0114 4199 819
Principal:Steve Butler, Chartered SurveyorAizlewoods Mill, Nursery St, Sheffield S3 8GG
8.30am to 6.30pm Monday to Friday
Homebuyers Survey Sample
Guideline Fees for properties under £300,000.
Please call 0121 607 8165 or e-mail for confirmation
Our fees are based on property size and thus the likely amount of work required, not the purchase price and thus a guess at the size of your pocket.
VAT may be applicable!
Pre 1919 1919 - 1945 1946 - 2020
1 and 2 Bedroom Flats
450.00 425.00 400.00
1 and 2 Bedroom Houses
475.00 450.00 425.00
3 Bedroom Houses
550.00 500.00 450.00
4 Bedroom Houses
600.00 550.00 500.00
5 Bedroom Houses
650.00 600.00 550.00
One or two reception rooms, conservatory, garage, en-suite shower, small cloakroom and utility rooms included.
Extra Reception Rooms £50.00
Bungalows charged as per houses.
All surveys include:
Telephone discusion welcome before and after
Client welcome to attend the property at the end of the inspection (You must fit in with the surveyor)
Electronic delivery of reports for speed
Electronic contratcs available
Pay by cash, cheque of bank transfer
Sheffield RICS Hombuyers surveyors report on a 1902 terrace house. The front and rear walls of this property had been badly damaged by water because of failure to undertake a few hundred pounds of gutter and down pipe repairs. Intruders had damaged the kitchen and bathroom and run off with the boiler as well as damaging central heating pipes. An extension containing the bathroom and kitchen was single skin construction and likely to be cold and prone to water penetration. An attic conversion had dangerous stairs and no fire protection and probably no insulation of the ceiling.
The Home Buyers Survey Report is suitable for most types of houses, bungalows and flats, which are conventional and traditional, in type, and construction, and which are apparently in reasonable condition.
Even the most modest houses are very expensive and will stretch most people’s budgets. Some defects can reduce the value of a property by many thousands of pounds or make a property virtually unsellable. Some common repairs such as replacing roof coverings or re-wiring properties can be expensive. A Homebuyers Survey will help identify problems which are likely to be expensive to remedy before exchange of contracts.
Purchasing a house or flat without a survey can result in £5000.00 or more of unexpected expenditure. A Homebuyers survey can find such problems and will help you to re-negotiate the purchase price of your property. It is very unusual for our surveyors not be able to identify defectss in all but the most modern properties that will not cost more to remedy than the cost of the Homebuyers Survey.
Our Sheffield RICS Surveyors found a collapsed wall, unusual easement, vulnerable gas pipe, roof void wet rot, single glazed cold windows and a substandard roof structure. The property has single glazed timber windows and that are likely to be subject to condensation and decay. Pots and pans in the roof suggest that the metalwork at the right of the roof is leaking.
The Homebuyers Survey Condition Ratings
Our surveyors use the standard RICS report layout. It is designed to outline any serious defects or urgent repairs and consider if they affect the value of the property. The survey report will clearly spell out whether any actions need to be taken before you exchange contracts.
The RICS Homebuyers Survey Report is an easy to read report that will identify defects and advise you on their severity by using an easy to understand, traffic light coding system.
Elements, both inside and out, are given condition ratings based on the traffic light system which is set out below:
Defects which are serious and/or need to be repaired, replaced or investigated urgently.
Defects that need repairing or replacing but are not considered to be either serious or urgent. The property must be maintained in the normal way.
No repair is currently needed. The property must be maintained in the normal way.
Other matters considered in a Homebuyers Survey
The surveyor also advises about risks to the property or people and matters that you should investigate further before exchange of contracts.
Steve Butler Chartered Surveyors reports include an insurance rebuilding cost to help you sufficiently insure your property and a Market valuation as standard.
The surveyor also advises and matters that your legal advisers should investigate and risks to the property or people.
Sheffield RICS building surveyors report on a 1925 detached house. The chimneys were in poor condition, tiles were slipping, gutters were clogged and broken. The roof face had dished. Additional timbers had been added to strengthen the roof. The property had long standing movement at the head of an opening to a rear bay window. A timber floor had humped slightly.
How is a Homebuyers Survey different to a mortgage valuation?
Most people rely on only their mortgage valuation, which is not a survey, but is a property risk assessment aimed for lender use only. Some mortgage valuations are undertaken from the roadside, desk top appraisals or automated computer valuations. These methods can miss numerous or even all defects.
