RICS Homebuyers Survey

What is a RICS Homebuyers Survey?

The RICS Homebuyer Report (HBR) was established in 1981 and relaunched in 2009, to use Condition Ratings to prioritise the level of work required. This type of report covers all the main parts of the building and services and is our most popular service. Each aspect of the property has its construction described along with its condition and condition rating. It is ideal for all properties built post 1900, but older properties can be inspected after prior discussion and investigation. A RICS Homebuyer Report also includes a valuation of the property as standard.

Much-like the RICS Condition Report, the RICS Homebuyers Survey uses the traffic light colour coding system to assess and report on each individual element of a property. This system then explains, in clear, concise detail, areas of concern. Such examples include damp or structural movement. The information provided gives you the full picture to determine the value of the property you are purchasing in line with the expense of potential maintenance, repair and possible restoration requirements.

Why do I need a RICS Homebuyers 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 Homebuyer Report will ensure you receive expert advice on the condition of your chosen property to confirm the structure is sound. 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 Homebuyers 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.


Is a Homebuyers Survey a legal requirement?


A RICS Homebuyers 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 homebuyers 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 Homebuyers 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 Homebuyers 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. 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 Homebuyers Survey for an older property?

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

Will my mortgage company provide a RICS Homebuyers 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 a RICS Homebuyers 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. Your lender will insist on using a company they trust, and you will have to pay for it. The cost of a mortgage valuation varies depending on the size of the property (from around £350). We highly recommend seeking an independent RICS Homebuyers Survey to ensure an experienced, unbiased survey is completed.

Do I need a RICS registered Surveyor and Valuer to conduct my RICS Homebuyers Survey?


It is imperative that you always check if a surveyor is a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) – he or she will have the letters MRICS or FRICS after his or her name. AW Surveyors are RICS certified and therefore guarantee a professional, expert standard. If a company is not registered with RICS, they cannot provide a valuation.