Surveys & Valuations

Buying a home is one of the most expensive purchases you’ll ever make!

You need to know as much as you can about the property before you buy, so having a survey makes good sense – and could save thousands in costly repair bills later.

Which?, the Building Societies Association and the Council of Mortgage Lenders advise buyers to get a survey rather than relying on a valuation.

Our surveyors are members of The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and are experienced professionals whose academic qualifications and training have been approved by the RICS and who follow a strict code of ethical conduct and professional standards as members of the RICS Valuer Registration Scheme.

Choosing between surveys & valuations

Why do I need my own survey?

A survey will help you to make a reasoned and informed decision on whether to go ahead with buying a property.

Before you decide to commit yourself legally, you can limit the risks by asking a Chartered Surveyor to answer the following questions for you.

  • What is a reasonable price to pay for the property?
  • Are there any serious or urgent defects or specific risks with the property?

Arranging your own survey is the simple, cost-effective way to avoid unpleasant and perhaps expensive surprises after moving in. In some cases, the surveyor’s report may allow you to renegotiate the price of the property, perhaps where unexpected costly repairs are identified.

Do I still need my own survey if I already have a mortgage valuation report?

Even if you are looking for a mortgage and, as a result, may be paying for a mortgage valuation report, we still recommend that you arrange a survey by your own surveyor. Both the Consumers’ Association ‘Which?’ magazine and the Council of Mortgage Lenders give this advice.

The reason for this is that the mortgage valuation report is prepared for your lender not for you, the borrower. It answers only the lender’s questions about whether the property offers suitable security for your loan. You cannot rely on it to answer the questions that concern your personal interests or to give you details of the condition of the property. Also, some lenders do not provide a copy of their mortgage valuation report.

Watch Video

In the next tab sections, we explain the different services available, together with the likely cost.

Valuation

Type of property: all

Type of service: often limited assessment for the lender (bank or building society). Alternatively this type of report can be provided to the private client for a variety of other uses, namely; purchase, probate (IHT), taxation, matrimonial, expert witness reports, insolvency and asset valuations and compulsory purchase cases.

Reason for service: generally a brief inexpensive report primarily concerned in with providing advice on value, taking into account the property’s condition and prevailing market conditions and usually recommended where you are uncertain about value, or you think you may be paying too much for a property. Used by building societies and lending institutions, to assess the property’s value as security for the proposed loan – not intended to identify defects unless they severely affect value and in such cases to advise the lender, not the purchaser.

For awareness: mortgage lenders may charge the prospective borrower an application fee significantly higher than the valuation cost, or may include such charges in the overall cost of the loan, in certain circumstances the property may not always be visited. RICS research shows a quarter of all homebuyers who only had a mortgage valuation report had to undertake unplanned repairs or building works to their property after purchase. A Market Valuation report is not a Survey of the property and you should not rely on this type of report as a comprehensive statement of the property’s condition.

Report format: in accordance with RICS “Red Book” guidelines, lenders usually present the data on their own standard forms, and sometimes provide a courtesy copy to the borrower. Our Valuation Reports are in a standardised free text format and again whilst not a survey, account will be taken of the overall condition of the property and its likely effect on value.

RICS Condition Report (CR)

Type of property: conventional property in reasonable condition.

Type of service: for those who do not require a valuation, the report 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
  • Advice on replacement parts guarantees, planning and control measure for your legal advisors
  • Defects or issues that may be hazardous to safety

Reason for service: to help you as a purchaser make an informed judgment on whether to buy the property taking into account its condition on the date of inspection.

For awareness: The report aims to provide you with an objective assessment on the general condition of the main elements of the property which is expressed in terms of ‘traffic light’ condition ratings and as a consequence will also recommend any specialist advice or reports that should be commissioned before committing to buy the property.

Valuation included: No

Report format: uses standardized RICS report with clear traffic light ratings system.

RICS Homebuyer Report & Valuation (HBR)

Type of property: conventional property in reasonable condition.

Type of service: focuses on the condition of the property as well as providing a valuation and reinstatement assessment for insurance purposes 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 and ongoing maintenance advice
  • Information on location, local environment and the recorded energy efficiency (where available)
  • Details of significant 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 to develop
  • Highlights areas where guarantees, warranties, planning and other consents need to be investigated by your legal advisers before completing the purchase
  • The surveyor’s professional opinion on the market value
  • An insurance reinstatement figure for the property

Reason for service: to help you as a purchaser make an informed judgment on whether to buy the property and it is at a reasonable price. To be clear on the decisions and actions that need to be taken before contracts are exchanged.

For awareness: the HBR can also benefit sellers – if commissioned before the property is put on the market, it may alert owners to problems that could later hold up a sale. It potentially allows purchasers to negotiate a better deal with the seller.

Valuation included: yes.

Report format: uses standardized RICS report with clear traffic light ratings system.

Building Survey

Also known as: Structural Survey.

Type of property: suitable for all buildings; large, older or rundown properties; unusual or altered buildings; or if you are planning major works.

Type of service: gives detailed information on the structure and fabric of the property, and includes:

  • A thorough, but none intrusive inspection and detailed report on all aspects of the condition of the property
  • A description of visible defects and potential problems caused by hidden flaws
  • An outline of repair options and the likely consequences of inactivity
  • Advice for your legal advisers and details of serious risks and dangerous conditions

Reason for service: if you want a detailed inspection and report of its structure, fabric and condition, especially if you are planning major structural alterations.

Other features: aims to establish how the property is built, what materials are used and how these will perform in the future.

For awareness: the most detailed and comprehensive report available, and can be tailored to suit the purchaser’s needs. Potentially allows purchasers to negotiate a better deal with the seller.

Valuation included: does not automatically include a valuation; this may be provided as a separate extra service.

Report format: tailored to the client’s requirements, usually based on the surveyor’s standard format.

Costs & Charges

Our charges for a valuation start from as little as little £186 (£155 + VAT) and £354 (£295 + VAT) for a Survey, please contact our office on the links provided and a member of our survey team will be happy to discuss your particular requirements and provide a free quotation.

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Property Agents Hull & East Yorkshire

Leonards are an independent partnership established in 1884 as a mixed practice firm of land and estate agents, letting agents, property managers, chartered surveyors and valuers in Hull and East Yorkshire. With such experience comes in depth knowledge meaning we uphold our traditional values whilst providing a modern professional service that is tailored to your individual needs. We not only aim to market your property, but with our helpful and enthusiastic staff we aim to achieve a high level of customer service leading to a successful conclusion of your property transaction.

Head Office

  • 512 Holderness Road
  • Hull
  • East Yorkshire
  • HU9 3DS

Brough Office

  • 59 Welton Road
  • Brough
  • East Yorkshire
  • HU15 1AB


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