The RICS Homebuyers Survey Report is independent of any survey undertaken by your lender. Our Chartered Surveyors inspect your property to help you identify any significant problems, such as subsidence, damp, lintel failures, movement cracks as well as many other unwelcome hidden issues both internally and externally. We try and look in the roof void and to lift up any drain covers.
The results of relying on a mortgage valuation can be seen in the following notes and photographs
The RICS Homebuyers Survey includes:
An extensive inspection of the property by a RICS Surveyor
Comments on general condition of the property
Comments on location and significant environmental issues
Identifies significant defects and recommends further investigations
Advice on repairs and ongoing maintenance
Information on location, local environment and the recorded energy efficiency
Highlights health and safety issues
Comments for legal advisors
Helps you to renegotiate purchase price based on defects identified
Provides advice which helps you in your decision-making process
Provides advice which allows you to budget for current and future expenditure
RICS compliant and colour coded system to easily identify the severity of defects
A market valuation so that you know whether or not you are paying the market value for the subject property. This valuation will reflect all the defects found (a mortgage valuation will not).
This Homebuyers survey also includes an insurance rebuild cost of the subject property to help you sufficiently insure your property.
Understanding my Homebuyers Survey
We are always here to offer post-survey customer support by email or by phone. However clients are welcome to meet the surveyor at the property so that issues can be seen and discussed at first hand.
How long does a Homebuyers Survey take to complete?
We can usaully arrange to access the property within two or three days unless the vendor is unavailable. Once at the property the inspection takes as long as needed. Unlikely the corporate surveyors we don't have to rush of to the next inspection to meet profitability targets. We always write the report on the same day as the inspection to ensure that the property is still clear in the surveyors mind. Surveys can usaully be arranged and delivered within a week and often much more quickly.
At what stage should I have Homebuyers Survey?
The most appropriate time to commission any property survey is as soon after having your offer accepted or if borrowing money as soon as you receive the formal mortgage offer. There is no point surveying a property that you are not going to be able to get a mortgage on. Once you have your offer accepted and a mortgage offer if needed then an early survey can prevent un-necessary legal costs or an enable an early reduction in the purchase price if required.
HomeBuyers Surveys by Steve Butler Chartered Surveyors
We employ a quick turnaround on the report (within 5 working days of the Inspection).
We only employ RICS qualified chartered surveyors.
We are a RICS regulated firm, which ensures that we meet the most rigorous of standards set for the Surveying industry.
Our prices are very competitive.
We pride ourselves in offering the highest quality customer service.
We offer straightforward easy to understand advice based on many thirty years of experience.
A summary of the advantages of a Homebuyers Survey
Prepared in an easy to read jargon free standard format designed by the RICS the Homebuyer report aims to help you:
make a reasoned and informed decision on whether to go ahead with buying the property;
make an informed decision on what is a reasonable price to pay for the property;
take account of any repairs or replacements the property needs
consider what further advice you should take before exchanging contracts; and
determine how much to insure the property for.
Our Sheffield RICS Homebuers surveyors found frost damaged bricks blocked vents and poor insulation that was likely encourage condensation, substandard electrics, a dangerous glass door, potenially damp quarry tile floors, old ceilings that were at risk of collapse, missing firebreak walls and missing roof linings.
The RICS HomeBuyer Service includes:
• an inspection of the property (see ‘The inspection’);
• a report based on the inspection (see ‘The report’); and
• a valuation, which is part of the report (see ‘The valuation’).
The surveyor who provides the RICS HomeBuyer Service aims to give you professional
advice to help you to:
• make an informed decision on whether to go ahead with buying the property;
• make an informed decision on what is a reasonable price to pay
for the property;
• take account of any repairs or replacements the property needs; and
• consider what further advice you should take before committing
to purchase the property.
The surveyor inspects the inside and outside of the main building and all permanent outbuildings, but does not force or open up the fabric. This means that the surveyor does not take up carpets, floor coverings or floorboards, move furniture, remove the contents of cupboards, roof spaces, etc., remove secured panels and/or hatches or undo electrical fittings.
If necessary, the surveyor carries out parts of the inspection when standing at ground level from public property next door where accessible.
