Buying, Selling, or Staying Put? Reduce Risk with a Home Survey

Buying, Selling, or Staying Put? Reduce Risk with a Home Survey

We always recommend that you book a home survey before you commit to buying or selling a property.

Without independent, expert advice who knows what problems might arise weeks, months, or years from now?

Do not leave it to chance and get a professional survey done for your own peace of mind. With a completed home survey report at your fingertips, you can buy or sell (or not!) knowing exactly what you are getting yourself into.


Your mortgage lender’s valuation report is not a survey. It just tells your lender whether the property is reasonable security for your loan.


When is a Home Survey a Good Idea?


Whether buying, selling, or staying put, an independent home survey strengthens your negotiating position and reduces risk.

When You Are Buying a Home

It’s important to understand that your mortgage lender’s valuation report is not a survey. It simply tells your lender whether the property is reasonable security for the mortgage loan. The bank wants to confirm whether they would lose any money if they were to lend against the property.

A home survey will tell you the actual condition of the property.

This puts you in a stronger position during price negotiations and will help avoid any nasty surprises down the road if your purchase is successful.


If You Are Selling a Home

A survey is an aid to selling your home. It will highlight problems that could delay your sale or cause price reductions later. It’s not uncommon for the buyer’s survey to reveal problems with a property. This then slows down or de-rails the process.

Getting your own survey done means you are already aware of potential issues that may affect your asking price.


If You are Staying Put

As a responsible and organised homeowner, a survey report details the current condition of your property, highlighting defects so that you can proactively plan for repair and maintenance costs.

A study by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors found that the cost of unexpected repairs, on average was £5,750.


Watsons has 4 different levels of home survey to choose from

1. The RICS Home Survey – Level 1

If you are buying or selling a modern and conventional house, flat, or bungalow built from common building materials, and it is in good condition this could be the survey for you.

However, this survey report will not be suitable if the property in question is old or complex, or in a neglected condition.

Learn more about the RICS Home Survey – Level 1.


A study by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors found that the cost of unexpected repairs, on average was £5,750.


2. The RICS Home Survey – Level 2

A Level 2 report is also suited to conventional properties but is appropriate to a broader range of buildings.

This intermediate level of service includes a more extensive visual inspection of the building, its services, and grounds, but still without tests.


The report objectively describes the condition of the different elements and provides an assessment of the relative importance of any defects or problems.


Learn more about the RICS Home Survey – Level 2


3. The RICS Home Survey – Level 3

This Home Survey will provide you with a much more detailed assessment of the property.

In addition, our surveyor will consider your specific concerns and modify your report accordingly to provide the most detailed form of property inspection.

Suitable for most residential properties in any condition. This option is recommended for pre-war and unconventional properties that have been significantly altered or need major repairs.

This level includes an assessment of services to the property.

Anything in addition and not covered by the RICS level 3 Home Survey may require our fourth option, the Bespoke Survey, discussed below.


Learn more about the RICS Home Survey – Level 3


4. Watsons Bespoke Survey

Our Bespoke Survey is designed for older or larger properties with multiple roof slopes and structures of differing ages. This report enables the surveyor to describe elements in detail, supplemented by supporting photographic evidence.

This is the most in-depth report provided by Watsons and includes details of the structure and fabric of the building.

Our Bespoke Survey Report is suited to older, and historic buildings with multiple sloping roofs and outbuildings.


Read more about the Watsons Bespoke Survey


Ray Smith FRICS, Senior Partner, Head of Valuation & Survey



Whether you’re selling a property or need an expert opinion on a new property purchase our team of registered valuers and RICS chartered surveyors can help.

It’s easy to get a quote or to book online. Unsure about what survey you need? Our Customer Service Team will take you through all the options and will recommend the right type of survey for you. Get in touch by phone, email, or live chat.

Watsons Property

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