In this guide, we are going to look at the differences between an RICS Homebuyer Report and an RICS Building Survey and the 5 things you need to know to choose the right survey.
Both are carried out by an RICS surveyor and differ in the amount of detail and property type.
A full structural Building Survey (Level 3 RICS Survey) is a detailed evaluation of usually older and structurally complex properties.
A HomeBuyers Report (Level 2 RICS Survey) is not as comprehensive and is better for more modern properties with a conventional design.
Let's look at this in more detail.
Performed by a qualified surveyor, this is usually done as a walk through where the surveyor inspects the property.
The main purpose of the report is to get an overview of the state of the property and determine a market valuation.
The minimum you can expect from a HomeBuyer Report is information on:
To make sure your RICS HomeBuyer Survey meets the standards, RICS has provided an overview of what to expect from this type of report.
Check out the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors criteria.
"The RICS HomeBuyer (Survey & Valuation) Service contains
The surveyor who provides the RICS HomeBuyer Service (Survey) aims to give you professional advice to help you to:
The RICS surveyor will look at what is visible and unobstructed as they inspect the property. So, they won't move furniture, unfasten fittings or look under carpets. They will check for damp and use meters and torches where appropriate to accessible areas.
Again, the surveyor only checks what is visible and doesn't run tests on any utilities or the condition of the equipment.
Only permanent buildings on the grounds of the property are inspected. They include walls, fences, outbuildings, etc.
or more detail on an RICS HomeBuyer Report Survey see our article on What Is A HomeBuyer Report?
Also known as a full structural survey, a Level 3 RICS Survey or a Red Book Survey, is one of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors' most detailed property surveys. The focus here is on assessing the structural integrity of the property.
To make sure your RICS Building Survey meets the standards, RICS has provided an overview of what to expect from this type of report. Check out the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors criteria.
In brief, they set out the following criteria for the report:
"This Building Survey is produced by an RICS surveyor who has written this report for you to use. If you decide not to act on the advice in the report, you do this at your own risk.
The Building Survey aims to:
The RICS surveyor will inspect and give a rating to each element of the survey. Recommendations will then be made based on that rating. If any part of the property can not be accessed, then the surveyor will advise that further investigation will need to be carried out.
All structural elements are examined looking for damage, hazards, future issues, damp and rot and focus on areas such as:
Utilities, drainage and services are examined if they are observable and are tested for "normal everyday use."
The external condition of the property, the roof, environmental concerns and permanent buildings are inspected and reported on.
For more detail on an RICS Building Survey see our article on What Is An RICS Building Survey.
|RICS Homebuyer Survey||RICS Building Survey|
|1. Desktop and oral examination of the property carried out||As appropriate. It will usually signpost to additional services for further investigation||Yes|
|2. A market valuation provided||As an extra||As an extra|
|3. A full structural survey conducted with detailed advice||No||Yes|
|4. Level of advice on the condition of the property||Moderate||Extensive|
|5. Guaranteed through RICS||Yes||Yes|
Depending on the property type, your resources and ultimate goals, here are some factors to consider when choosing the right type of survey for your project.
|RICS Homebuyer Survey||RICS Building Survey|
|Good for conventionally built properties||Structurally complex buildings|
|More modern buildings less than 100 years old||Historic buildings|
|No major alterations||Buildings that have been significantly altered|
|Properties in good repair||Properties in a bad state of repair|
|No major renovations needed||Properties where the client will carry out major renovations|
See this RICS Guide for further information
You can always find a surveyor by going to the RICS website and checking out their member's lists. Also, Camsure Surveys have local RICS surveyors across much of the UK with local knowledge in your area.
All of Camsure's chartered surveyors are RICS qualified and skilled in both types of surveys. You can find a surveyor near you easily by visiting Areas We Cover.
As you can see, whether you are buying, selling, re-mortgaging, insuring or involved in probate, getting a Homebuyer Survey or an RICS Building Surveyor is critical.
The main differences between the two will depend on your project and goals.
In a nutshell, for standard, well-maintained properties consider an RICS HomeBuyer Survey. For properties that are more complex or in poor condition, consider an RICS Building Survey.
If you have questions or would like some advice, please get in touch.
RICS - www.rics.org