The surveyor may use equipment such as a damp-meter, binoculars and torch, and may use a ladder for flat roofs and for hatches no more than 3 metres above level ground (outside) or floor surfaces (inside) if it is safe to do so.
Services to the property
Services are generally hidden within the construction of the property. This means that only the visible parts of the available services can be inspected, and the surveyor does not carry out specialist tests. The visual inspection cannot assess the efficiency or safety of electrical, gas or other energy sources; plumbing, heating or drainage installations (or whether they meet current regulations); or the inside condition of any chimney, boiler or other flue.
Outside the property
The surveyor ispects the condition of boundary walls, fences, permanent outbuildings and areas in common (shared) use. To inspect these areas, the surveyor walks around the grounds and any neighbouring public property where access can be obtained. Buildings with swimming pools and sports facilities are also treated as permanent outbuildings, but the surveyor does not report on the leisure facilities, such as the pool itself and its equipment, landscaping and other facilities (for example, tennis courts and temporary outbuildings).
When inspecting flats, the surveyor assesses the general condition of outside surfaces of the building, as well as its access areas (for example, shared hallways and staircases). The surveyor inspects roof spaces only if they are accessible from within the property. The surveyor does not inspect drains, lifts, fire alarms and security systems.
Dangerous materials, contamination and environmental issues
The surveyor does not make any enquiries about contamination or other environmental dangers. However, if the surveyor suspects a problem, he or she should recommend a further investigation.The surveyor may assume that no harmful or dangerous materials have been used in the construction, and does not have a duty to justify making this assumption. However, if the inspection shows that these materials have been used, the surveyor must report this and ask for further instructions.
The surveyor does not carry out an asbestos inspection and does not act as an asbestos inspector when inspecting properties that may fall within the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006. With flats, the surveyor assumes that there is a ‘dutyholder’ (as defined in the regulations), and that in place are an asbestos register and an effective management plan which does not present a significant risk to health or need any immediate payment. The surveyor does not consult the dutyholder.
The surveyor produces a report of the inspection for you to use, but cannot accept any liability if it is used by anyone else. If you decide not to act on the advice in the report, you do this at your own risk. The report focuses on matters that, in the surveyor’s opinion, may affect the value of the property if they are not addressed.
The report is in a standard format and includes the following sections.
A Introduction to the report
B About the inspection
C Overall opinion and summary of the condition ratings
D About the property
E Outside the property
F Inside the property
H Grounds (including shared areas for flats)
I Issues for your legal advisers
L Surveyor’s declaration
What to do now
Description of the RICS HomeBuyer Service
Typical house diagram
The surveyor gives condition ratings to the main parts (the ‘elements’) of the main building, garage and some outside elements. The condition ratings are described as follows.
Condition rating 3 – defects that are serious and/or need to be repaired, replaced or investigated urgently.
Condition rating 2 – defects that need repairing or replacing but are not considered to be either serious or urgent. The property must be maintained in the normal way.
Condition rating 1 – no repair is currently needed. The property must be maintained in the normal way.
NI – not inspected.
The surveyor notes in the report if it was not possible to check any parts of the property that the inspection would normally cover. If the surveyor is concerned about these parts, the report tells you about any further investigations that are needed.
The surveyor does not report on the cost of any work to put right defects or make recommendations on how these repairs should be carried out. However, there is general advice in the ‘What to do now’ section at the end of the report.
The surveyor has not prepared the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) as part of the RICS
HomeBuyer Service for the property. If the surveyor has seen the current EPC, he or she will present the energy-efficiency and environmental impact ratings in this report. The surveyor does not check the ratings and cannot comment on their accuracy.
Issues for legal advisors
The surveyor does not act as ‘the legal adviser’ and does not comment on any legal documents.
If, during the inspection, the surveyor identifies issues that your legal advisers may need to investigate further, the surveyor may refer to these in the report (for example, check whether there is a warranty covering replacement windows).
This report has been prepared by a surveyor (‘the Employee’) on behalf of a firm or company of surveyors (‘the Employer’). The statements and opinions expressed in this report are expressed on behalf of the Employer, who accepts full responsibility for these.
Without prejudice and separately to the above, the Employee will have no personal liability in respect of any statements and opinions contained in this report, which shall at all times remain the sole responsibility of the Employer to the exclusion of the Employee.
In the case of sole practitioners, the surveyor may sign the report in his or her own name unless the surveyor operates as a sole trader limited liability company.
