Oakfield Building Chartered Surveyors

What do they check in a homebuyers survey?

You should always organise a chartered surveyor to evaluate the property when you purchase a new house, even if it looks in reasonable condition. It is not legally required in this country, but it is advised. The last thing you want to do is pay for a whole house rewire or a brand new roof after spending a large amount of your money on the house itself. However, what precisely a chartered surveyor checks for when they take a look over your possible dream home are a mystery to many. Here, we will explain what do they check in a homebuyers survey.

Continue reading to find out more about the surveying procedure and the services we provide;

Checking a wall homebuyers survey

When should you get a home condition survey done?

The best possible time to schedule your home condition survey is straight after placing an offer, and the vendor has accepted it. This is because the survey may reveal major problems or costly repairs that could affect the final price you are willing to offer. Alternatively, suppose time constraints are not a worry, and you are not in a hurry to complete the transaction. In that case, you may decide to request that the vendor make any necessary repairs at their expense before you proceed with the sale.

Before paying the deposit and exchanging contracts with the vendor, you should make sure that you have received the survey results, as your offer will become legally binding at that time if you do not do so.

Looking for a homebuyers Survey?

We are one of the leading Chartered Surveyors covering London, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire and regulated by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

Our team is dedicated to providing the highest quality building surveys.
Contact us to discuss your requirements further.

Home Buyer Roofing problem

Who can carry out the home buyer survey?

You need to ensure that you choose a qualified and accredited chartered surveyor from one of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and ensure they have suitable local knowledge of the area.

How long does a homebuyers survey take?

When it comes to the length of time it takes to do a survey, it generally takes up to four hours or so for a homebuyer’s survey and between <three and eight hours for a comprehensive structural survey. Of course, this depends on how big the property is.

What are the different types of home surveys?

There are three sorts of surveys: condition reports, homebuyer reports, and building surveys. However, they are called different things by different organisations;

Home condition report

In terms of home surveys, a home condition report is the basic choice available. This type of study is appropriate for normal, newer properties that are still in reasonable shape. The report summarises the property’s status, including any dangers, urgent flaws, or possible legalities such as rights of access that you should address.

Homebuyer report

A homebuyer report is generally the survey that is requested the most by homebuyers, and it is generally enough for standard-build properties that are in reasonable condition. The homebuyer report covers all aspects of the home condition report and recommendations for upkeep and repairs on the property.

Complete structural survey or Level 3 survey

The most extensive type of structural survey available is the complete structural survey, which may also be referred to as a building survey in some circles. The necessity for this type of study is typically associated with bigger and older properties, as well as those with distinctive layouts or construction materials, such as a wood frame or a thatched roof. Complete structural surveys should also be carried out on any properties in poor condition, as well as on any properties that have been considerably altered in the past or on which you intend to make major structural alterations.

Damp Found from Homebuyers Survey
Moisture Meter Chartered Surveyor

What is looked for in a homebuyer survey?

When it comes to a homebuyer survey, what is checked is highly dependent on the sort of inspection you request. When inspecting the property, they will be looking for structural problems such as subsidence, weak walls, a damaged roof and an unsafe chimney. We will also provide information on the kind of window glazing and materials used in the construction.

Among the items included in a condition report will be a system for grading the state of the building and any other outer buildings that come with the dwelling and information on any future risks or places that require care.

A homebuyer report should include the surveyor’s opinion on whether or not to proceed with the house purchase, whether or not the amount you have offered is appropriate in view of the state of the building and what needs to be done before you exchange contracts.

We will evaluate the overall condition of the dwelling and will point out any serious flaws that could have an impact on its value. Among the items to be checked are any critical issues that require specialised treatment before you and the vendor sign contracts, carrying out tests for damp, woodworm or dry rot, as well as the state of damp-proofing, drainage and insulation.

A thorough structural survey will contain a detailed overview of the property’s state, information on the building’s materials, and recommendations on flaws, repairs, and upkeep. This will include the projected price of any fixes that need to be done, the extensive background checks included in the homebuyer report for damp and other significant issues, as well as any advice for follow-up checks.

The surveyor can give you advice on the appropriate form of survey to arrange based on the type of dwelling that you are buying. If you are unsure which sort of survey to conduct, your conveyancer and the surveyor will be able to help you.

