A RICS Homebuyers Report is an in-depth property assessment offered by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). It will deliver an account of the property’s condition and will highlight any problems that require your attention.
There are two versions of the Homebuyers Report. The ‘survey’ option includes a description of the condition of the property, highlights any defects, offers guidance for legal advisors and will let you know about any defects that could affect the value of the property with repairs, as well as ongoing maintenance advice. The ‘survey and valuation’ features all of this, but will also include a market valuation of the property and an estimate on insurance and rebuild costs.
It is a good idea to have a survey done of a property if you are considering buying it. On average homeowners have to spend around £5750 on home improvements after moving into a house, usually as a result of a lack of awareness of the house’s condition. With a survey you can be more sure of your investment, or even negotiate with the current property owner to have defects repaired.
If you have recently had a mortgage valuation, be aware that this is NOT an equivalent to an RICS survey. It will not as in depth, and will be written for the benefit of the lender more than anyone else.
If the property is fairly new and conventional then you may not need a homebuyers report; RICS also offers a less intricate Condition Report that may suit you better. Similarly, if the property is very large, old, expensive or clearly in need of renovation it is better to get the more comprehensive RICS Building Survey. You should be able to speak to a surveyor or contact RICS directly for advice on what will suit you best.
There are different ways to find a surveyor: RICS itself keeps a record and will be able to tell you about options in your local area, or your estate agent or conveyancer may be able to arrange one on your behalf. However you find one, make sure that they are RICS registered. These surveyors are monitored and regulated by RICS, and will have to continually meet high standards. A well established professional should be able to easily provide evidence of this. In addition to this, you should also take the time to read over reviews from their previous clientele. As a surveyor, it is crucial that they have Professional Indemnity Insurance in case they fail to spot something that ends up costing you down the line.You can also save yourself a lot of time by finding a surveyor through Plentific’s free and centralised platform. The Plentific website hosts information on over 75,000 registered tradesmen across the UK, and can generate a list of suitable options in your local area. Each of these options will have a Plentific profile page containing information on their qualifications and past jobs, as well as client reviews. The Plentific Guarantee, which can cover your entire project, will also be available if you choose a ‘verified’ Plentific Pro.