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How long does a survey take?

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 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.

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

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

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

A full Building Survey (Level 3 Survey) 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. But 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.

Our top tips when getting a survey:
  • 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. But 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.

Updated January 2023 by Jeremy Greer

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