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Choosing the right survey

Wed 10 Nov 2021

Choosing the right survey

Whether you’re buying your first home, selling up or moving on to your next property, you’ll no doubt be aware that the costs of moving can really mount up. And while it can be tempting to try and cut costs where possible, some expenses are non-negotiable. One such expense is a good survey. 

Choosing the right survey will uncover any serious issues and highlight any risks before you commit to buying or selling a property.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) is the industry’s most respected authority on surveying. RICS has three different levels of survey, which can only be conducted by an RICS-qualified surveyor (AssocRICS, MRICS, or FRICS) with the appropriate experience.

A RICS survey will give you vital information about the actual condition of the property, which will help you during price negotiations, and will ensure you avoid any nasty (and expensive) surprises once you’ve moved.

An RICS survey can also help if you’re selling your home. Forewarned is forearmed, so if your property has any problems that might end up delaying the sale, it’s better that you find out as early as possible so that you can deal with them before putting your property on the market.  

So which survey should you choose?

The RICS Home Survey – Level 1

You should choose a Level 1 report if you’re buying or selling a conventional house, flat or bungalow, which is in reasonable condition.

Ask your surveyor for a detailed ‘Description of the RICS Home Survey Level 1’ document.

The RICS Home Survey – Level 2 (survey only)

Choose a Level 2 report if you’re buying or selling a conventional house, flat or bungalow and you feel that you need more detailed information on its condition.

The RICS Home Survey – Level 2 (survey and valuation)

The survey itself is as described above, but also includes the surveyor’s professional opinion on the ‘market value’ of the property.

The RICS Home Survey – Level 3

A Level 3 report is best if you’re buying or selling an, older or run-down property, a building that is unusual or heavily altered, or if you’re planning major renovations. It gives detailed information about the structure and fabric of the property.

Marcus Linsey, a partner at Bothams, is a Chartered Surveyor and RICS Registered Valuer, and is happy to advise on and carry out your choice of survey. Call 01246 233121 or email to request more details.