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Two Types of Property Survey

Properties which are up for sale are usually subjected to a survey in order to assess its actual structural condition. The result of the survey is often the prime determinant of the property’s sale price. For this reason, it is imperative that such surveys be performed prior to making any contracts between the prospect buyer and the current owner of the property.

Types of Property Survey

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has only recognized two types of surveys so far, these are: the “Homebuyers Survey and Valuation” (HSV) and the “Building Survey”. The first one is also known as the “Homebuyer’s Report”.

1. The Homebuyers Survey and Valuation (HSV)

All professional surveyors are required by law to follow the exact format prescribed by the RICS when doing this type of survey. The format includes a 9-page report, each page containing all pertinent information about one major sector of the property.

The goal of this survey is to produce a substantive report that reveals the exact physical condition of the property, as well as the specific areas that need further investigation. In short, this survey does not focus on the little details about the property but rather, its overall current state. Thus, wiring, gas and drainage information are not included in the report.

This kind of survey is ideal for properties which are apparently in a good condition, not older than 150 years and with an area less than 2000 square feet. Compared to the other type of survey, this one is relatively cheaper. This is the reason why many homeowners prefer this survey over the other. Even those who are not particularly planning to sell their properties, make use of such surveys when renovating their houses.

2. Building Survey

Like what has been mentioned earlier, this survey is more expensive than HSV. The main reason for this price disparity is the fact that a Building Survey is very thorough and comprehensive — it includes every detail about the property, even the smallest ones.

Because of its requirements, this survey often takes a long time to complete. But the waiting will definitely be worth it since a Building Survey’s report will cover everything about the property. This gives the owner or the prospect buyer of the property the right insights as to what the real condition of the property really is. This type of survey can be performed in all types of properties, regardless of the properties size and age.

By default, valuation of the property is not included in the report. However, the person or agency that consigned the services of the surveyor can actually request for this detail. Some surveyors provide the value of the property for free but some would ask for an addition fee.