Five things to expect from your home survey report
Although getting a home survey is a vital part of the homebuying process, many people don’t know what to expect from the process and the final report they receive.
The home inspection itself is relatively simple and straightforward – one of our surveyors will arrange to visit the property at a time that’s convenient to the owner to carry out the inspection. This can take anything from a couple of hours to a full day, depending on the type of property and the level of survey they are carrying out. We offer three types of RICS home surveys – Level 1 (Valuation), Home Survey Level 2 and Home Survey Level 3.
After a home survey inspection, the chartered surveyor will write their report.
You can usually expect this back within a couple of weeks, although at GB Home Surveys, we aim for a timeframe of seven working days. Within this report – provided in pdf format as standard – you’ll find a wealth of information about your potential house purchase.
In this article, you’ll find five things to expect from your home survey report, although it’s important to note that the finished documents contain even more information than we’ve listed here.
Located near the beginning of the document (Section B), the Summary is an excellent place to see the property’s overall condition. While you shouldn’t simply glance at this page and then close it, it does give a good overview.
Here, the surveyor will gather all their findings into one convenient place and give them a ‘condition rating’. The most severe and urgent rating they’ll give is ‘3’. A ‘2’ indicates something that should be fixed as soon as possible but isn’t dangerous or pressing. You’ll find elements within the ‘1’ section that have little or no cause for concern.
Sometimes, the person carrying out the inspection may be unable to check certain things. You’ll find these listed here, too, for clarification.
2) Inside/Outside the Property/Grounds
In Sections D, E and G, you’ll find physical information about the property’s condition, along with photos. The chartered surveyor will check the inside and outside of the property itself and also inspect the grounds.
You should expect to see facts about the roof, windows, doors, joinery, walls, ceilings, chimneys and bathrooms (and more). Within the grounds section (G), you’ll see information about any garages or other outbuildings, if applicable.
Note the rating in the corner of each element’s section – this is the condition rating, as shown in the Summary.
Section F describes the mains services to the house, flat or bungalow. Of course, most of these systems are hidden within the property walls or deep underground. Since the inspection is always non-obtrusive, the surveyor often won’t be able to see the exact condition of pipes and wiring etc. However, they will switch these services on and check for obvious problems. The Services section includes inspections of (if applicable):
- Gas or oil
- Water heating
Again, you’ll find a condition rating next to each item.
Section J details the Risks to the building, its occupiers and anyone else who may be affected. These risks will most likely have been identified in the Summary and relevant earlier sections. Still, the chartered surveyor will go into more detail here, clearly explaining the potential consequences.
Risks may be addressed generally, or they may be more specific. The surveyor will choose the best and most straightforward approach to explaining the problem.
Expect this section of your home survey report to summarise risks to the building, the grounds, people (you, your family, visitors, neighbours, the public, contractors, etc.) and any other dangers.
5) What to do Now
Section K, What to do Now, explains the next steps you should take. It’s pretty generic advice but generally applicable to every potential homebuyer.
This short section explains how any potential repair or maintenance aspects may influence the price you’re willing to pay. It encourages you to get quotes or approximations of all the costs you’d need to pay before making a legal commitment to purchasing the house.
You might also wish to have other inspections carried out, or have a specialist look at certain specific aspects highlighted as a risk in the report.
How GB Home Surveys can help
We’d encourage everyone to get a home survey before committing to buying a property. They often uncover issues – sometimes significant – that lead to lower offers or, occasionally, withdrawing from a purchase altogether.
At GB Home Surveys, we’ve been in business for more than 30 years and have an in-depth knowledge of the local housing markets. As fully vetted and qualified RICS members, our chartered surveyors operate across the South-West, West and Midlands in England, plus South Wales.
RICS Home Survey reports contain a wealth of information instrumental in the buying process. For more information about what to expect, check out a sample RICS report here or contact us for a commitment-free friendly chat. Our team will be more than happy to answer your questions and help you on your way.
We can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 03333 600 685. We can’t wait to hear from you.