homebuyer report
Architect On Building Site Looking At House Plans

A homebuyer report (Level 2 RICS Survey), also known as a homebuyer survey, is a good approach to minimising unexpected repair costs later on. Obtaining a homebuyer survey report for a house or flat will give you an idea of how much you may need to invest in a property after you purchase it.

What is a Level 2 Survey HomeBuyer Report?

A HomeBuyer Report (also known as a Level 2 RICS Survey) is a survey designed to identify and document any problems in a property that could cause damage and necessitate future repairs, such as dampness or subsidence. A HomeBuyer Report is performed on properties in reasonable condition and only looks for plainly obvious faults.

The HomeBuyer Report will not cover every aspect of the building, but it will highlight issues that may have an impact on the property’s value and should be investigated further. It will include all significant sections of a property that are visible to the surveyor, thus, no flooring or carpets will be lifted, and wiring will not be included.

If you have a property that needs renovations or that you intend to change, we recommend that you get a Building Survey (Level 3 Survey) instead of a Homebuyer Report.

What are the Benefits of obtaining a Homebuyer Report?

A homebuyer report could save you a lot of money by providing you with evidence to negotiate a lower asking price for the house. It may even cause you to reconsider purchasing the house altogether.

It will also offer you an indication of what work, if any, may be required in the future, as well as how much it is expected to cost. According to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), potential problems include structural faults, various types of decay, and subsidence.

Types Homebuyer Report

A surveyor will conduct a homebuyer report. There are three types of homebuyer reports:

#1. Home Condition Report by RICS (HCR)

This is the most basic survey, which employs simple ‘traffic light’ evaluations on important aspects of the property’s condition. It checks the property’s services, such as gas and water, and is best suited to older homes and newer residences. There is no advice or valuation provided, but the report will highlight any critical flaws or hazards. On average, an HCR costs £250.

#2. RICS HomeBuyer report (HBR)

This is best suited for standard properties in reasonable condition. The report will highlight issues with the property, provide advice on repairs and maintenance, and provide an estimate of how much it would cost to restore the house if it were fully destroyed.

You can select either a report or a report with a market valuation. On average, an HBR costs £400, with a market valuation costing an additional £100 or so.

#3. The RICS Building Survey

The RICS Building Survey (also known as a Structural Survey) is the most extensive survey available, providing a detailed appraisal of the condition of a property. This level of survey is recommended if you are purchasing an older home. It employs a one-to-three rating system to identify any major faults that require attention and will provide projected costs for any repairs, as well as a description of the consequences of neglecting to address them. The cost of this type of survey begins at about £500.

What Information is contained in a HomeBuyer Report?

The HomeBuyer Report includes the following:

  • Background information on the property and its surroundings
  • For insurance purposes, an estimate of the cost of rebuilding the property.
  • An examination of the building’s damp-proofing, drainage, and insulation (although drains are not tested)
  • Checking for woodworm or rot in the building’s timbers
  • Damp testing findings from the walls
  • details of significant issues that require professional attention before signing a contract
  • Details of serious flaws in easily accessible areas of the property that may affect its value

The HomeBuyer Report is written in plain English rather than technical jargon, so it is easy to understand.

Ratings of Condition

The RICS HomeBuyer Survey Report uses three condition ratings to evaluate and explain the property’s condition and how urgently it needs to be repaired. RICS defines the conditions as follows:

  • Condition Rating 1: No repairs are required at this time
  • Condition Rating 2. Defects that require repair or replacement but are not deemed critical or urgent.
  • Condition Rating 3: Significant flaws that must be repaired, replaced, or examined immediately.

What happens if your survey uncovers a flaw?

Most surveys will uncover some form of problem, particularly with older houses. If you have any issues, you can discuss them with the surveyor before the inspection. Most surveyors are usually willing to chat through the report with you over the phone after you’ve received it, so if you have any follow-up questions, now is the time to ask them.

Some of the most typical things you might want to look into include:

  • Electrics
  • Roofing complications
  • Thermostatically controlled heating
  • Damp
  • Structural issues that may necessitate the services of an engineer

If you discover any of these problems, you may need to take additional steps, such as:

  • Inquire with the surveyor about the cost of resolving these issues.
  • For big projects, get a quote from a builder or specialist.
  • Renegotiate the asking price or request that the seller repair the problems before closing on the sale.

How much does a HomeBuyer Report cost?

A HomeBuyer Report is ideal for newer residences that are in good shape. A HomeBuyer Report starts at £400 on average. By shopping around and comparing quotes from multiple area surveyors, you can save money on the cost of a HomeBuyer Report.

What is the purpose of a HomeBuyer Report?

A HomeBuyer Report may appear to be an additional investment, but the benefits are as follows:

  • It will give you peace of mind, either because there are no evident concerns or because, if there are, you were aware of them from the beginning.
  • It may allow you to reopen price talks with the seller.
  • You could negotiate with the seller to get any repairs completed before you move in.
  • You might want to reconsider purchasing that property.
  • Also, you can budget for any repairs that are required.

