Homebuyers' Survey


Property prices have seen many highs and lows in recent years. There have been price increases across the country since the downturn in 2008. Although prices have risen there are major differences between regions, counties, towns and even local villages. It’s this local knowledge that Eyesurvey uses to complete an accurate valuation on your home or business property. Local knowledge is key to providing a reliable valuation. 

There are many circumstances which can have an affect on house prices nationally and locally, including local planning issues, how well the economy is performing and emerging infrastructure. At Eyesurvey we always have our finger on the property price pulse, so you can be assured our local valuations are reliable and true. Please call us to arrange an appointment.

Is it a leaky pipe or something more?

When buying a new home, it is easy to get caught up in the process and not take a step back. Many people take what they see at face value perhaps deciding on purchasing a property in less time than deciding what to eat for dinner. Going to view a house is exciting but can you take it all in, warts and all? This is where Eyesurvey comes in to offer a variety of surveys from a Condition Report to a Building Survey depending on the level of detail and information you require. So that slightly leaky pipe might just need replacing or it may have already caused rotten woodwork and damp below. Our team can tell you what is a minor issue and what will cost you thousands.


Whether you are a first time buyer, downsizing or buying a business premises, whatever the reason it can be difficult to decide what sort of survey to commission. Buying property is expensive so you don't want to pay more than you need for a comprehensive survey if it's not needed. You also don't want to have a basic survey to later find out something is wrong with the building that a complete survey would have found, but how to choose? This is where Eyesurvey can help you decide. There are three main levels of survey available from Chartered Surveyors. These are detailed below for your information.

1. RICS Condition Report


Based on a traffic light system, this report focuses on the condition of the property only and flags up any areas that need attention. It does not give advice or a valuation.


Suitable for: Fairly recently built, small properties, such as new builds or conventional homes in good condition that you're not planning to do any extensive work to.


2. RICS Homebuyer Report


This report is more detailed and gives you a valuation of the property. It includes an extensive inspection and highlights defects or anything which may affect the property's value with the traffic lights system, but the Homebuyer report doesn't look beyond the floor coverings, boards or behind the wall finishes, but does give advice on further inspections or investigations needed. Does include loft areas, damp checks, any signs of building movement found.


Suitable for: Most conventional properties built around 1900 onwards, in a reasonable condition and/ or on which you are considering small scale alterations but does not include advice on the alterations or extensions to be made.

3. RICS Building Survey


This survey gives an extensive inspection of the property condition including detailed information about the fabric of the property and its structure. The report also includes descriptions of visible defects and warns of potential hidden flaws together with an outline of additional investigations and repair options. 


Suitable for: Unusual, older or non-traditional buildings or those that have been significantly altered. Buildings that are conventional but in poor condition or that you are planning major alterations to - but does not include advice on the alterations or extensions to be made. If you are unsure if a Building Survey is what you need, please ask.

Below is an at-a-glance feature list to consider when choosing your report:

Do I really need a survey?


Of course, you could purchase a property without carrying out a survey, but may later find out the entire roof needs a complete rebuild, landing you with a bill of around £15,000. Consequently, once contracts have been exchanged, the vendor is then no longer liable. If you are paying £400,000-500,000+ for you next home, would you risk not having a survey carried out for the sake of around £500? It really isn't advisable.

Bad Advice on Home Surveys from the Daily Telegraph


On Saturday 18 October 2014, the Daily Telegraph published an article in “Property Doctor – Ask Jeff” on Home Buyers surveys for home purchasers. The Article contained a number of factual errors and ill-researched advice.


The article covered a question from a buyer who has just had an offer accepted and wished to know if he should pay for a “Home Buyer survey report”, or whether that would be a “waste of money”.


The RICS Home Buyer Report was introduced in 2009 and has proved very popular with consumers.

The article mentioned that:

1. “Surveyors rarely, if ever, took along a ladder to look in roof spaces”. RICS Guidance requires surveyors carrying out all three levels of surveys to use ladders where it is safe and reasonable to do so.

2. “Surveyors rarely open drains to check them”. RICS Guidance requires surveyors to lift drain covers, where that is safe and reasonable.

3. “Surveys are filled up with standard paragraphs”. Surveyors will use standard wording, if appropriate, in the interests of providing consistent, clear advice. Personalised text will naturally be provided as necessary, for that particular case. That is what word processors are for, and in turn helps the client.

4. It was suggested that “many readers” said they felt their Home Buyers surveys were a waste of money, and based on many errors and bad research, the article then advised every buyer to have a “full Building Survey” carried out.

Home Buyers should not always be advised to pay for a “full” Building Survey – some limits on inspection always exist, including what the property owners will allow or make possible, so no survey can ever truly be “full”. It is incorrect and misleading to suggest otherwise.


The extent of what is, and what is not, normally done in each case must be explained. That must be made clear in the written Terms & Conditions of Engagement, provided before the job is accepted and the inspection carried out.

If some otherwise usual part of the inspection is not found practical or safe to do, it must be made clear to the client. It will not normally be appropriate in the case of a new or very recent building to advise that a Building Survey is the right format to be carried out.


A Home Buyer's Report may offer the client better value for money than a Building Survey, if the building is recent or straightforward, and without complex alterations or extensions. The buyer does have a choice and it is the surveyor's responsibility to advise the client of the options and to guide them according to the circumstances.

Homebuyers' Survey News

A home buyers’ survey or homebuyers’ report as it is often referred to will tell you about any obvious major problems with the house such as rot, damp or subsidence etc. 


A home buyers’ survey includes a valuation of the property and a reinstatement value for insurance purposes. With this type of survey, the inspection is non-intrusive and non-destructive. It is a visual inspection which means no drilling holes, looking under floor coverings or moving furniture etc.

If you are thinking of purchasing a reasonably modern or standard property, a Home Buyer’s Survey will be sufficient. If the property you have in mind is older or higher in value, Eyesurvey would suggest a more comprehensive property survey. Buying a property is the biggest most of us will ever make, so, if a problem is not found or investigated prior to purchase, it may also be your biggest financial mistake.


Getting a professional firm of surveyors such as Eyesurvey to conduct a detailed property survey will help to ensure that such unpleasant issues do not arise.


For an informal chat about your requirements, please call us today.