What’s the difference between a
RICS surveyor and a surveyor?
Instructing someone to complete a home survey is crucial for buying a new house. It provides you with reassurance that the property you’re purchasing is in good condition and worth what you’ve offered.
You may have seen the terms ‘RICS surveyor’, ‘chartered surveyor’ and just plain, old ‘surveyor’ thrown around if you’ve been exploring the idea of home surveys.
The difference between these titles is in relation to RICS, the governing body. Chartered surveyors are registered with RICS, whereas surveyors aren’t.
This article will explain the differences between the two and the advantages of hiring a RICS registered chartered surveyor.
What’s the difference between a chartered surveyor and a surveyor?
A chartered surveyor is registered with RICS, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. This means they have completed specific qualifications relevant to the field, had at least two years’ worth of in-field work experience, and have been independently assessed for professional competence. On top of this, they’ll need to regularly keep up to date with training and professional development courses.
By contrast, a standard surveyor isn’t necessarily regulated. Anyone can legally call themselves a surveyor and begin doing work inspecting homes and providing reports based on their findings – even if they have no experience whatsoever. Having said that, some surveyors are members of alternative professional bodies, such as TSA-UK.
We’re not saying that all standard surveyors are unqualified or inexperienced. Some may do a fantastic job. However, the lack of regulation from RICS means it’s always a much higher risk. Reports can also come in any format, whereas RICS surveyors will always send you documents according to the governing body’s professional standards.
What are the benefits of instructing a RICS surveyor?
Compared to a standard surveyor, instructing a RICS surveyor comes with several benefits:
- Reassurance – the main benefit of instructing a RICS surveyor is the reassurance it provides in the things we’ve listed below.
- Background checks – RICS members are intensely vetted to ensure customer protection.
- Qualifications – all chartered surveyors are qualified in specific RICS-approved degrees relevant to surveying.
- Experience – all RICS surveyors must have completed at least two years of training before earning the title ‘chartered surveyor’.
- Standardised surveys – RICS members should conduct surveys to the same base levels of competence and skill no matter who or where they are. RICS surveys and valuations all involve precisely the same framework across the country.
- Standardised reports – when a surveyor fills out their report after the inspection, RICS chartered surveyors work from a standard template. This ensures everything is easy to read and simple to understand.
- Professional insurance – when calling a RICS surveyor out to a home you’re potentially interested in, you can be sure that they’re covered by professional insurance (which comes with a RICS membership).
RICS surveyors come with all the above benefits compared to a standard surveyor. A surveyor may come with some or all of these, but you should conduct background checks of your own to double-check everything.
You can check if a chartered surveyor is registered with RICS here.
What RICS home surveys are available?
At GB Home Surveys, we conduct the three most popular RICS home surveys. These are:
- Valuation – a valuation is a simple market estimate of a home’s value.
- Home Survey Level 2 – this home survey is a general inspection of a property. The chartered surveyor will note any defects and can estimate repair costs for an optional extra fee. Consider a Level 2 RICS home survey for most traditional homes in good conditions.
- Home Survey Level 3 – the most specialised survey currently available, Level 3, includes an in-depth inspection of a building’s structural integrity. It’s best for historic buildings, barn conversions, cottages, or properties in disrepair.
How can GB Home Surveys help?
GB Home Surveys is rapidly growing across the western and central parts of England and South Wales. We’re a team of specialised RICS chartered surveyors with experience inspecting all sorts of properties.
Currently, we have offices and teams in Bristol, Bath, Three Counties, South Wales, the Cotswolds and the West Midlands. If you’re interested in a property in any of these regions, we’d strongly advise instructing a RICS surveyor to conduct a home survey.
If you’d like us to have a friendly chat with you about your needs, please feel free to contact us! Our friendly staff can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’d prefer a direct voice-to-voice, our phone number is 03333 600 685. We look forward to hearing from you and helping you on your home-buying journey.