a property which is over 50 years old, has any unique features or things that you may be concerned about.

How should I choose a surveyor?

Your must ensure that the surveyor you choose is qualified, has either MRICS or FRICS accreditations.

Your surveyor must also have up to date Professional Indemnity insurance (PI Insurance). PI Insurance means that if the surveyor who inspects the property misses something that was visible, you can make a claim on their insurance to pay for any repairs that may need doing. This is a key difference between getting a builder or tradesman to inspect the property. All they can offer is an opinion but a surveyor backs this advice up with an insurance policy.

You also want your surveyor to be based locally to the property you are purchasing This means they will have knowledge of the local area and the different types of properties within it.

At Homebuyer Online we ensure that all the surveyors who are members of our website meet these standards. This ensures the highest level of service.

How much should I pay for a home survey?

The cost of a Home Survey is always a big concern. Prices can range from £350 up to £2000 depending on the report type, price, size and location of the property you are buying. Buying the cheapest survey you find is not always the best course of action. Very low prices can mean that the surveyor may not be a RICS member or have valid PI Insurance.

You can obtain and compare instant estimates for surveys in your postcode area by using our website www.homebuyeronline.co.uk/quote