House Survey

A house survey is a game-changer in the home buying. It can make the buyer change his/her decision on the final purchase of a house. However, before someone arranges for a survey, it is wise to know what purposes it solves and the related aspects.

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What is a house survey?

A house survey is like a health check of a property to understand how strong it is in construction. A buyer cannot waste his money on a house that is weak in its structure. Through a survey, he can get to know the unrevealed facts about the health of a home. If the report shows some significant issues in the structure, the buyer can drop the idea of home buying. It is the reason that the survey takes place before the exchange of agreements between the two parties, i.e. seller and the buyer.  

How Much Does a House Survey Cost?

To be direct and simple a house survey can cost from a minimum £370 to £1500 depending on the type of house survey. Also, the detail that the buyer demands affects the total cost of the house survey.

The varied types of house surveys are –

  • RICS condition report – It identifies potential risks and also the legal issues that may arise after buying the property. For instance: land-use transfer etc. Also, this type of survey throws light on the immediate repairs required.
  • RICS Building Survey – It follows a more straightforward approach with the rating method. The survey is done on the more significant properties and older properties. The report suggests maintenance options and repairs and also reveals defects. It also suggests the issues that a borrower should not deal with because they are so big that make the property purchase useless.
  • RICS HomeBuyer Report – Again a type of survey that solves the same purpose but with a bit different approach. It brings out the hidden issues but does not peep into the floorboards and also does not check behind the walls.
  • Full structural survey – If you can understand by name, it is a more detailed survey that gives a comprehensive report of the overall health of a house. It is more useful for the older properties in which the buyers have many doubts about the strength of the property.

Note – RICS stands for Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors

Can you negotiate house price after the survey?

Of course, you can negotiate price after the house survey. However, a survey is different from valuation, as it reveals the repair needs of a property. On the other hand, a valuation gives an estimation of the actual worth on the front of the property price.

The house survey reveals the cost you may need to spend on the property and that amount can be deducted from the total property value through negotiation. For instance – if a house survey suggests a repair of around £4000, the buyer can easily ask to this reduce this amount from the property price.

Who organises a survey when buying a house?

Generally, the buyer has to arrange the survey for him. It is a tool to negotiate the property price. The buyer needs to raise a request for the survey, which can be done online. The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors as discussed above solves the purpose with the highest professional standards.

Besides the survey arranged by the buyer, there are two other types of surveys, and one of them is more about valuation.

  1. Mortgage valuation survey – It is arranged by the mortgage lender and is different from a survey. It reveals the actual worth of the property and thus affects the final negotiation on the price.
  2. Vendor survey – This type of survey is arranged by the seller. It is usually applied in the case of a property for sale in an auction.

The best one is considered the one that is arranged by the buyer. It is the most convenient way to get the report according to the actual requirements. By paying more one can arrange a detailed survey just like the full structural survey.

How long does a house survey take?

Varied factors affect the time that it takes for a house survey. If the buyer is aware of them, it is easy to predict the approximate time that it takes to complete a survey.


  • Type of the survey – As there are varied types of surveys, the one selected by the buyer decides the time it takes for the survey. For example, a full structural survey takes more time as compared to the home buyer report survey.
  • Size and age of the property – A big size house is sure to demand more time in a survey than a smaller house. The officers have to give complete time to solve the actual purpose of their survey report. Similarly, the age of the property is a significant factor that tailors the time it takes in a survey. An old property may have many hidden flaws, and revealing them is necessary to ensure a fair deal for the buyer.

The above factors are essential, but you can get a generalised idea about the time that it takes in a home survey. When the survey officers visit the site or property, one to two hours is the standard time frame. However, more than two hours can be required if the property is big or old. Besides, the final report comes in 4 to 5 business days.

To get things done faster, it is better to book for the survey as early as possible. If the surveyor has not other requests, one can get the report even in 24 hours. But that is a rare case or possible when the real estate market is down.


The above length of the information should satisfy the fundamental knowledge of the house survey. It is not a lengthy procedure and can complete in a short time. Besides, the buyer should not expect to get the report in haste, as the survey report is an excellent tool for them to bargain on price.