Q         Do I need a survey if the bank have carried out a valuation?


        The valuation that the bank asks for is to help them decide whether there’s enough security in the property to cover the loan you are looking for. The report is pretty brief and certainly isn’t designed for the benefit of the buyer. It does n’t pretend to be a survey and most reports come with a warning that says just that.


So, if you’re looking for an idea of what condition the property is in and what you might have to spend on it, then always get your own survey.


Q         Aren’t surveys very expensive?


A         To be honest, they’re not. You’re getting an experienced professional providing many hours of focused work, both at the property and putting the report together. If you break it down, the hourly rate is usually very good. Also, the benefit you get from the advice is well worth the money – you’re dealing with a very high value item in property and defects can be expensive. So, good advice that helps you budget properly and pay the right price is great value.


Q         Is it best to have a survey through the bank?


A         You can do that of course. But you need to be aware of who the bank will ask to do the survey. Not all great valuers are great surveyors (some, for example, don’t do Building Surveys). So look around and choose a surveyor that you are comfortable will give you good advice and someone who will have time to help you through the issues that may come up as you make progress on your purchase.


Q         What different types of survey can I have?


A         There are two main types of survey, though a good surveyor will always provide bespoke advice for you if you have particular concerns.

1.The Homebuyers Report – a general view of the property, with advice broken down into elemental parts (roof, floors, walls etc) and succinct, but clear condition comments on each.

2.The Building Survey – a more detailed report with deeper analysis. The surveyor spends longer at the property and longer on the report, so you have more information on why the condition is how it is and more recommendations about what you need to do.

For a thorough guide, check out our ‘Buyer’s Guide to Surveys’


 Q         How long does it take to get reports back?


A         We’ll arrange the appointment just as soon as our diaries and the seller will allow. Then the report should be back in 3 days (for a Homebuyers Report) and 5 days (for a Building Survey).