Other kinds of surveys

There are several types of surveys, each of which serves a particular type of property, therefore, it’s best to choose the suitable survey for the task rather than the cheapest choice. Choosing the appropriate survey now can save you thousands of dollars in repairs later on.

#1. Condition Report by RICS (Level 1 Survey)

This is the most basic homebuyer survey, and it covers the fundamental condition of the property as well as any potential legal issues or serious flaws. Because there is no advice or appraisal provided in this survey, it is best suited to modern properties in good condition.

#2. Building survey (Level 3 Survey)

This is the most comprehensive survey, and it includes a complete study of the property’s concerns and condition, as well as advice on flaws and repairs. It’s the greatest option for older houses that need more in-depth consideration in the report.

#3. Home Report for Scotland

This would be suitable only if you were selling a house in Scotland, where it is a legal necessity to conduct a survey before selling your property. If you require a Scottish Home Report, we can assist you with comparing quotes from local surveyors.

What is the distinction between a Home Buyers Report and a Building Survey?

When we speak with our consumers, the most frequently requested question is,

“What is the distinction between a home buyer report and a building survey (Level 3)?”

These two reports serve different objectives, although they are both routinely used when acquiring a home. The kind you choose depends on a number of factors, including the property itself, what you intend to do with it, and the details you must be aware of or provide to any third parties.

When selecting a survey, consider the following questions:

  • How old is the structure?
  • Do you intend to make any big structural changes?
  • Is it the property of a conventional construction?
  • Are there any specific concerns that concern you?
  • Do you require a valuation?

All of these are typical questions that our staff would ask when assisting you in making a decision. We can typically advise which survey is best based on the answers to these questions. Each survey’s contents are listed below.

Homebuyers report

The home buyer’s report is intended to provide an overall assessment of a property’s condition. It will also give a valuation and a cost estimate for reinstatement.

The report will go through the state of each section and component of the property. It will also provide important information to legal counsel and highlight any evident flaws. Identified flaws will be highlighted and recommended for further research. Repair and continuing maintenance advice will be provided.

The homebuyers report is based on a simple ‘traffic light system.’ Each area invites the surveyor to assign a ‘condition grade’ of red, amber, or green to each section. The surveyor suggests further work if the rating is red. A yellow grade indicates that attention is needed, whereas a green rating indicates that everything is well.

If you want to buy a house, you should get a home buyer’s report.

Building survey (Level 3)

A building survey (Level 3) is intended to delve into further detail and provide a more in-depth review of the property’s condition. These surveys concentrate on structural integrity and exclude market analyses such as valuations and reinstatement costs.

This survey, like the home buyers report, will check each area and element and provide an assessment of its condition. This report varies in that it will describe the structure of the building and evaluate its condition, providing specific suggestions on maintenance and repair when flaws are discovered. If requested, estimated repair costs are also given in this report.

The Building survey, like the home buyer report, is based on an easy-to-read traffic light system, but it is far more in-depth and insightful. A red grade will necessitate the surveyor to go into greater depth and recommend possible courses of action.

Select a Building survey if…

  • The property is over a century old.
  • It has been renovated or has undergone major structural changes.
  • It’s made from unusual materials.
  • It is an exceptionally substantial property.
  • You intend to make structural adjustments.
  • You have a specific concern that you want to be addressed.

If you require a value figure in addition to a full building survey (Level 3), please specify this when making your booking, and we will add it to the service at a reduced charge from that of a full valuation report.

Where can I get a surveyor?

Ensure that your surveyor is a member of a governing body, such as the Residential Property Surveyors Association (RPSA) or the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

You should be able to find a surveyor on the websites of the RPSA or RICS.

You can also find recommendations by:

  • Enquiring with friends and family
  • Searching online – in addition to the website, you should look at online ratings and reviews.
  • Ask the estate agent—but keep in mind that they may receive a commission, which may increase the cost, so you don’t have to go with their recommendation.
  • Inquire with your solicitor or conveyancer, but keep in mind that they may receive a commission, which could increase the cost, so you don’t have to follow their advice.

Homebuyer Report FAQs

Is a Home buyers report worth it?

Even if you don’t believe there is anything wrong with the property, it’s worth investing in a homebuyer’s report because appearances can be deceiving. Even if you are looking to buy a relatively new property with no visible flaws, it is still worthwhile to invest in a homebuyer’s report.

It is not a legal obligation to have a survey done on a property you are considering purchasing. A survey can be quite useful for any other type of property. Keep in mind that if you’re buying with a mortgage, the lender will do a property valuation, (which you’ll almost certainly have to pay for).

Who pays for home buyers report?

It is the seller’s responsibility to arrange for a Home Report to be presented to the buyer before the transaction can proceed.

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It is the seller's responsibility to arrange for a Home Report to be presented to the buyer before the transaction can proceed.

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