RICS Condition Report
The RICS Condition Report describes the condition of the property, identifies any risks and potential legal issues and highlights any urgent defects. It’s most suitable for new-build and conventional homes in good condition; no advice or valuation is provided in this survey.
A Condition Report is a very basic ‘traffic light’ survey and the cheapest.
RICS HomeBuyer Report
A HomeBuyer Report is a survey suitable for conventional properties in reasonable condition.
This will help you find out if there are any structural problems, such as subsidence or damp, as well as any other unwelcome hidden issues inside and outside.
The HomeBuyer Report doesn’t look beyond the floorboards or behind the walls.
Some home-buyers’ reports include a property valuation, so you might be able to revise your offer if the survey reveals a lower price than the mortgage lender’s valuation.
If there’s no valuation included, you could use the report’s suggestions for repairs to renegotiate the price.
For example, if it’s going to cost you £5,000 to carry out work on the property’s damp walls, it’s reasonable to offer £5,000 less than the asking price.
Building or full structural survey
This is the most comprehensive survey and is suitable for all residential properties. It’s particularly good for older homes or homes that might need repairs.
It’s very extensive and in some circumstances worth the extra money but it does not usually include a valuation. Although this survey can’t look under floorboards or behind walls it should include the surveyor’s opinion on the potential for hidden defects in this area.
The surveyor should also provide information on potential repair options. Again, you could try to save money by comparing the details of the repairs required against the lender’s valuation.