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    Home » Conveyancing and Property » And the survey says…..

    Buyers carry out a survey additional to the basic valuation required by lenders. The most common misconception with those Buyers reliant on a mortgage is that their lender will carry out the survey for them. Whilst some lenders may offer a survey as part of their product or at an additional charge most will just carry out a basic valuation. Below I explain the three different types of surveys available:

    Mortgage Lenders Valuation Report:

    This is the survey the lender carries out when they are considering a mortgage offer. It is a mandatory requirement for any Buyer reliant on a mortgage.
    The purpose of the survey is to advise the lender whether the property will make a suitable return should the Buyer default on the mortgage.
    The report does not comment on the structural soundness or any defects the property may have. It is merely a report on the current market value of the property.

    Home Buyers Report

    A homebuyers report will comment on the quality of the property. It is a survey more suited to newer properties, which means properties less than 70 years old. This survey points out to the Buyer any areas of concern such as damp or woodworm and indicates an estimated cost of repair. When instructing a surveyor some lenders will offer, at an additional charge, to have their surveyor carry out this survey.

    Full Structural Survey:

    This is more comprehensive and as such time-consuming and costly to the Buyer. It is a survey more suited to older properties, which may have timber frames, thatched roofing or are listed.
    It would also be the more appropriate survey for any Buyer considering having significant works carried out on the property. As the name suggests it will comment on the structure, major and minor faults and any areas of concern.
    It is important to note that the responsibility for investigating the property lay with the Buyer and their solicitor. The Seller has a limited duty to disclose latent defects in the property. The survey will advise the Buyer of any concerns which can then be duly forwarded to the Seller during pre-contract enquiries. This may then result in the defect being corrected, a re-negotiated purchase price or indeed neither of these.

    It is important when buying a property to make your own investigations in the first instance. A Buyer should always visit the property and inspect as much as possible. By doing this you may find areas of concern that you can ask the surveyor to pay particular attention to.
    Most Surveyors are regulated by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors. You can find a local surveyor at

    When looking to purchase a property a Buyer should be focused on finding out as much about that property as possible as its likely to be the biggest investment you make. It is important to understand what you are buying, whether it is worth the money you are paying and whether there are likely to be any significant expenses in the future. Surveys are one way of achieving this.

    For more information contact Michael Riches on 01842 754151