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Surveys

Are you looking forward to buying or selling a house? One of the key factors that can be overlooked during the process is ensuring the safety and value of a property. Fortunately, we provide quotes for any of the home surveys you might need, allowing you to make the most informed decision when considering an offer for a property.

With the help of our fast and reliable home survey quotes, you can quickly get an estimated value of your property in the current market. How do you decide if a property is right for you? Discover the range of home surveys we can offer and how reports such as building surveys and property valuation reports will help increase the value of your home.

Property Valuation Report

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Home Buyers Report

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Building Surveys

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Electrical Safety Certificates

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Gas Safety Certificates

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Surveys We Offer

There are multiple levels of surveys that each offer varying depths of investigation into the property you are considering purchasing. It is however, important to note that each of the surveys are non-invasive. A surveyor will only analyse areas that are accessible, they cannot pull up carpets or floorboards or make any damage to the property in any way to analyse the structure or quality of a property. There are certain tools that can help them make informed judgements however.

 

Property valuation report

What is a Property Valuation Report?

This survey is not an exhaustive check of a property but instead is an inspection that determines value of a property. This can be used to inform mortgage providers but also to ensure you are paying a fair price for a property.

The main goal of a property valuation report is to make a detailed evaluation of the property in terms of defects or aesthetic qualities and features that can determine the price of a house. Unlike a homebuyer’s report or building survey, you won’t find any information regarding the safety or structure of the property. It is can be a good idea to have a property valuation completed alongside one of the aforementioned surveys however.

What will be included in the survey?

During the check, a licensed surveyor will assess the property against a number of criteria. This can include evaluation of the property in comparison to surrounding properties, the location and local area. Any visible issues such as damage, damp, structural issues or electrical issues will be noted but there will not be a full investigation of these problems. Other factors the surveyor will assess include, traditional or non-traditional construction. The properties overall condition. Whether the property has been refurbished or modernised. Number of bedrooms.

You will find that a property valuation report is typically the lowest priced survey available. This is reflected in the depth and thoroughness of the report produced at the end of the survey. The analysis process is much quicker and is nowhere near as detailed as other surveys available. As previously mentioned, the overarching goal of the survey is to ensure the property is correctly valued.

Depending on the survey provider, you will tend to see differences in price due to the size of a property, the location, and the cost of the property. For a price-match guaranteed quote for a Property Valuation report from MovingSorted.com, complete our free online quote form now.

 

Homebuyer’s report

What is a Homebuyer’s report?

The most common type of report usually performed during the sale of a property is the Homebuyer’s report. This type of survey is flexible for a range of properties and provides a detailed insight into the quality of your potential investment. Typically, it is recommended that home buyer surveys are performed on houses less than 50 years old. This is because it is not as in-depth as a Building survey, it can identify major issues with the property you are looking to buy however.

What is included within the survey?

The survey will consist of a number of internal and external checks throughout the property. A surveyor will only assess visible and accessible areas of a property. This is because the owners are still liable and often residing within the property so it would be unfair to cause damage or upheaval for a survey.

Within the report you will find analysis of features such as

  • Dampness or rot
  • Analysis of conditions of the ceilings, walls, floors and chimneys
  • An inspection of the roofing, gutters, outer walls and windows.
  • If applicable a surveyor may also assess the quality and condition of a garage or conservatory.

The survey can take around 2-4 hours to complete and you will receive a report within a week of its completion. Within your report you will find a traffic light rating system for features within the house.

After analysing the condition of the property, it is then at your discretion to reconsider your offer on the property or make conditional agreements with the current owners for certain problems to be fixed with evidence of the work completed. This can be the pivotal reason many prospective buyers complete a home buyer’s survey. Having the information to reduce the price of a property to accommodate for repair costs can save you from unprepared costs in the future.

 

Building Survey

What is a Building Survey?

For the most comprehensive evaluation of a property, a Building survey is the most exhaustive accredited survey available. The difference in depth of analysis from a homebuyer’s report is visible in the individual analysis of certain issues within a property. It is also a survey that can be applied to aged properties and give you vital information for the safety of the structure of a property.

What is included in the survey?

The survey can take a significantly longer period of time to complete. With the inspection taking anywhere from 4 to 8 hours to complete. You will likely receive your report in a period of 7 days. The analysis that takes the designated time slot to complete includes a full external and internal inspection of the property including every aspect of a property that is accessible to a surveyor.

