A quick guide to finding a building surveyor
Your home is likely to be one of the most important purchases in your life, and hiring a RICS regulated Chartered Surveyor to conduct a survey before you buy your new home is a crucial part of this process. With reallymoving you receive 4 quotes from local building surveyors, allowing you to compare surveys to easily find the best one for you.
Our quick guide to finding a building surveyor explains what surveying is and the different surveys available to you. If you want more details on the process of surveying, read our guide to surveys for more tips and advice.
What is a building survey?
Surveying is the process of inspecting and analysing a property to report on its condition, it is carried out by a Chartered Surveyor. All our surveyors belong to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). These highly trained individuals carry out the surveys and give you advice based on their findings. The building survey is the report they give you at the end of their building inspection. You can then use this to decide if buying the property is the right choice for you, or if there are any concerns.
Why do I need a RICS chartered surveyor?
A chartered surveyor is crucial when buying a home. Firstly, you don’t want to move into your new home and then discover problems that you weren’t aware of. A survey carried out by a chartered surveyor will ensure that you are aware of the condition of the property before you buy it, and give you an indication of how much maintenance and repair your new home will need once you’ve moved in.
A survey can either seal the deal on a property, stop you buying a home needing more repairs than expected, or lead to renegotiation on the price of the property. At the very least, a building survey will give you peace of mind that you won’t have to splash out on repairs once moved in.
What type of survey do I need?
The differences between a HomeBuyer Report and a Building Survey are outlined below:
HomeBuyer Report (Level 2 survey)
The HomeBuyer Report, is the most common type of housing survey and is likely to be recommended to most homebuyers. The report covers the entire property, both inside the house and outside. When you compare surveyors, you have the option to get a valuation in addition to your quotes.
The HomeBuyer Report is suitable for newer properties, and older properties in good condition. The report is written in an easily-understandable standard format by the chartered surveyor and rates the condition of all permanent structures in the property. The report is based on a visual inspection of the house, including damp testing, assessment on timbers and supports, and notes on drainage and insulation. Your surveyor will also give maintenance advice on the property.
How much does HomeBuyer Report cost?
Expect to pay between £300-500, although this isn’t set in stone. With reallymoving, you’ll be able to compare costs of surveys to find the best one for you.
You can find out the total cost of your move by using our Moving Cost Calculator.
How long does a HomeBuyer Report take?
A HomeBuyer Report will take between 2-4 hours for the inspection and an additional 3-5 working days to produce the report. These times will vary based on the property's size.
Building Survey (Level 3 survey)
What is included in a Building Survey?
A Building Survey is the most thorough and detailed survey and can be tailored to your needs. This survey is appropriate for old or large properties, those built with unconventional materials, dilapidated properties,ones that may have experienced flood damage, or properties that have been extensively altered. If you're buying a fixer upper, or intend to do a lot of work to your new home, a chartered surveyor would recommend a level 3 building survey.
Your building surveyor will provide a comprehensive report on the building’s structural condition, highlight all physical defects, and advise on potential problems that may arise from hidden faults. Factors like flooring, drainage, piping and wiring will be taken into account, and once complete, your surveyor will be able to continually advise you and your conveyancing solicitor on the best courses of action to take.
How much does a Building Survey cost?
The cost of a building survey will vary depending on the type, size and location of the property. Normally, a building survey would cost around £500-1000, increasing in cost for large or high-end properties.
How long does a Building Survey take?
Building survey inspections can take anywhere between 3-8 hours depending on the size of your property. However, the survey itself isn't likely to be produced until 5-10 working days after the initial inspectio, as the chartered surveyor needs to write up their findings. These times do vary though and are heavily dependant on the size of your property.
*Average saving was calculated using customer feedback collected from May 2021-April 2023. We offer up to 4 quotes for building surveyors, helping people to choose based on reviews, price and many other factors.