Types of surveys

Buying a house is the largest single financial transaction most people make, and it can turn into a very expensive millstone if, after you move in, you discover that you are sharing your new home with dry rot, woodworm or rising damp, or that there has been settlement.  It is therefore prudent to consider options other than just relying on the simple Mortgage Valuation Report prepared by your building society or mortgage lender.

The following outlines the type of surveys available, their benefits and their limitations:

  • Pre-Sale Survey – in compliance with EU Directive and HM Government Housing Act 2004

A pre-sale survey is carried out on behalf of the vendor before a property is put on the market.  It points out any areas that may need to be looked at in order to improve the chances of selling the property and achieving best pricing.

  • Mortgage Valuation Report

These are not in fact surveys but rather reports prepared after a brief inspection of the property.  They are carried out by a RICS Valuation Surveyor appointed by the lender (i.e. a bank or building society) to establish whether the property provides adequate security for the amount to be borrowed.  Obvious defects will be pointed out in the valuation but it should not be regarded as a full survey or as a substitute for a Building Survey or Homebuyer's Report.  Our services are recognised by the leading banks that are members of BIB.

  • Home Condition Report

A fast, comprehensive and competitive service that brings to light all major defects likely to affect a decision to purchase.  Carried out by a fully qualified and certified residential property surveyor, it provides a no-nonsense assessment of the condition of the property using a simple 1, 2, 3 rating guide and a jargon-free approach.

  • Homebuyer Survey

Approved by the Royal institution of Chartered Surveyors, this survey and valuation covers all accessible parts of the property, but is less comprehensive than a Building Survey and the final report is shorter and more concise.  The report specifies major defects and includes a roof inspection where possible, but does not detail remedial works. Advice can be given on specific items if required, and if further specialist investigation is thought necessary this will be stated in the report.  These reports are most suitable for houses built during the last 80 years and up to approximately 2,000 square feet / 185 square metres.  They are intended to inform a prospective buyer on the soundness or otherwise of the property, and whether it is a suitable purchase at the price agreed.

  • Building Survey (formerly Full Structural Survey)

This is the most detailed type of survey and is usually required when a full assessment is needed.  It is also highly advisable for older properties (pre 1900) or large or unusual buildings.  Surveys of this kind can take many hours to complete and cover all aspects of the property in greater depth than the Homebuyer's Report.  It can also detail remedial works required.

  • Other surveys

In addition to standard surveys we can provide specific or tailored surveys to suit individual requirements.  This includes a survey of just one aspect of a property, such as dampness in an area or a crack in a wall.

::  Five Reasons to have a ‘proper’ property survey




"The property report you produced was excellent and will invaluable to us. I will have no hesitation in recommending you and your company. Your service, responsiveness and quality of work was superb"
Stephen Frame



"Many thanks for the survey, may I just say this was one of the most detailed, helpful and well presented I've read. I will certainly be recommending you to future clients"
Curly Humby - Bramhall Solicitors