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Do I need a Condition Report?

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  2. Surveying Advice questions and answers


I'm looking to buy a new property and was told a RICS Condition Report was a good option - what is included?


The RICS Condition Report was first launched in 2011. It uses a traffic light system to identify any defects, but beyond that it is fairly limited.
As the most basic survey report, it doesn’t include advice or recommendations for repair, or the likely costs of fixing different items. This is a shame, because one of the main advantages of getting a survey is that it can be used to negotiate on your price if defects are discovered.
The Condition Report also doesn’t cover less serious or minor defects that may become issues in the future.
For this reason, a HomeBuyer Report is usually a better option for those considering a Condition Report. It is still simple and straightforward, presented in the traffic light system, but it is more comprehensive.
It is based on a more detailed survey of the property, typically including notes on timber assessment (for example, if there are signs of rot or woodworm), damp testing, insulation and drainage.

It also incorporates guidance on any defects likely to affect the value of the property, including advice on repair or maintenance options.

This allows you to make an informed decision about any property you intend to buy, with the awareness of how much time and money it may take to fix down the line. For example, if it’s discovered in the HomeBuyer Report that you may need to replace the roof, and it will cost £3000, you can negotiate that amount to be deducted from the sale price. A quality survey gives you clear information about the property.

HomeBuyer Reports are ideal for newer properties, or ones that don’t require much work.

If you intend to buy an older or larger property, one of non-standard construction, or if you are planning to carry out extensive refurbishment or renovation works, you may be best opting for a full RICS Building Survey.

This is the most comprehensive type of residential survey and includes advice and recommendations on both visible and potential hidden defects. Although the surveyor won’t pull up floorboards or check behind walls, a Building Survey typically includes comments on roof space and drainage, grounds and services, as well as guidance notes on factors such as planning, guarantees and building control issues.

Whatever type of survey you choose, make sure you compare in order to get the price. We save our users an average of £181 when they get a survey through us.

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