To the extent that any part of this notification is a restriction of liability within the meaning of the Unfair
Contract Terms Act 1977 it does not apply to death or personal injury resulting from negligence.
This section summarises defects and issues that present a risk to the building or grounds, or a safety risk to people. These may have been reported and condition rated against more than one part of the property or may be of a more general nature, having existed for some time and which cannot reasonably be changed.
If the property is leasehold, the surveyor gives you general advice and details of questions you should ask your legal advisers.
The surveyor gives an opinion on both the Market Value of the property and the reinstatement cost at the time of the inspection (see the ‘Reinstatement cost’ section).
‘Market Value’ is the estimated amount for which a property should exchange on the date of the valuation between a willing buyer and a willing seller, in an arm’s length transaction after the property was properly marketed wherein the parties had each acted knowledgeably, prudently and without compulsion.
When deciding on the Market Value, the surveyor also makes the following assumptions.
The materials, construction, services, fixtures and fittings, and so on
The surveyor assumes that:
• an inspection of those parts that have not yet been inspected would not identify significant defects or cause the surveyor to alter the valuation;
• no dangerous or damaging materials or building techniques have been used in the property;
• there is no contamination in or from the ground, and the ground has not been used as landfill;
• the property is connected to, and has the right to use, the mains services mentioned in the report; and
• the valuation does not take account of any furnishings, removable fittings and sales incentives of any description.
The surveyor assumes that:
• the property is sold with ‘vacant possession’ (your legal advisers can give you more information on this term);
• the condition of the property, or the purpose that the property is or will be used for, does not break any laws;
• no particularly troublesome or unusual restrictions apply to the property, that the property is not affected by problems which would be revealed by the usual legal enquiries and that all necessary planning and Building Regulations permissions (including permission to make alterations) have been obtained and any works undertaken comply with such permissions; and
• the property has the right to use the mains services on normal terms, and that the sewers, mains services and roads giving access to the property have been ‘adopted’ (that is, they are under local-authority, not private, control).
The surveyor reports any more assumptions that have been made or found not to apply.
If the property is leasehold, the general advice referred to earlier explains what other ssumptions the surveyor has made.
Reinstatement cost is the cost of rebuilding an average home of the type and style inspected to its existing standard using modern materials and techniques and in line with current Building
Regulations and other legal requirements.
This includes the cost of rebuilding any garage, boundary or retaining walls and permanent outbuildings, and clearing the site. It also includes professional fees, but does not include VAT
(except on fees).
The reinstatement cost helps you decide on the amount of buildings insurance cover you will eed for the property.
Standard terms of engagement
1 The service – the surveyor provides the standard RICS HomeBuyer Service (‘the service’) escribed in the ‘Description of the RICS HomeBuyer Service’, unless you and the surveyor gree in writing before the inspection that the surveyor will provide extra services. Any extra ervice will require separate terms of engagement to be entered into with the surveyor.
Examples of extra services include:
• costing of repairs;
• schedules of works;
• supervision of works;
• detailed specific issue reports; and
• market valuation (after repairs).
2 The surveyor – the service is to be provided by an AssocRICS, MRICS or FRICS member of he Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, who has the skills, knowledge and experience to urvey, value and report on the property.
3 Before the inspection – you tell the surveyor if there is already an agreed or proposed rice for the property, and if you have any particular concerns (such as plans for extension) bout the property.
4 Terms of payment – you agree to pay the surveyor’s fee and any other charges agreed n writing.
5 Cancelling this contract – you are entitled to cancel this contract by giving notice to the urveyor’s office at any time before the day of the inspection. The surveyor does not provide he service (and reports this to you as soon as possible) if, after arriving at the property, the urveyor decides that:
(a) he or she lacks enough specialist knowledge of the method of construction used to build the property; or
(b) it would be in your best interests to have a building survey and a valuation, rather than the RICS HomeBuyer Service.
If you cancel this contract, the surveyor will refund any money you have paid for the service, except for any reasonable expenses. If the surveyor cancels this contract, he or she will explain the reason to you.
6 Liability – the report is provided for your use, and the surveyor cannot accept responsibility if it is used, or relied upon, by anyone else.
Complaints handling procedure
The surveyor will have a complaints handling procedure and will give you a copy if you ask.
Note: These terms form part of the contract between you and the surveyor.
This report is for use in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Channel Islands and Isle of Man.