In England and Wales, the buyer is responsible for arranging the survey and paying for the cost.

What is not included in a homebuyers survey?

Even while a complete structural survey is obviously quite thorough, it will not be able to identify every single concern that may exist with the house. A surveyor can also do a defect report on a specific issue that you are concerned about. In this case, they will concentrate solely on that particular problem and identify any dangers that you as the house buyer may be exposed to as a result of the issue.

It is vital to note that drains are not tested while any damp-proofing, insulation, and drainage are evaluated. In addition, a surveyor is not responsible for testing the electrical system of a property.

In addition, a surveyor will not appraise any portions of the property that are inaccessible. For example, flat roofs that have a locked hatch in a communal area.

Your conveyancer will also need to conduct local and environmental searches, as the structural survey does not consider the broader issues evaluated by these types of searches.

Looking for a home buyer Survey?

We are one of the leading Chartered Surveyors covering London, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire and regulated by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

Our team is dedicated to providing the highest quality building surveys.
Contact us to discuss your requirements further.

How do I prepare for a homebuyer survey?

We understand how stressful it may be to wait for the surveyor and be unsure of what a surveyor is looking for, but it does not have to be that way. Here are a few helpful hints to assist you in preparing for your chartered surveyor’s visit to your property and ensuring that the process goes as smoothly as possible.

Make sure the property is as clear as possible

Make every effort to ensure that the house is empty on the day of the survey so that the surveyor has as much room and time as appropriate. To reduce distractions and the possibility of mishaps, it is recommended that you arrange for your children and pets to stay with a friend or family member while the survey is being conducted. When the surveyor arrives, there should only be one or two individuals present to greet them, thereby eliminating delays and overcrowding.

If necessary, all keys should be collected and kept close at hand since, depending on the sort of survey being conducted, windows may need to be opened and all rooms checked. It is possible that adjacent structures such as garden sheds or garages may need to be accessible as well. All surveys necessitate access to the attic or loft, so make sure that these areas are free of obstructions and easily accessible. Any limited regions can be marked down and shown to the buyer, so instilling uncertainty in their mind.

Collect all the necessary documents and have them to hand

Copy and gather any essential documents ahead of time so that they are ready to be viewed by the surveyor. This will enable a more efficient survey (and will also assist the surveyor a little). Instilling confidence in the history of a property through documents such as a Planning Permission Notice or an Energy Performance Certificate can lead to better results. The greater the number of documents you can locate, the better.

An electrical test certificate, a gas safety certificate, and a building regulation completion certificate are all examples of credentials that might be useful to have on hand.

Talk to the surveyor about your concerns

It is critical that you are completely honest with the surveyor and that you do not conceal any troubles that you may be experiencing while preparing for the survey. Concentrate on making your property appear presentable rather than hiding anything you believe may negatively impact the report. Chartered surveyors are highly qualified professionals who are familiar with the frequent property survey concerns and know where to look for them.

Deception might cause significant delays in the inspection process. Chartered surveyors are meticulous in their work. Maintain the highest level of honesty and courtesy while informing them of any problems or renovations you are aware of. If there are any areas with visible damage, make sure that the surveyor has easy access to them so that they can thoroughly inspect the problem and provide expert advice on how to proceed with the repair work.


Damp is one of the most prevalent problems that is spotted in a house inspection. It is caused by water entering a house from the outside through leaking roofs or rising dampness. It can also be caused by inadequate ventilation and condensation inside the house.

Problems with the roof

Poor insulation and ventilation in roof spaces and blocked and overflowing gutters are common reasons for a property failing an inspection. Condition ratings can assist you in determining the severity of any roof problems discovered during a house survey.

Incomplete or missing building regulation approval

The property owner must have the necessary documents for any expansion or alteration work they have completed that was required to comply with Building Regulations. It is possible to gain retrospective approval if certain requirements are met.

Will failure of a homebuyer survey cause the house sale to fall through

This is obviously a big concern for both buyers and sellers, but it does not always have to be bad news. If a homebuyers survey flags something up, it allows both parties to make an informed decision as to what to do next. It could be getting the issues sorted before the house is sold and sticking to the original selling price or renegotiating the price so that the purchaser can get the work done.

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