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RICS Surveys - What are they and do I need one?

Instructing a RICS surveyor before purchasing a property can provide you with peace of mind and potentially save you money. Depending on the property type and age it is advised to instruct either a Level 2 or Level 3 report. According to the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), many buyers are unknowingly setting themselves up for an average repair bill of over £5,500.

Property surveys are designed to highlight defects that might be unnoticeable to the untrained eye. The report may also allow for negotiation prior to exchange of contracts. If you require a mortgage on the property, the lender will undertake their own valuation. Please note, this is not a survey and an independent RICS report cannot be used for lending purposes.

What is included in a RICS Survey?

There are 3 levels of RICS Survey available, we breakdown each level below to help you determine which one may be for you.

01. RICS Level 2 Home Survey The RICS Home Survey Level 2. Previously know as the HomeBuyer report.

  • Will highlight common defects and areas of concern

  • For modern, conventional properties made from traditional materials

  • For houses in good condition with no obvious defects

  • An easy-to-read report with clear condition ratings of all accessible areas

02. RICS Level 2 Home Survey with Valuation

Although your mortgage lender will carry out their own valuation, a RICS Survey with valuation could provide you that second opinion and further peace of mind over the property's worth.

  • For modern, conventional properties made from traditional materials

  • The surveyor’s professional opinion on the ‘market value’ of the property

  • An insurance reinstatement figure for the property

  • A list of problems that the surveyor considers may affect the value of the property

03. RICS Level 3 The Level 3 RICS Survey, previously know as the Building Survey

  • Suitable for older, extended or structurally modified properties or those of non-standard construction

  • Describe the identifiable risk of potential hidden defects

  • Designed to help you make a reasoned and informed decision

  • Outlines the scope of any appropriate remedial work and explains the likely consequences of non-repair


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