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What is a Chartered Surveyor?

Before attempting to buy a property, you might never have heard of a property surveyor or a chartered building surveyor.

What is a Chartered Surveyor?

You will probably have been told you need one, but you’re not sure why. Don’t worry, we can break down what a Chartered Surveyor is, what they do and what you need to know when choosing one.

What is a Chartered Surveyor?

A Chartered Surveyor is a property specialist who can value a property, and assess it for any defects, future issues or problems. They produce a report for you on a property so you can see if it is a good investment, or if there are any issues that might create problems in the future, like damp, structural issues, Japanese knotweed or anything else.

What do they do?

The surveyor will visit the property and walk around, assessing different areas and identifying any problems. They will then put it all into a report for you, and you can decide if you want to go ahead with the purchase, or even renegotiate based on the findings in the report. If the report tells you that you will have to spend £5000 on repairs in the future, you could negotiate the price of the property down by that amount.

When do I need a Chartered Surveyor?

You get in touch with a Chartered Surveyor when you have found a property you want to buy. It’s at a level of commitment, when you have made an offer, rather than just having a survey done on multiple properties before making a decision. If the survey turns up something that stops you buying the property, it will have saved you a huge amount of money.

Are all reports the same?

There are a few different reports. In England and Wales, there are mainly HomeBuyer’s Reports and Building Surveys. A Building Survey is more in depth and is good for older or unusual properties, or ones that have had significant building work done to them. A HomeBuyer Report is usually sufficient for most other properties. In Scotland, Home Reports are slightly different, as they are requested by the person selling the property, so that all the information is to hand when the property is put on the market.

What is RICS?

 The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, the governing body for Chartered Surveyors. They provide up to date training, support and guidance, and they designed the HomeBuyer and Building Surveys, so everyone can be sure they are receiving a high quality document with the necessary information. 

What qualifications do Chartered Surveyors have?

If they are accredited by RICS, they will have taken a course in construction, civil engineering, surveying or building engineering, and then would continue to take professional development courses. If they had a separate degree that was not accredited by RICS, they would take a postgraduate course in surveying.

How do I pick a good Chartered Surveyor?

Picking someone who is RICS regulated means you know they have to follow the guidelines of that organisation. Chartered Surveyors may offer different advantages, as some can offer a very quick turn around time on reports, or may specialise in certain types of building. For more information, you can check out our article on how to choose a great Chartered Surveyor.

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As a first time buyer and completely new to the home buying process, it was really easy to get a selection of Chartered Surveyors and make my selection

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