Thinking of buying a property? 
Be safe, be sure and be independently advised. 

As independent surveyors we act solely for you and have no conflict of interest, we carry out an independent inspection and provide a comprehensive report detailing any defects or areas of concern that could affect your purchase decision.

Using an RICS independent surveyor is one of the most important decisions you can make, rather than using your mortgage provider’s, estate agents or advisors recommended surveyor.

RICS Level 3 Building Survey

A Building Survey is the most thorough and detailed report that you can commission on the condition of a property. This survey is carried out by a Chartered Surveyor.

This  is the most comprehensive type of survey. It is suitable for any building, but is especially recommended for older buildings (75 years and upwards); those constructed out of unconventional materials such as timber or thatch; and properties which have had lots of alterations or extensions, or which you intend to alter or renovate. 

Our Chartered Surveyor will check the property thoroughly, looking at everything that is visible or easily accessible, to examine the soundness of the structure, its general condition and all major or minor faults. 

The report provides an expert account of the property's condition and highlights any problems in clear and easy to understand format.  Don't necessarily be put off it seems that endless defects are listed - every house has some defects and surveyors tend to show the worst-case scenario for anything they discover. You should be provided with a list of prices for repairs and maintenance work, which will also tend to over- rather than under-estimate prices. 

We however do not include a market value of your property in this survey, so if you do require one please choose the Level 2 Homebuyers Report.  

HomeBuyers Report

A Homebuyer’s Report, is a survey completed to a standard format set out by RICS - it’s most suitable for conventional properties built within the last 150 years, which are in reasonable condition.

It doesn’t detail every aspect of the property, and only focuses on urgent matters needing attention. It’s not usually suitable for properties in need of renovation, or if you’re planning major alterations.

The Homebuyers Report covers:

  • The general condition of the property

  • Any major faults in accessible parts of the building that may affect the value

  • Any urgent problems that need inspecting by a specialist before you sign a contract

  • Results of tests for damp in the walls

  • Damage to timbers – including woodworm or rot

  • The condition of any damp-proofing, insulation and drainage (though drains aren’t tested)

  • The estimated cost of rebuilding the property for insurance purposes

  • The value of the property on the open market.

  • We also offer this report without a valuation

The Chartex HomeBuyers Report  is carried out by a Chartered Surveyor whose report is  comprehensive and easy to understand

What is a Valuation Report?

A Valuation report is normally carried out by your financial provider and will not contain the detail which is found in a Building Survey or a HoneBuyers, it will be a slimmed down version. It does not involve a thorough inspection and in some cases may not involve a visit. 

A Valuation Report may also be commissioned for probate after the owner or one of the owners of a property has become deceased.  Another situation is where a divorced couple are working through the difficult process of dividing up their joint property and hence need to determine a reasonably accurate value but possibly without actually proceeding to a sale.  A valuation is also useful for a sale within a family.

The valuation includes a market value figure and a re-instatement figure generally required for insuring the buildings. Perfect if you just need a market price, or require a valuation on a Help to Buy property.

Target HCA Help to Buy  RICS Valuations. The Report has to be carried out by a Chartered Surveyor.

However, there are certain restrictions who can conduct a Help to Buy Valuation for you:

The RICS must regulate the Valuer

The Valuer must be independent of an Estate Agent

As an Independent Chartered Surveyors, that’s us.

Confused by all the different reports?

+ My mortgage lender is organising a valuation and a person is coming to inspect my property.

Yes, to obtain a mortgage, your mortgage lender will need a basic valuation of the house. So they send someone out tocheckthat your new property is worth lending the amount of money you require to buy it. This is the purpose of this basic valuation, to see if you can borrow the money to buy the house you want to buy.

+ Will this basic valuation tell me what is wrong?

This basic valuation just tells you if your lender will give you the amount of money you require to buy to the new house, or they tell you if your house is un-mortgageable or if it has major structural defects.

+ My mortgage lender has sent a surveyor round. Will they not point out the problems?

Although this valuation is often referred to as a survey, it is too superficial to merit being called one. Your lender just needs to know that the property they are lending money on exists and it isn’t falling down. This basic valuation is required by your lender to ensure they are not lending you more money than your property is worth and if you sell they will get their money back.

+ So let me get this straight, I pay for this valuation and then I really need another one?

Yes, is the short answer, although you are paying for this basic valuation, this surveyor is working for the lender, not you. If you want to be safe you need to instruct an independent surveyor. Although you have been around the house and maybe can see a few faults that you can live with, but you need a trained professional who will be able to pick up on the problems and issues you have not even thought of.

+ Okay, but this is just another added cost to already an expensive process!

Yes, but this more detailed survey could actually save you money. You may be thinking you are moving into your dream home, but you will kick yourself later, if you move in and find problems that could cost you thousand of pounds you haven’t budgeted for. At least if you have a professional detailed survey you will be aware of any extra costs and work which requires doing. You may even find you don’t go ahead with your purchase as carrying out repairs is far too expensive.

+ I like this house I have found, what happens if I have the survey and problems are discovered.

Well, you can either decide that this extra work is too much for you, too much hassle, and too much cost involved, or you could take your report back to the estate agent and see if you could renegotiate your purchase price.

+ When I instruct you to carry out my survey, what to I get?

When you instruct us to carry out a survey on your house, we automatically carry out the most comprehensive report we can, combining all the RICS levels: So all aspects of Survey level one: RICS Condition Report, all aspects Survey level two: RICS HomeBuyers Report (apart from the valuation) and all the Survey level three RICS Building Surveyare in your report. We do however levy a small charge extra if you require a valuation, as additional work is required, and we call this our Homebuyers report.

+ I can see some problems myself, so do I really need a report?

A home is the most expensive purchase you may possibly ever make. As an owner you will benefit from expert advice on the condition of your property - whether you plan to live in it, rent it out or sell it. Don't take a chance, it could end up costing you more than you think! Having a survey is worth it and could potentially save you thousands of pounds in costly repair bills in the future.

First and foremost because we are independent. The National Trading Standards Estate Agency Team has revealed new industry guidance to make referral fees - that is the Estate Agent recommending you use their "surveyor" more transparent to consumers. The executive summary of the new guidelines reads as follows:

Failure to disclose referral arrangements may render an estate agent liable for criminal prosecution under the CPRs and/or action by NTSEAT for warning or prohibition under the Act.

Ultimately, only a court may decide whether any particular set of circumstances amounts to a breach of the CPRs. However, NTSEAT offers the following recommendations as a statement of desirable practice:

An estate agent should disclose in plain terms

(a) The price of its services, including any “compulsory” extras; and

(b) Where a referral arrangement exists, that it exists, and with whom; and

(c) Where a transaction-specific referral fee is to be paid, its amount; and

(d) Where a referral retainer exists, an estimate of the annual value of that retainer to the estate agent or its value per transaction; and

(e) Where the referral is rewarded other than by payment, an assessment of the annual value of the reward or the value of the reward per transaction.

So ask your Estate Agent what is in it for them:?