Why do I need a RICS home survey?

By | September 4, 2023

Why do I need a RICS home survey?

When you’re on the cusp of purchasing or selling a property, you’ll come across a slew of recommendations. One of the most crucial suggestions is to get a home survey. 

However, like many homebuyers in the UK, you might be wondering whether you really need a RICS  home survey. The short answer is a resounding yes. 

But why exactly do you need a RICS home survey, and how does it differ from other surveys? 

Read on to find out…

What is a RICS Home Survey?

Firstly, let’s clarify what we’re talking about. A RICS home survey is an in-depth inspection of a property by a chartered surveyor who’s a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. They provide an expert account of the property’s condition and highlight potential problems.

RICS is a professional body that assures standards in the surveying industry. 

A RICS home survey, therefore, is a detailed assessment of a property conducted by a qualified, RICS-registered surveyor

Depending on the depth of information you seek, you can opt for different levels of surveys ranging from valuations to extensive property condition assessments. 

A valuation assesses a property’s market value based on its location, age, condition, state of repair and several other factors. 

It considers the overall condition of the property you’re interested in compared to similar properties in the same area. 

A valuation is affordable and gives a good overview, making it perfect for properties of any type, regardless of age, style and condition.

A RICS Home Survey Level 2, which used to be called a RICS Homebuyer Report – is a more detailed survey that offers insights not covered by a standard valuation. It provides information on potential problems like damp and subsidence, and suggests necessary repairs. It’s ideal for conventional properties in reasonable condition, giving buyers more insight into potential issues.

And a RICS Home Survey Level Three – previously a RICS Building Survey – is the most comprehensive survey offered by RICS-registered surveyors. It’s suitable for all residential properties. It provides an in-depth analysis of the property’s condition and offers advice on defects, repairs and maintenance. This survey is particularly useful for larger, older or non-traditional properties, or homes you plan to renovate.

Benefits of getting a RICS home survey

Buying a home is one of the most significant investments you’ll ever make. A RICS home survey provides peace of mind by ensuring you make an informed decision. Knowing the exact condition of a property before buying can save much stress down the line.

One of the main benefits of a RICS home survey is that it can uncover hidden issues that may not be immediately apparent during a standard viewing. From structural issues like subsidence to damp and timber defects, a chartered surveyor can identify problems that could be costly to rectify.

If the survey identifies any issues, you’ll be better positioned to negotiate the property’s price. You can ask the seller to fix the problems before completing the purchase or reduce the property’s price to reflect the cost of repairs.

With a comprehensive understanding of the property’s condition and potential risks, you can ensure you get the right insurance coverage, preventing any under or over-insurance.

And a RICS-registered chartered surveyor, like GB Home Surveys, can also provide bespoke advice based on the property’s condition. This guidance can include projected maintenance and potential improvements to enhance the property’s value.

Pitfalls of not getting a RICS home survey

Discovering problems in your new home can be emotionally taxing. Whether it’s extensive damp, structural issues or infestations, these revelations can tarnish the joy of a new home.

Without a home survey, you might miss hidden defects that become apparent only after you’ve moved in. These repairs can be expensive, making your dream home a financial burden.

If you ever decide to sell the property, these undetected issues can affect its resale value. Future buyers with a keen eye (and their own home survey) might flag these issues, leading to reduced offers or demanding repairs before purchase.

Some issues, like boundary disputes or unauthorised alterations, can have legal ramifications. A detailed RICS Home Survey can flag such potential headaches, helping you steer clear or prepare accordingly.

To survey or not to survey?

Given the considerable financial investment involved in purchasing a property and the emotional significance of owning a home, it makes logical sense to ensure you know exactly what you’re getting into. 

The upfront cost of a RICS home survey is minimal compared to the potential costs and stress of rectifying unforeseen issues.

Think of a RICS home survey as a safety net, ensuring you step into your new home with your eyes wide open, prepared for any eventualities and confident in your investment. 

It safeguards your money and provides the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’ve made an informed decision. So, if you’re buying a home, consider a RICS home survey not as an additional cost but as an investment in clarity and confidence. Your future self will thank you.