A common question that we are asked by buyers is: “what is the difference between a Building Survey and a Homebuyers report?”

As a purchaser you may have decided that you need a pre-purchase survey but with all the different types of survey on offer, which is the right one for you?

What is a RICS Homebuyer Report?

The RICS HomeBuyer Report is a medium level survey, which we would recommend for flats and modern houses. A surveyor would typically spend 1.5 hours at the property for this type of survey. It follows a set template designed by the RICS. It is recommended for properties less than 70 years old and which have not been altered extensively. 

Should I get a full Building Survey?

A full building survey will involve a more extensive investigation of the subject building. The inspection typically lasts for 4 or more hours. This provides an opportunity to identify additional defects and diagnose the cause of more complex defects such as cracking and damp. To reflect the additional time spent during the inspection and compiling the report, a Building Survey is more expensive than a Homebuyer Survey.

A full Building Survey will describe any visible defects but will also consider potential damage that may be hidden. If necessary, opening up works may be recommended. It will go into more detail when discussing a particular defect. This allows the buyer to understand the defect itself and any necessary steps for remedial work. A builder can then be asked to provide a quote for repairs.

It is highly recommended for properties over 70 years old or for properties which have been extensively altered or where defects are suspected.

A building survey report can be tailored to include particular advice such as the feasibility of a proposed rear extension. Budget cost estimates can also be provided by the surveyor if required. A market valuation and reinstatement valuation are not offered as standard with a Building Survey, but can be included with the report if requested in advance. 

If you would like to discuss the types of pre-purchase survey further please feel free to contact us for more advice.