Choosing the Right Home Property Inspection Survey

Choosing the right property inspection survey

Which property survey do I need? RICS HomeBuyer Report, RICS Building survey (Structural survey), Condition report or a Snagging List Survey?

Arnold & Baldwin offers RICS Accredited Surveys. RICS says “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.

RICS has three different types of survey. These can only be conducted by qualified surveyors. Reliable and cost effective, these reports carry the full weight of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) – the industry’s most respected authority on surveying.


“It’s important to remember that your mortgage lender’s valuation report is not a survey”


Buying a home?

It’s important to remember that your mortgage lender’s valuation report is not a survey. It merely tells your lender whether or not the property is reasonable security for your loan. A RICS survey will tell you the actual condition of the property. That’s vital information that can be invaluable during price negotiations, and will also help you avoid expensive surprises after you’ve moved in.

Book our most popular HomeBuyer Report or Advanced Level 3 Building Survey today.


Selling a home?

The Smart way to sell your home, faster & better…

A RICS home survey can help you prepare for selling your property. It will show you any problems that may delay your sale or cause price reductions later in the process.

A typical property sale can take more than 5 months. We can help you be exchange ready in just 4 weeks – SellSmarter.

“We were 8 weeks into our purchase when we were told the Vendors didn’t have a Building Regulations Completion Certificate for their rear and side return extension. As there were no structural issues, the Vendors didn’t think it was an issue,  so didn’t mention it to anyone.  Our mortgage lender won’t lend until this certificate is in place, and we are not happy with an indemnity policy either.” 

SellSmart. Ready? Steady? Let's Complete!

Staying at home?

A survey of the current condition of your home will warn you of defects and help you avoid escalating repair and maintenance costs in the future. It will also be extremely useful if you’re thinking of remortgaging. 

You can book a condition report right here

Here's a useful guide for choosing a survey that's best for your home, building or property. For more information on each survey, please keep reading!


The RICS Condition Report

Choose this report if you’re buying or selling a conventional house, flat or bungalow built from common building materials and in reasonable condition. It focuses purely on the condition of the property by setting out the following:

  • clear ‘traffic light’ ratings of the condition of different parts of the building, services, garage and outbuildings, showing problems that require varying degrees of attention;
  • a summary of the risks to the condition of the building; and
  • other matters including guarantees, planning and building control issues for your legal advisers.
  • a RICS Condition Report does not include a valuation, but your surveyor may be able to provide this as a separate extra service.

Ask your surveyor for a detailed ‘Description of the RICS Condition Report Service’ leaflet.

Book Your Condition Report Today


The RICS Homebuyer Report

Choose this report if you would like more extensive information whilst buying or selling a conventional house, flat or bungalow, built from common building materials and in reasonable condition. It costs more than the Condition Report but includes:

  • all of the features in the Condition Report plus a more extensive inspection;
  • the surveyor’s professional opinion on the ‘Market Value’ of the property; (optional extra)
  • an insurance reinstatement figure for the property; (optional extra)
  • a list of problems that the surveyor considers may affect the value of the property;
  • advice on repairs and ongoing maintenance;
  • issues that need to be investigated to prevent serious damage or dangerous conditions;
  • legal issues that need to be addressed before completing your conveyancing; and
  • information on location, local environment and the recorded energy efficiency (where available).

Ask your surveyor for a detailed ‘Description of the RICS HomeBuyer Service’ leaflet.

Book Your Homebuyer Report Today


“My experience with Arnold and Baldwin was excellent! They arranged a survey very quickly, which was extremely thorough and addressed additional concerns that I had mentioned. They emailed me the survey the same day, and a hard copy arrived the next day. They also spoke to me twice about various issues the survey had identified—problems I had not been previously aware of—and they provided advice on how to handle these situations. It was money well spent for an excellent service. I would highly recommend them; they are very professional and I would definitely use their services again.”

Ann McEntire


The Advanced Building / Property Survey

Formerly called a structural survey, you could choose the building survey if you’re dealing with a large, older or run-down property, a building that is unusual or altered, or if you’re planning major works. It costs more than the other RICS reports because it gives detailed information about the structure and fabric of the property. It includes:

  • a thorough inspection and detailed report on a wider range of issues;
  • a description of visible defects and potential problems caused by hidden flaws;
  • an outline of repair options and the likely consequences of inactivity; and
  • advice for your legal advisers and details of serious risks and dangerous conditions.
  • A building survey does not include a valuation, but your surveyor may be able to provide this as a separate extra service.

Book Your Building Survey Today


"The team was very helpful in explaining the services beforehand and outlining the available options. It took a total of 13 days from appointing Arnold & Baldwin to receive my Level 3 Buildings Report. They also price-matched a lower quote. I would definitely use their services again and highly recommend them."

Danny Jackson


Snagging List Survey / Report

Snagging lists are for new build properties. Our qualified surveyors prepare a photographic schedule of items which have not been completed satisfactorily. This document should be submitted to the developer so they can conclude any remaining items prior to completion.

As an additional service this report can include a valuation of the finished property.  

Book Your Snagging List Today


When considering the purchase of a property, understanding the different types of valuations and surveys available can be crucial.

Mortgage Valuations and Market Valuations are primarily focused on assessing the property's value for lending purposes and do not serve as detailed surveys.

A Mortgage Valuation is used by lenders to ensure the property is sufficient collateral for a loan and is not intended to outline the buyer's liabilities. Similarly, a Market Valuation provides a price estimate based on the property's condition and location but does not delve into the structural state of the property as a survey would.

Both are essential for the financial aspects of buying a home but do not replace the comprehensive insight provided by physical surveys like the RICS HomeBuyer Report or Building Survey."

What is a Mortgage Valuation?

A basic mortgage valuation is the standard requirement needed in order to obtain a mortgage.  It will be used by your lender to determine the property is worth the amount you are seeking to borrow; after all, no lender wants to back a negative investment.  The main purpose of this valuation is to assess the value, therefore only major defects are highlighted.

Where this report is being carried out for mortgage purposes, the valuers duty is only to the lender, even though the purchaser usually pays for it.  When carried out for an individual, the mortgage valuation is also known as a Market Valuation.

Unless the property is modern and within the first two years of its NHBC Certificate, we recommend you commission a Condition Report, HomeBuyer Report and Valuation or Building Survey.


What is a Market Valuation?

Market Valuations provide a brief overview of the size, condition and location of the property, and are valuation focussed. This report is for purchaser’s who are confident they are fully aware of all defects, and want to ensure they are paying the right price.  

Book Your Market Valuation Today


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