House surveys are an essential part of buying a house. You need to know if there are any issues with the property before you’re committed and some mortgage lenders/insurers will insist upon a survey before agreeing any contracts.
When the time comes for house purchase surveys, lots of people are eager to arrange and complete them as quickly as possible. As Chartered Surveyors who carry out house surveys on a daily basis, we’ve answered the top 10 FAQs about house surveys and how long they take to help you with your plans and purchase.
Which survey do I need?
There are different survey options suitable for different kinds of property. The less in-depth surveys naturally take less time but it’s important to choose the appropriate survey for the property. We can help you choose but, as a guide:
- Level 1: RICS Home Condition Report – for conventional and newer properties with no obvious problems.
- Level 2: Homebuyers Report – for standard properties in reasonable condition typically less than 100 years old and which have not been significantly extended/altered.
- Level 3: Building Survey (commonly called a Structural Survey) – for larger, older (100+ years), unusual properties, those that have been heavily altered or are in poor condition.
Who carries out house purchase surveys?
At Trinity Rose, house surveys are carried out by qualified, registered RICS Chartered Surveyors. This ensures a professional service leaving no stone unturned! Exactly what you want when investigating a property you’d like to buy.
What happens during a survey?
Your surveyor will visit the property and fully inspect it for issues such as damp, subsidence, invasive plants etc. Exactly what they look for will be determined by the level of survey you’ve chosen. During their visit they will take photographs to illustrate their findings.
Back at the office, your surveyor will compile a report based on what they’ve seen and include researched information on energy efficiency and any relevant information on the local area. Once the report is completed, it will be sent to you.
Can I meet the surveyor at the property?
If you want to be present during the survey you’ll need to check with the owner of the property first. If they agree, it’s usually fine to meet your surveyor at the site. However, please keep in mind that surveyors generally prefer to be left alone to conduct their investigations. Any distractions can cause delays and make the process more difficult. As a rule of thumb: it’s best to leave them to it!
What’s covered in the report?
What’s covered in the report depends on the level of survey you’ve chosen. However, you will learn information about the property including any issues; what needs to be done to fix those issues; and any potential future issues the surveyor has noted. You may receive photo evidence to back up any findings and have a much better understating of the property you’d like to buy.
What’s the target time from inspection to delivery of report?
There is no specific ‘target time’ to deliver the report; the surveyor will simply work as quickly and accurately as they can. The time it takes depends on many things including the level of survey and how many issues were discovered. Writing the report may take a few hours up to 10 working days for an in-depth Level 3 Building Survey.
Can I speak to the surveyor after the report?
Yes. Many clients have got questions following house surveys and we’re here to happily answer them all.
How long does it take to get a survey done?
There is an inevitable amount of admin involved with buying property and getting a house survey is one of those important checklist jobs to complete along the way. The time this job takes depends on things such as:
- The surveyor’s availability
- The vendor’s availability/compliance
- The size and condition of the property
- The type of survey you’ve chosen
However, once you’re in touch with your surveyor the process should only take a few days.
Is there a quiet time of year for house surveys?
Unfortunately, there isn’t a particular time of year that’s quieter for house surveys than others.
Can I speed things up?
The best thing to do if you’re worried about time is to book your survey as early as possible. As soon as your offer is accepted, get in touch to discuss availability and arrange for the survey to happen.
Our team of Chartered Surveyors always conduct their surveys and write their reports to strict standards and this process must not be rushed (nor would you want it to be!). But, rest assured that they appreciate the time pressures of property purchase and will do everything they can to fit with your time constraints.
Get in touch
We hope that we’ve answered your top questions about house surveys and how long the process takes. If we can help you further or you’re ready to book a survey with one of our experienced, Chartered Surveyors, please get in touch. We’ll be happy to help.