Step 5 – Survey


A Lender will require an Inspection/Valuation before agreeing to lend. This is for their protection not yours and should their Valuer miss defects it may be impossible to claim against them. Despite this the majority of Buyers do not have an independent survey. For most the valuation will reveal all the problems.

There are circumstances where it would be foolhardy to buy without a survey. We would always advise that, if you can afford it, you obtain at least an RICS (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors) Report.

There are four main types of survey, in increasing order of thoroughness:-

  1. A lender’s inspection/valuation (referred to above).
  2. A valuation.
  3. A “Home Buyer’s Report” from a Chartered Surveyor.
  4. A full structural survey by a Chartered Surveyor or qualified structural engineer.

We will advise you on which survey is appropriate but generally the older the property the more thorough the survey needed.

If you cannot afford a survey then we suggest you ask an experienced builder to look over the property and report to you – but bear in mind that they may have no insurance to cover any claim for defects which are missed.

Other specialist inspections and reports may be needed. Woodworm, Damp, Dry Rot, Electrical, Drainage and Plumbing and it may be advisable to obtain builder’s estimates for essential work.

Conveyancing guide