  • Scanning for hazardous materials (such as asbestos), as well as identifying the materials the property is constructed from
  • Checks for any defects, major or minor.
  • Permissions or certifications of any addition work carried out on the property
  • Damage to the roof or roof structure
  • Trees surrounding the building which could threaten damage to the property

As with the Homebuyer’s report, the building survey equips you with the information to decide on your next actions with the purchase of the property. You can agree to have the current owners fix any significant issues with the property. Or, if you decide the property is unmanageable, you can walk away from the purchase, knowing that you have likely saved plenty of stress and future costs.

Secure your future investment with a Building Survey provided by MovingSorted.com and the accredited team of surveyors who are ready to offer you a comprehensive evaluation of your future property. Get your free online survey quote now.

 

Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)

What is an EPC?

An Energy Performance Certificate is needed whenever a property is sold or rented. The survey is then typically the responsibility of a seller. The EPC will contain information regarding the energy usage and costs within a property as well as recommendations for inhabitants to reduce their usage and costs. Your property will receive a rating from A to G denoting the efficiency. This rating will then be valid for the next 10 years.

An EPC is the one survey discussed in this article that is required for selling a house. If the certificate is not available free of charge to all potential buyers you may face a £200 fine from Trading Standards (https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/housing/moving-and-improving-your-home/selling-a-home/)

What is included in the survey?

An accredited energy assessor will visit the property and assess a number of factors. These can include:

  • The size of the property. This can determine how much energy is likely needed to heat the property.
  • The heating system. This will include evaluation of the boiler, thermostat controls and any other alternative heating methods.
  • These can have a big impact on the heat loss of a property and therefore the energy consumption. The surveyor will take note of single, double or triple glazed windows.
  • This will include an account of the number of light fixtures within the property and the types of bulbs affixed to them at that point in time.
  • To assess the correct level of ventilation for a property but also its impact on heat loss in the property.
  • A full inspection of the type of insulation and the amount used within the property. Analysis of the wall space and loft may be included.

After the assessment, you will receive a report. The document will cover information about the property, the date of your assessment, your energy efficiency rating and recommendations to improve the energy efficiency of your building.

The EPC certificate will be useful for potential buyers so they can gather all the necessary information about a property before deciding upon a purchase. If you have received a poor EPC certificate and are concerned about the marketability of your property, try following some recommendations and stating which of these you have amended to the prospective buyer.

 

Electrical safety certificate

What is an Electrical Safety Certificate?

To complete an electrical safety certificate an accredited engineer will perform checks within a property to ensure the quality and condition of any electrical installations. Issues will be highlighted within the certificate and be rated with grades that state, immediate danger, potential danger or no danger but improvements needed.

Whose responsibility is the survey?

Although not compulsory, the electrical safety certificate may be a worthwhile survey for both sellers and buyers of a property. From the seller’s perspective the certificate can be effective in preventing any concerns over recent additional electrical work that may be picked up during another survey. With proof of electrical safety, a surveyor will consider this issue to be resolved, improving the quality of your property within the report. For a buyer, the certificate is also useful once they are unformed of electrical concerns within a property. Whether they arrange the certificate themselves, or request the current owner to provide one. This can settle any concerns over the electrical safety of the property before making any commitments to purchasing the property.

What is included within the survey?

Your engineer will assess all electrical fittings within the property. This can include wiring, sockets, plugs and fuse boxes. The certificate will then identify potential safety risks, highlight any electrical work that was completed poorly and inform you of the quality of electrical circuits and equipment.

If you have had any electrical work completed previous to putting your house on the market, you should consider acquiring a new electrical safety certificate. This will tick one of the many boxes during the sale process.

 

Gas safety certificate

What is a gas safety certificate?

Similarly, to an electrical equivalent, the gas safety certificate is important to ensure the safety and regular operation of your gas supply and appliances. Again, this certificate is not a legal requirement but it does have the same utility as the electrical safety certificate. It can be useful in covering all the bases for property sellers and can secure peace of mind for a buyer.

What does the survey include?

An accredited gas safe engineer will visit the property and perform checks on all gas appliances. Certain items will be included within the inspection.

  • Gas tightness in appliances
  • Flue flow to ensure safe removal of combustion products
  • Safe operation of flame failure products
  • Chimney flow
  • System installation safety
  • Overall condition of the system and checks for any unsafe features

You will receive a report after the inspection that will rate each of the checks for their level of danger and repairs needed.

What are surveys?

Surveys are a vital component of the house buying process. Purchasing a new property can be an extremely large investment and it is in your best interest to be completely aware of any issues or defects that a house may be hiding. Surveys are independent evaluations of a property that give you the information to make a fully informed decision about your investment.

