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    Property Survey Costs Explained

    By The reallymoving Team Updated 24th May, 2024

    Reviewed by Em Smith

    Hiring a RICS surveyor is important when buying a property - but how much are they, and what factors affect the cost?

    Property Survey Costs Explained

    The average cost of hiring a chartered surveyor depends on the type of survey you need. It also depends on other factors such as number of bedrooms, the type of property and the size of the property. The more in depth a report, the longer the surveyor will need to assess.

    Types of property surveys: which one do you need?: 

    There are three levels of surveys:
    Survey Level What Does It Cover? Home Type
    Condition Report (Level 1 RICS Survey) This is the most basic report available. It does not include advice or recommendations for repair or how much these are likely to cost. This is suitable for newer properties in good condition.
    HomeBuyer Report (Level 2 RICS Survey) A more comprehensive report. This survey can help you budget for any repairs and can advise on any maintenance that may be required. This is suitable for properties in a reasonable condition.
    Building Survey (Level 3 RICS Survey) This is the most detailed survey option. Gives in depth advice on any problems or future repairs. This is the best option for older properties or those in poor condition.

    How much does a HomeBuyers Survey (Level 2) cost?

    A Level 2 RICS Survey (HomeBuyers report) is for properties under 100 years old or in good condition. The report uses a traffic light system to show problems, areas for improvement, and areas with no issues.

    A surveyor will spend approximately 1-2 hours assessing the property, and then filling out the report. Surveyors can then discuss the report with clients over the phone if they have questions or need explanations.
    A HomeBuyers report usually costs between £400- £550*, depending on the property's size, value, and age.

    How much does a Building Survey (Level 3) cost?

    A Level 3 RICS Survey (Building Survey) is for older properties that have had or will have building work done. The survey provides the most detailed information. As such, it is the more expensive and comprehensive option.

    The average cost for a Building Survey is around £500 - £750*. This depends on the age and size of the property, as well as what the property is worth.

    A surveyor will spend 2-5 hours in the property and provide a detailed report. They will also explain anything to the client if they have any concerns.

    How much is an additional valuation?

    A valuation is often a standard inclusion in a HomeBuyers Survey. However, if you choose to add one to your Building Survey it's usually around £75.

    A surveyor valuation is not the same as a mortgage lender’s valuation. You might decide to add a valuation if you’re not sure that the property has been appropriately priced by the seller.

    An estate agent’s pricing of the property is based on ‘consideration of worth’. A Valuation will be able to tell you if it’s appropriate for the market, as well as identifying any issues with the property's condition that could end up costing you more down the line.

    Read more information about property valuations.

    Are there any other costs?

    Your surveyor may recommend you contact a specialist for certain areas that they think need further investigation. Your surveyor is not an expert in structural engineering, plumbing, or electrical work. Consulting professionals could give you complete confidence in your property.

    You always have the choice if you decide to follow up on this advice, and you may feel that it is not necessary. However, if you uncover significant problems in these areas, you will be responsible for them, not the Chartered Surveyor.

    What makes a survey more expensive?

    A survey might end up being more expensive based on the condition of the property, the value, and the size. If the surveyor can't access parts of the property or finds complex problems, it can also affect the cost. This is because it might take more time to assess, and to write up the report.

    Put simply, if the property is large, it will take a surveyor longer to look around. Therefore, you will be paying for more of their time.

    How do I get the best price for a survey?

    Make sure to always compare prices from local surveyors for HomeBuyer Reports (with or without valuations) and Building Surveys. Check reviews and make sure your surveyors are RICS regulated before choosing a quote that is right for you.

    You can also check your other home moving costs by using our Moving Cost Calculator to see how much you could save.

    How much does a survey cost?

    Survey           Standard Cost*     
    Condition Report (Level 1 Survey) £300 - £700
    HomeBuyer Report (Level 2 Survey) £400 - £550
    Building Survey (Level 3 Survey) £500 - £750

    Scottish Home Report is slightly different in that the seller is responsible for buying the survey and making it available to interested potential buyers. This would only be applicable if you were selling a property in Scotland. The average cost of a Scottish Home Report is from about £350-£850, depending on the size of the property.

    Why the right survey saves you money in the long run

    Identifying property issues with a survey can help save money later down the line. Surveys can identify areas of the property that might need future repair work that could end up being costly. Having knowledge of these issues can provide you with evidence so you can negotiate the price.

    If the property is older, a Building Survey can help you to make an informed decision about purchasing the property. Surveys can help avoid expensive repairs that you were unaware of.

    * ​Based on reallymoving data collected 2024

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