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    How Long Does a HomeBuyers Survey Take?

    By The reallymoving Team Updated 26th Jun, 2024

    Reviewed by Emily Smith

    If you’ve had a property survey done, you may be eager to get the report back. So how long can you expect to wait?

    How Long Does a HomeBuyers Survey Take?
    After months of house viewings, you’ve finally found a house you love, and you’ve had a survey done on the property to check there aren’t any nasty surprises. But now the wait begins. It may only be a few days, but if you’re worried about the results then it can feel like a lifetime.

    We outline what happens in the period after a house survey, roughly how long you might need to wait, and what to do when the results are in.

    What are the different types of survey?

    There are three levels of RICS house survey:
    • Level 1 Home Survey (Condition Report) – the most basic report. Gives an overview of the condition of the property.
    • Level 2 Home Survey (HomeBuyer Report) – provides an overview of the condition of the property based on a visual inspection. Suitable for most modern, conventional properties. 
    • Level 3 Home Survey (Building Survey) – the most detailed survey. Offers a comprehensive report and analysis of the properties construction and condition. Most suitable for older or unusual properties.

    How long does a HomeBuyers Survey (Level 2) take to carry out?

    HomeBuyers Survey (Level 2), also known as a HomeBuyers report, will usually take between 90 minutes and 4 hours to complete.

    How long does a Condition Report (Level 1 Survey) take to carry out?

    A Condition Report (Level 1) is the most basic survey you can get for a property. As this is a basic assessment it usually takes around an hour depending on the size of the property.

    How long does a Building Survey (Level 3 Survey) take to carry out?

    A full Building Survey (Level 3) on a house is more in-depth than a HomeBuyers Report, so the timeframe trends to be longer. It can take up to 8 hours for the surveyor to complete a Building Survey.

     

    What happens after a survey?

    After a survey, there will be a waiting period while the surveyor writes up the report. Once the surveyor has completed the report, they’ll usually be happy to talk you though their findings, so you’ll know what you’re looking at and will have the opportunity to ask any questions.

    How long is the wait for house survey results?

    Reports tend to come back fairly quickly, but it varies from surveyor to surveyor. Some will call you with a brief summary of what they found during the inspection, whilst with others you’ll need to wait for the full report to be completed. Your surveyor will likely give you a timeframe in which you can expect to get the report back, and if not, don’t be afraid to ask.

    The waiting time will also vary depending on the type of survey you had done. A wait for a HomeBuyers Survey is usually around 3-5 working days, but you can expect to wait up to 8 working days for a Building Survey report to be completed.

    The results

    Once you get the results of your house survey or report, you might have some decisions to make.
     
    If the report comes back with no major problems, then you’re probably good to go. If there are serious issues then you could choose to pull out of the sale completely, ask the seller to fix the problems, or try to renegotiate the price.

    Find out more about problems your house survey may find, and what to do after a bad house survey.

    If you choose to renegotiate, you can have a look at our negotiating guide for some tips.

    How to speed up the survey process

    To make sure things go smoothly during the survey process here are our top tips when getting a survey:
    • Book your survey in advance
    • Prepare your home for the survey by tidying your home before the appointment and clearing items away from areas with common problems
    • Ask your surveyor how long the report will take to come back to you
    • Ask if your surveyor is happy to chat through the results of the survey on the phone
    • Spend some time reading the report and making sure you understand it
    • Be aware that in some cases, your surveyor may recommend you speak to a specialist if there are concerns about a specific part of the property.
    With so many things that could hold up a house move, having to wait for the survey report can feel frustrating, particularly if it took a long time for the survey to be organised in the first place. However, surveys could reveal potential deal breakers before you’re legally bound to complete the transaction, so most people would agree that they’re well worth the wait.
     

    HomeBuyers Survey FAQs

    Do buyers pull out after a survey?

    If the survey reveals some issues, then the buyer may want to pull out of the sale. If they do not pull out of the sale they may want to negotiate the price or ask that these issues are resolved before they go ahead with the sale.

    What will fail a house survey?

    Although a house survey can’t fail, it can influence if the buyer wants to go ahead with the sale. Here are some of the common issues that are found during a house survey:

    What happens if a house survey shows problems?

    If a survey uncovers problems, there are several options for you to consider. It is important that you understand the implications of the issues and how these might be able to be resolved. Most surveyors will be happy to talk you through any problems found.

    If the issues discovered during the survey mean that you do not want to proceed with the sale, then you are able to pull out of the sale at this stage with no issues.

    If you are still interested in the property, you might want to ask the seller if they’d consider fixing the issues found during the survey before you exchange contracts.

    Another option is to ask the seller to renegotiate on the price if you are willing to address these issues yourself.

    Does the seller get a copy of the survey?

    Usually, the seller does not get a copy of the survey as it is the buyer that pays for the survey.

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