Whilst they are not a legal requirement, it is advisable to always consider the cost of a survey within your budget when buying a new home because of their value. Without one, you may find that your perfect new home is hiding an abundance of issues such as leaks, dampness, or faulty amenities. These defects can incur hefty repair costs that would not have been accounted for during the buying process. Surveys can prevent this outcome by allowing you to have awareness of the risks in a property and giving you time to reconsider your offer or ask the current owners to fix the problems.

Do I really need a survey?

When considering each of the costs associated with buying a new home, a building survey can often seem like an unnecessary expense, and it may appear attractive to cut the cost by ignoring them. However, there are several reasons that may encourage you to look past the initial expense and see the true value of each survey.

It can be extremely beneficial to have a survey performed to give you an insight into the commitment you are making to a property. Older houses can of course develop some issues with age, if these are not highlighted to a future owner and the issues are not attended to, the outcomes may be detrimental to the security of the property.

Which survey do I need?

There are a few different surveys each catering to specific needs when purchasing a house. The survey that you request should be based on the age and quality of a property due to the variations in depth of analysis available.

Level one: Condition Report. This is the most basic and low-cost option available but does not provide much detail because of this. Often, they are used in combination with mortgage valuations to ensure you are purchasing a property for the correct price. They do provide some insight into a property’s defects and a summary of risks, but this won’t be an in-depth analysis. They also won’t provide any advice or valuations.

Level two: Home-buyers Report. These are one of the most frequently implemented surveys. A home-buyers report provides a more comprehensive overview of the quality of a property. They are recommended as a minimum inspection when considering a house. They are most effective for use within properties that are fairly new and appear to be in a generally good condition. An analysis is only provided on visibly accessible areas of the property and may not cover less obvious faults.

Level three: Building survey. This is the most comprehensive and bespoke survey available, providing detailed advice on visible defects and further potential hidden problems. They are better equipped to inform you of the costs for repairs and work that may need doing but are often only necessary for older, more dilapidated properties.

Further checks:

These checks should be performed more frequently than the reports generated when purchasing a house. They can be extremely useful when ensuring the integrity of a property, however, as they provide insight into potential issues to be addressed.

After receiving the results of your survey

Depending on which survey you have selected, you will be faced with a range of information about a property. If you have instructed a survey in order to guide your decision, you need to analyse this information and decide what is important to the condition of your purchase.

So long as you have selected a service that utilises RICS or the relevant accreditations, you should receive a standardised report for each of the surveys. There are some differences in how ratings are used in various surveys, but you shouldn’t have too much trouble interpreting them.

For standard RICS Property Valuation reports, the report that you will be presented should be a fairly simple document to interpret. Your surveyor will have included all the relevant information associated with the details of your property. You will then find a summary of the investigation that was performed with the key details listed. A comparison of similar local properties may be included within your report. Towards the end of the report, you will find the surveyors valuation of the property as well as the reasoning for that conclusion. This information can then be used to determine the offer to propose for a property or to renegotiate the existing offer. For sellers, this information can certainly be useful in determining a fair price to market your property for.

For both the RICS accredited Homebuyer’s report and the Building Survey you will receive two very similar, simple documents to comprehend. Within the first pages of the report, you will find a description of the traffic light system that is used to evaluate the features within the property. Within the main body, detailed categories of all examined features are laid out as external or internal features as well as the grounds and services. There will be additional categories included within the Building Survey but these are self-explanatory. The report will offer suggestions for your next steps, these include getting quotes for the cost of repairs or further investigations that can be performed.

FAQs about home surveys

Moving home can be a strenuous process, choosing whether or not to have a survey, and then deciding which home survey is necessary can start to make the list longer. That’s why we’ve answered some of the most frequently asked questions regarding surveys to help make those decisions, and the moving process in general, a little bit simpler.

Surveys are reports that are generated based on the evaluation of a property, differing on the depth of analysis you request. Older properties may need more intensive checks to ensure their integrity and safety, whereas newer properties may need less invasive checks that address only the most prominent issues. For more information regarding each survey and what they cover, see the information above.

A mortgage valuation aims to assess the general value of a property which is the information used by a lender to determine whether you can borrow the amount requested.  This is carried out for the lender’s purposes and not on your behalf. To gain insight into the properties value for your own benefit, a property valuation report is more appropriate.

Our selected surveyors are appropriately accredited depending on the survey you request. For example, homebuyers surveys are performed by surveyors that are accredited by the Royal Institute of chartered surveyors. This means there are a set of standard regulations that each of our surveyors must follow and applies to all of our survey services.

This depends on the purpose of the survey and the condition of the property.

For a low-level inspection to determine the value and general condition of a property, the property valuation report is the lowest-cost option.

