Referred to as a ‘Homebuyer’, this service has built a reputation for delivering a clear, comprehensive report for home buyers at an affordable price, with the authority of having been delivered by a fully qualified surveyor member of RICS. Presented in a standard format, as devised by RICS, the service applies to houses, bungalows and flats that are conventional in type and construction and are apparently in reasonable condition. This would generally include property conversions and properties that:
- are of Victorian to present-day construction;
- have load bearing structures or simple frames;
- use conventional building materials and construction methods; and
- have service systems commonly used in domestic residential properties.
The RICS Homebuyer Report is pitched above a standard mortgage lender's Valuation, but below an in-depth Building Survey. It's designed to be a mid-range inspection that offers a guide on value and highlights areas of urgent repair to the home buyer. The service is specifically designed for lay clients who are seeking a professional opinion on a property’s condition, at an economic price. It is, therefore, necessarily less comprehensive than a Building Survey (which provides a more technical and diagnostic assessment). The focus of the service is on assessing the general condition of the main elements of a property, and identifying and evaluating the particular features that could affect its value.
The report will include condition ratings on elements of the building within section E: Outside the property; section F: Inside the property; section G: Services; and section H: Grounds (including shared areas for flats). These are clearly identified by the inclusion of a condition rating box in the right column against each element. One of three ratings will be given:
No repair is currently needed;
Defects that need repairing or replacing but are not considered to be either serious or urgent; and
Serious defects present requiring urgent attention.
As a mid-range survey, the inspection is not exhaustive, and no tests are ordinarily undertaken. There is, therefore, a risk that certain defects may not be found that would have been uncovered if testing and/or a more substantial inspection had been undertaken. However, where there is ‘a trail of suspicion’ the surveyor will take reasonable steps to follow the trail. These ‘reasonable steps’ may include recommending further investigation. Our RICS Homebuyer Report does not include a a valuation.