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How to choose a great Chartered Surveyor

One of the most important things you can do for your future property is get a home survey - but how do you choose a great surveyor?

How to choose a great Chartered Surveyor

Buying a home can sometimes feel overwhelming - wondering if this is the right property for you, if it's a good investment and if there's anything you're missing can be exhausting.

The importance of getting a survey can’t be understated – it can give you a clear idea of the state of the property, highlight any issues and can save you money further down the line if you need to make repairs.

It can also provide a bargaining chip, with an expert approximation of what work will need to be done, and how much it will cost. 

Have a look at our negotiating guide to work out how to use a survey's results to suggest a new price to your seller.

But how can you choose the right surveyor?

We think it’s important to be able to choose from a variety of experienced, highly qualified professionals, and know upfront what their prices are and what they’ll offer. We help you compare surveyor quotes based on who is in your area, and give you the information you need to make the right choice.

Location

You may have had recommendations for surveyors, but if they’re not in your area, they’re not much use. If you currently live in London but are moving to York, you may not have any recommendations. It’s important to be able to pick a professional in the right area, especially as they might have local knowledge or an understanding of typical building work in that location.

But how do you know if they’re any good?

Reviews

The best way to assess a Chartered Surveyor is to read what their previous customers think about them. We use reviews to choose restaurants, holiday locations and almost everything else, so it makes sense to look at feedback when choosing a service.

Price

It’s easy to simply choose the cheapest option, but sometimes it’s about seeing what the comparable options are, and if you get anything more for your money. Remember, whilst a survey is a cost, it's something that can save you a huge amount of money in the long run.

We show you up to 4 different quotes so you get a range of prices, and you can decide what works best for you.

RICS Regulated

Always choose a RICS regulated Chartered Surveyor (which is easy, because we only use RICS regulated firms on reallymoving). RICS is the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, which means the professionals you choose will have to adhere to a strict code of conduct, and if you do have any issues with the service you received, you can go to RICS for more information.

Offering the right survey

There are different options when it comes to surveys – you may need a HomeBuyer’s Report or a Building Survey. These options may or may not include valuations. The report you need depends on the age and condition of the property.

Have a look at our article 'Which Survey Do I Need?' for more information.

Remember – a mortgage valuation is NOT the same thing as a survey. That will only tell you how much your lender believes your home to be worth. You will still need a survey to assess the property.

Efficiency

Perhaps you’re on a tight deadline? Pick a surveyor who specialises in a quick turnaround. This will also depend on availability. If you’re not in a rush, you don’t have to pick this service, but efficiency is always helpful. most surveyors will be able to tell you what their availability is, and how long it takes them to write up the report before you book them.

Clarity

You receive the report after the surveyor has carried out their visit. Sometimes they include photographs, but even without them, the report will highlight any areas for concern in the property. Reports are written in clear, straightforward language, with minimal jargon. After all, your report could be a bargaining chip with the seller, you want to be able to understand what it means.

Contact

Pick a Chartered Surveyor who is happy to be in contact with you, whether that is answering your questions before you book, explaining which survey you need, or calling you to go through the report after you’ve received it, making sure you understand.

To find professional Chartered Surveyors in your area, fill out our quick quote form and get up to 4 quotes.

Updated February 2020

Comments (3)

  • David Jeffels

    posted on 25 Oct 2017

    Survey required on three charity almshouse properties known as Smart and Humble Homes, Main Street, Hutton Buscel, Scarborough YO13. The properties comprise of a semi-detached house and two flats. Looking for a condition survey and any recommendations for maintenance work.

    Reallymoving response

    Hi David, 
    You can find a Chartered Surveyor here.
    Many thanks,
    the reallymoving team

    Castle Surveyors Limited

    posted on 6 Dec 2017

    I have become aware of some rather dubious behaviour whereby companies are holding themselves out as Chartered Surveyors, having possibly a single Chartered Surveyor whose name they use, but in reality don't actually have a local Chartered Surveyor and use people without such qualifications. Check your surveyor is who they claim to be and are qualified, Chartered, experienced and Independent. I hope this helps

    Neil Hewitt

    posted on 5 Jan 2018

    Regarding the use of 'chartered surveyors'. There are a group of very qualified non chartered surveyors, often they are still RICS members, though not chartered. They are more qualified in buildings than many chartered surveyors, as most of the RICS accredited courses in the past have not covered building pathology to a sufficient level. Some Chartered Surveyors for instance have come from estate management qualifications. Many no chartered surveyors are ex tradespeople, with first class hands on experience. The chartered status actually makes no difference at all to the qualifications needed to survey a house. It is practical experience that does matter. There is an issue though that some companies are not providing the full RICS Building Survey, and instead provide their own version of a survey. It is a good idea to ask for examples of surveys (obviously with names and addresses removed). And, a good measure is if the price is too low, please be suspicious. A good Building Survey will take up at least two to three days of a surveyor's time, it cannot be rushed, and it cannot be done on the cheap. It is also a good idea to use a totally independent surveyor, and not one that is tied to a company.

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