Getting a house survey

Are you buying a property? An independent property survey will give you a clear picture of its condition.

You’ve found a property you love but you need to know that it is in good condition before you commit to a purchase. Without a survey you may not be aware of costly work that needs to be done. A home survey will help you to avoid any nasty surprises in the future.

We recommend using a surveyor who is accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). During a RICS Home Survey your surveyor will conduct an in-depth visual inspection of the property and produce an expert report on the property’s condition. In this report they’ll highlight any problems using a clear traffic light system.

The top five things a surveyor will look for when completing a house survey:

  • Are there any problems with utilities?
  • Is there any damp?
  • Is there cracking?
  • Are the roofs ok?
  • Are there any timber defects?

You shouldn’t confuse a house survey with the mortgage valuation that you will have to pay for in order to secure a mortgage. A mortgage valuation merely confirms that the property is worth what you are being lent and will not give details on the condition of the property.

Types of property survey

Different homes require different property surveys. RICS offer three main types as detailed in the brochure, produced by our sister company, e.surv chartered surveyors.

And in Scotland...

Home Reports

In Scotland, the vendor is required to produce a Home Report when they bring their property to the market. A Home Report is a pack of three documents:

  • A Single Survey which gives all the information about the condition and value of a property.
  • An Energy Report which rates the energy efficiency of a property, and provides information on its impact to the environment.
  • A Property Questionnaire which brings together information that is useful to potential homebuyers, solicitors and surveyors

We recommend our sister company e.surv. In June 2013, e.surv acquired Walker Fraser Steele Chartered Surveyors and still trades as Walker Fraser Steele across Scotland. Both e.surv and Walker Fraser Steele are accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

Find out more about home reports in Scotland