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RICS Home Survey

What is an RICS Home Survey?


In essence, RICS Home Surveys are property health checks. These detailed inspections examine the condition and structure of a property.


The new RICS Home Survey Standard came into effect on 1 March 2021. The changes were made to increase consistency, transparency, and competency across residential surveying in the UK. The new standard aims to deliver not only increased clarity to the process but more open communication which will greatly benefit property transactions and will make sure consumers fully understand the process, the different levels of surveys, and what is included in each one.

RICS Home Surveys can only be conducted by an RICS Qualified Chartered Surveyors. Reliable and cost effective, these reports carry the full weight of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors – the industry’s most respected authority on surveying.

Why do I need an RICS Home Survey?

​A home is the most expensive purchase you’re likely to ever make and therefore you want to make sure you’re making the right decision. A RICS Home Survey will ensure you receive expert advice on the condition of your chosen property. This applies whether you intend to purchase the property to live in, use the property for rental occupancy or sell the property on. By commissioning an RICS Home Survey with AW Surveyors, you can rest assured that the service you receive is impartial, reliable and communicated in an appropriate manner.

AW Surveyors conduct an in-depth, intensive inspection of the property in question. Our traffic light rating system makes the report easy to understand. Given the hundreds of thousands of pounds it costs to buy a property, a few hundred pounds on a survey to have the reassurance of an independent, expert surveyor looking over it is a good investment. With the information from the survey you might reconsider whether to buy the property or use the unbiased information you have to renegotiate the price.

Why do you need an RICS Home Survey? Because forewarned is forearmed. Choosing the right survey will help highlight any serious problems and advise you of the specific risks before you commit to the process of buying or selling a property.


What RICS Home Survey’s Do We Provide?

If you are looking to purchase a property, there are three different RICS Home Survey options. These include a RICS Condition Survey (Level 1), a RICS Homebuyer Survey (Level 2) and a RICS Full Building Survey otherwise known as a Structural Survey (Level 3). Our entry level Survey is the RICS Homebuyer Report – Level 2 Survey.

If your home is covered by a shared equity scheme such as Help to Buy, or if you are looking to use a Right to Buy scheme, you will need an RICS Valuation. This will give you an independent assessment of your property’s value.


RICS Home Survey – Level 2

The RICS Home Survey Level 2 (previously known as a Homebuyer Survey). This type of survey is a detailed visual inspection of all areas of the property including the visible areas of the services (water/electricity etc). For each element of the property, the survey will outline the construction, comment on the condition and highlight any specific defects or issues along with providing advice for maintenance and remedial works if necessary. We also include an open market valuation and a reinstatement value (full rebuild cost) which is often needed for insurance purposes.


RICS Home Survey - Level 3


The RICS Level 3 Building Survey (formerly called a Structural Survey) is suited to inspecting a large, older or run-down property, a building that is unusual or altered, or if you’re planning major works. This report gives detailed information about the structure and fabric of the property. It is the most comprehensive of the three options.

Is an RICS Home Survey a legal requirement?

An RICS Home Survey is not a legal requirement and therefore you will not be penalised should you opt against this route. We realise that there are a vast amount of expenses associated with purchasing a property and therefore, at a time when it can feel as though you’re spending more and more, a home survey can seem like an unnecessary expense. We assure you however, that it is not.

Having the correct survey for your property is actually more likely to save you money as well as a lot of stress along the way, especially if it unearths issues or faults with the structure of the property. 

Do I need a Home Survey for a new-build home? 

The answer to this question is “no.” You do not need this type of survey for a new-build as most new-build homes should receive a minimum 2 year warranty from the chosen builder. The warranty provided, in essence, negates the necessity for a Home Survey, however we do recommend a Snagging Survey to ensure the property has been built to the correct standards and to raise any concerns of issues that will need to be raised with the builder/developer. This offers owners peace of mind that their new home is as it should be. 

If the new build you are buying is built and ready, you would ideally carry out a Snagging Survey before exchange. If it’s off-plan then try to carry out the survey pre-completion when you will have more negotiating power to get any problems fixed. 

Do I need a Home Survey for an older property?

​For a property other than a new-build home, a Home Survey proves highly beneficial. It is particularly valuable to anyone looking to purchase a property with an unusual structure, an unusual frame or a property that is listed.

Will my mortgage company provide a RICS Home Survey?

​Mortgage providers do not offer this as standard, however most mortgage providers will offer this as an upsell option. The lender will be sure to carry out an initial property valuation, but this is not the same as an accredited RICS Home Survey and should never be considered as such. A mortgage valuation has one purpose: To provide evidence to the lender that the home in question is of the value of the sale price. Once this is ascertained, the green light will be given for the mortgage. We highly recommend seeking an independent RICS Home Survey to ensure an experienced, unbiased survey is completed.

Do I need an RICS registered Surveyor and Valuer to conduct my RICS Home Survey?

It is imperative that you always check if a surveyor is a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). AW Surveyors are RICS certified and therefore guarantee a professional, expert standard. If a company is not registered with RICS, they cannot provide such services.


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