If you require some further analysis of any defects or issues within a property, a homebuyers survey can provide you with further detail.

However, if the property is older or dilapidated, you may be interested in a more intensive evaluation of the structure and integrity of the property. This is provided within a building survey.

More information of each of the surveys we provide is available above.

Home Surveys Q&As

How much does a home survey cost?

There are several factors that influence the price of a survey. The first of these depending on the type of survey you choose. For Property Valuations, Homebuyer’s reports and Building surveys, prices increase across the three reports, with property valuations typically being the cheapest. This is due to the level of information that each of the surveys provide, as well as the depth of investigation and the time it takes to produce each report.

An RICS homebuyer’s report tends to start around £400 but will depend on the size and value of a property. Whereas an RICS Building survey will instead start around £600.

The average price of an EPC certificate tends to be around £60-120.

A gas safety certificate will depend on where you live and the number of appliances that need to be checked. Based on this you are likely to find that a gas safety certificate will cost from £35-90.

An electrical safety certificate again depends on the size of your home and number of appliances as well as the accessibility and complexity of your electrics. Prices instead will start around £215 for a house.

For competitively priced quotes for any of the surveys discussed, MovingSorted.com provide a free online quote calculator so you can access affordable and efficient survey services.

What are the benefits of chartered surveyors?

MovingSorted.com are partnered with RICS accredited surveyors for Property valuations, Homebuyer’s reports and Building surveys. There are plenty of benefits for working with these professionals, primarily because of the safety standards and regulations that are upheld by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors.

With an RICS accredited surveyor you will receive a completely standardised analysis of the property in question. Your surveyor will follow a comprehensive checklist that covers every essential factor within a property. You also ensure the simple and accessible format report that is produced by an accredited RICS surveyor. Your surveyor will be equipped with exceptional training and necessary qualifications to give you the best insight into the quality of a property.

 

Should I get multiple surveys?

The answer to this question depends on your needs and the property at hand. For absolute security and all the information available about a property, it certainly would not be a bad idea to carry out multiple surveys. You may find that some providers offer additional checks for an increased price. For example, valuation reports are common bolt on items to a building survey.

Within an RICS Building survey you may also find a small energy efficiency summary. This will give you an overview of the insulation, heating, lighting and ventilation of a property. This information can originate from the surveyor’s inspection or from an existing EPC certificate. This cannot be considered a formal energy assessment for the property however and does not reflect on the validity of an existing EPC certificate. If this section holds all the information you require regarding energy efficiency, this saves you some extra money however.

If you were to have multiple surveys performed, depending on the level of information provided the most comprehensive combination would likely be a Building survey with additional property valuation, individual gas and electrical safety certificates and an EPC if required.

Do I need access to the property I am buying for a survey?

A survey is of course performed before the commitment is made to a property and prior to completion. This means that the current owners will likely be residing in the property or at the very least, are still in complete possession of the house. Therefore, the buyer will not gain access for the purpose of a survey, but an agreed surveyor can be granted permission.

If a buyer chooses to arrange for a survey, then they should inform the Estate Agent and inform them of the surveyor and company that will be used, as well as the access required for the survey that has been selected. The surveyor will then get in touch with the estate agent and the seller to arrange an appointment and you will receive a date for the inspection to take place.

The surveyor will go directly to the property, perform the inspection and then you will receive a copy of the report within 7 days.

As a cash buyer do I need a survey?

As previously stated, none of the surveys provided by MovingSorted.com are legal requirements. Their role instead is important for the confidence of the buyer and the protection of investment. The survey can assist you in decisions such as renegotiating the offer on a property or ensuring that certain deficits are attended to.

Being a cash buyer doesn’t necessarily make a difference in this context. Instead, the factors in your decision process should be the age and quality of the property, the size of investment you are making and how eager you are to protect it.

How do I get a quote for a survey?

There is a very simple answer to this question! At MovingSorted.com we provide fair and competitive quotes for all of the surveys discussed in this article. We are proud to offer accredited professional surveys across the UK.

What if the survey is bad?

Depending on the outcome, a bad survey can sometimes be a positive thing. It means that you made the right decision in checking your investment and have the knowledge to do something about it.

In the circumstance that you have large repairs or safety issues, you are in the best position to negotiate with the sellers. At this stage in the property exchange you shouldn’t yet be legally committed to purchasing the property. This gives you the power to request that amendments be made to the property to ensure its safety.

If you prefer, you can also arrange with your conveyancing solicitor to renegotiate the agreed price for the property. This should be enough to cover any future repair costs. If your sellers are not willing to budge then it is your decision to make whether you want to abandon the property and save your money, or commit and take on a project.

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