Choosing the right survey for the property you want to buy may seem a confusing and potentially expensive business. But knowing exactly what each type of survey covers is essential before you make a decision, as a recent discussion event organised by the Royal Institution for Chartered Surveyors (RICS) revealed.
The gathering of surveyors and valuers heard from delegates that too many buyers believe a valuation report is a survey when, in fact, this does exactly what it says on the tin – offers a valuation of the property with no details of any defects or structural information.
The RICS report of the event quoted Alison Williams, who is head of quality assurance at Legal & General Surveying. She said: “The younger generation of buyers is particularly naïve in relying on a mortgage valuation when buying a property; this isn’t enough and won’t help uncover any potential faults or defects.”
The essentials to know
Educating clients about what each survey involves should be an essential part of the survey process, says the RICS. And at Surveyor Local, our sales team always advise clients on the detail provided by all types of survey and offer suggestions on which is the most appropriate for the property involved.
A property valuation is usually demanded by the mortgage lender and is simply an assessment of how much the property would fetch on the open market. As it’s limited in its scope, it will only make observations on obvious defects and so it cannot be relied upon to reveal the building’s true condition.
The RICS Level 2 Survey is a general survey that will identify visible defects and issues. The RICS, whose members make up Surveyor Local’s nationwide panel of surveyors, recommend that the RICS Level 2 Survey is the appropriate survey for buildings of standard construction built after 1900. This report will also include a valuation.
Fast turnaround on surveys
For properties built before 1900 and for those of non-standard construction, a RICS Level 3 Survey is recommended by the RICS. A much more in-depth examination of a property, this survey will explore all accessible areas of a home. The RICS Level 3 Survey does not include a valuation as standard, but those buyers who would like this included can request that the surveyor offers this.
One other issue raised at the recent RICS event was the worry of buyers that ordering a survey may slow down the buying process. At Surveyor Local, we make contact with a local surveyor as soon as the report has been commissioned and can offer next-day appointments with a fast turnaround on the report.
Call our experienced sales team now on 0800 022 4428 or get an instant quote.